2018 AUDIO GEAR GIFT GUIDE
Here’s a gift guide, created by Bandrew of Podcastage, to help you select audio gear (and very minimal video gear) for the podcaster, youtuber, or live streamer that you are shopping for. There are gifts ranging from $10 up to $500, including microphones, interfaces, accessories, and a few miscellaneous items that I think most youtubers/podcasters/streamers should have, so hopefully there’s something for everyone.
If you would like a more in depth guide for Microphone selection you can find that at www.findtherightmic.com
Behringer XM8500 - $20
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/xm8500
This dynamic microphone is extremely cheap, but great for the price. It does a surprisingly good job at background noise rejection, but requires you keep the mic close to your mouth.
Behringer UM2 - $30
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/behrum2
This is one of the cheapest interfaces on the market, and it performs surprisingly well. It offers sufficient gain for most microphones, and is compatible with both windows and mac computers.
Neewer Boom Arm - $15
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/newboom
Every streamer / podcaster will be well served by having a boom arm. This is one of the cheapest boom arms on the market. The main downside is the external springs which can cause some noise if you mistakenly bump them.
Pop Filter - $10
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/newpop
This does exactly what the name says. It stops bursts of air from hitting the microphones capsule, which typically cause pops. Every mic user should have one.
Amazon Basics XLR Cable - $7
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/abcable
These are not amazing XLR cables, but they are perfectly capable. I do always recommend having at least one extra XLR cable in case one goes bad, you don’t lose your ability to record or stream.
Mic Quick Release - $11
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/release
This will not be for everyone, but if you change out microphones frequently, this is a time saver and headache saver. It allows you to quickly remove and replace a microphone on your stand.
Ammoon MS12 - $10
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/ammoon
This is another item that is not for everyone. I do not recommend this be your primary microphone stand, but if you travel a lot, this is my favorite travel microphone stand.
Brainwaves Hengja - $14
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/hengja
This is no special headphone hangar, but it works, and works well. I use multiple of these throughout my studio.
Ear Plugs - $22
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/earpeace
This may seem ridiculous, but a good pair of reusable ear plugs are essential, especially if they attend concerts frequently. Podcasters and musicians need to protect their hearing, and a good set of ear plugs will help them do that.
Streamlight Microstream - $18
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/microstream
Every studio needs a flashlight because you will inevitably drop something under your desk, or behind a shelf. I find myself using my light every day I’m in the studio recording.
Kershaw Knife - $25
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/kershaw
If you’ve got G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) like me, having a good knife to open up all those boxes is insanely useful. This knife has been handling that job for me since 2015.
Field Notes - $10
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/field
A high quality notebook is an essential piece of podcasting gear that’s often overlooked. You’ll want to take notes throughout the day, and sometimes do not want to write in your phones note app.
Fisher Space Pen - $20
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/fisher
This goes along with the Field Notes, and it’s my favorite pen. It’s small, and it always works, even upside down or underwater (because we know that will always come in handy).
Samson Q2u - $40 - $60
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/samq2u
This is hands down the microphone I’ve recommended the most. It has both XLR & USB plugs so you can start as a USB only mic, and then upgrade to XLR with an interface down the road. On top of that it just sounds great.
Logitech C920 - $50-$80
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/loc920
This webcam does not offer the highest quality image, but it does offer a full HD image quality, and is a GREAT starter camera for video podcasters, youtubers, or streamers.
Sony MDR7506 - $80
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/7506
These are industry standard headphones for recording studios. That is because they have a punchy low end with an accentuated top end. This gives them plenty of detail for you to hear all sorts of mistakes/errors in your recordings.
Behringer UMC202HD - $80
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/umc202hd
This is an improved version of the UMC2. It has an improved preamp as well as an improved analog to digital converter. Great starting interface.
iRig Pre HD - $100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/prehd
If you travel frequently and are looking for a way to record your XLR microphone to your computer or iOS device, this is an excellent option.
Audio Technica M40X - $100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/m40x
These are some of the most popular headphones out there. They offer a slightly more neutral sound compared to the even more popular M50x.
Steadman Proscreen 101 - $50
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/ps101
This is hands down my favorite pop filter. It doesn’t work through absorption, but rather by redirecting the air away from the microphone. It is the most effective pop filter I have used.
Audio Technica AT8410a - $50
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/8410a
This is my new favorite shock mount for handheld microphones (SM58, and shotgun microphones. However, it does not secure the mic well enough to mount a shotgun mic overhead.
Rycote Universal Shock Mount - $100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/rycote
If you’re looking for a more universal shock mount, using Rycote’s legendary lyre suspension, then this is a tremendous option for mics that range in size from 18-55mm.
Rode PSA1 - $100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/rdpsa1
This is a big improvement over something like the neewer boom arm. It offers a longer reach and internal springs to avoid unintentional noise.
Mogami XLR Cables - $50
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/mogami
These are some of the best XLR cables you can buy on the market. They won’t directly improve you audio quality, but they do offer improved durability as well improved shielding compared to other budget cables.
Acoustic Foam: $50-$100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/sfoam1
I list this in the under $100 price range because you should buy multiple packs in order to get a decent amount of coverage in your studio. This will keep your recordings / videos / streams from sounding to reverberant.
Rolls MicMute MM11-Pro - $50
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/micmute
If you do live streams, chances are you need to mute yourself quickly. This microphone offers a very convenient hardware button to mute your microphone while still allowing you to pass phantom power through to the microphone.
Logitech MX Master 2s - $70-$100
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/mx2s
If you are looking for an extremely comfortable mouse with plenty of versatility, the MX Master 2s is an amazing option. I have been using the MX Master & then the MX Master 2s for 3 years now and cannot rave about this mouse enough.
Yubikey - $50
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/yubi
This may seem ridiculous, butt this is a two factor authentication token. YouTube allows you to use physical two factor authentication which is MUCH more secure than SMS based authentication. If you’re looking to protect your account, I highly recommend a device like this.
Shure SE215 - $90 - $150
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/se215cl
In terms of IEMs (In Ear Monitors), this are on the budget end, and they sound pretty good. Not only are they good fo live applications, but they’re also great for listening to music in loud environments because of the excellent sound isolation.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x - $150
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/m50xpro
The ATH-M50x’s are likely some of the best selling headphones on the market. They have solder over 1 million units on Amazon alone. If you’re looking for that popular sound, this is a great starting off point.
Shure SM7b - $400
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/shuresm7b
The Shure SM7b is a standard podcast and broadcast microphone. It works well for almost all voices and offers a neutral and very easy to listen to sound quality. It does require a lot of gain.
Rode NT1 Kit - $270
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/rodent1
This is one of my favorite microphones I’ve used that is under $500. It offers a relatively neutral sound which produces a much more natural sound than a lot of modern condenser microphones. If you’re looking to capture audio more accurately at a relatively low cost, this is a great option.
Electro Voice RE20 - $450
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/re20
The RE20 is another broadcast standard microphone. It offers more detail than the SM7b, but has a somewhat scooped mid sound. It works well on most voices as well.
Cloudlifter CL-1 - $150
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/clcl1
Both the SM7b and RE20 require a lot of gain. This device uses the phantom power of your audio interface to boost the signal by ~25dB, so you do not have to boost your preamps gain up to 95 or 100%. This device comes in a 2 input & 4 input version as well.
DBX286s - $200
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/ddbx286s
One of the few channel strips that is affordable, this has become a very popular podcaster/streamer device. It allows you to remove noise, compress, de-ess, and add basic EQ to your signal in real time.
Sennheiser HD650 - $320
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/senn650
This set of headphones has become my daily drivers for non studio work. They are flat, and less fatiguing than the MDR7506’s, and are open back with an amazing sound stage. All around these are the most fun headphones I’ve ever listened to. Not for someone concerned with hearing external noise.
Yamaha MG10XU - $200
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/mg10xu
I have been testing this mixer for a couple of months now and I really enjoy it. It offers basic functionality and does it well. It offers up to 64dB of gain, built in compression (which isn’t amazing), and some built in effects. I love the fact that channel 9/10 can be used to control your computer’s play back audio. It also mixes all your tracks to stereo, so do not expect to be able to multitrack with this device. With that being said, for basic functionality, it is a great entry mixer.
Focusrite 2i2 (2nd Gen) - $150
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/2i22nd
The 2i2 is the interface I use on almost all of my review videos. This is because this is an excellent middle of the road device. It offers a good amount of gain, and is relatively clean. I should note that if you’re a windows user, this has been known to have some drive issues, and you may be better served with a Steinberg or Audient interface.
Audient ID4 - $200
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/audientid4
One of my favorite interfaces, the Audient ID4 has phenomenal preamps and a GREAT D.I. section. If you’re looking for an amazing quality interface, this is one of the best.
Behringer UMC404HD - $130
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/umc404
By no stretch of the imagination is this the greatest interface on the market, but for $130, you’re getting 4 XLR inputs, and pretty decent preamps. Absolutely worth it if you’re on a budget and need this many inputs.
Universal Audio Arrow - $500
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/uaarrow
This is my current daily driver. I reviewed it 6 months ago and it has not left my desk since. The UAD Plugin ecosystem is amazing (even though it is prohibitively expensive). This interface is Thunderbolt 3, so you need to ensure the computer you’re connecting it to has a Thunderbolt 3 connector.
Das Keyboard 4 Pro - $170
Buy this Item: http://geni.us/das4
This is one of the few modern mechanical keyboards that has a version for mac, which is why I landed on it. It is extremely loud due to the cherry mx blue switches which offer a very tactile feedback which is an absolute joy to type on. But as I just said, it is very loud, so it’s not a good option for podcaster’s or those concerned with background noise.
Rogue Amoeba Plugins - $175
Buy this Item: https://rogueamoeba.com/
Audio Hijack, Loopback Audio, and Farrago are some of my most used programs on my mac, and I know people who have considered switching to Mac just to have Loopback Audio. All of Rogue Ameoba’s apps are amazing, but they are Mac exclusive.