Quality audio is key to keeping your podcast listeners happy. But this is easier said than done when interviewing guests remotely! Have you ever considered shipping a microphone to your podcast guests?
You can meticulously soundproof your recording space, buy a stellar microphone, and hire an expert podcast editor to make sure you sound amazing…
…but if your guest is connecting using an iPad on spotty Wi-Fi, without headphones, and a neighbor mowing the lawn next door, it can paint you both in a negative light! Not to mention the heartbreak when you lose a precious interview recording due to audio issues.
While you can proactively eliminate many issues by sending a prep sheet to those about to appear on your podcast, some podcasters go all-out and choose to ship a microphone to their guests.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
When it comes to shipping a microphone to your podcast guests, there are many things to consider:
- Is this actually necessary?
- What is the caliber of your podcast currently?
- Is your guests’ audio is reasonably good most of the time anyway?
- Have you already exhausted other options for getting great audio?
- How will you coordinate scheduling and getting equipment to the guest on time?
- Do you require an assistant/VA to help?
- How frequently do your record interviews?
- Is one set of equipment enough, or will you need more?
- Is this the best use of your podcast’s budget?
- What other things could this money be spent on?
- Will the costs outweigh the benefits?
- How will you make it simple for the guest to return your equipment after the interview is done?
- Including a return shipping label and scheduling a pickup is ideal.
- Do you have the capacity to help guests with setup and troubleshoot if necessary?
- You should prepare text or video instructions for setup, but can you help if things aren’t going as planned?
If you really want to provide a simple, economical solution, you may consider a USB headset. This essentially combines a microphone + headphones, plus eliminates the need for a mic stand or much else. Audio quality isn’t typically quite as good as a desktop microphone, though, which may negate the entire purpose. But depending on your situation, this may be a viable option that proves better than doing nothing at all.
If you’re planning to do a more traditional setup, you’re likely going to want the following:
- Microphone stand
We personally like the Samson Q2U microphone for its affordability, plus it includes a mini stand and cables.
Some guests may already have headphones, but it’s not a bad idea to include some just in case. Keep in mind how the extra size/weight will impact shipping costs. There are tons of options for any budget, and these ones from Numark are highly-praised on Amazon.
It will also be a good idea to include some various adapters to ensure compatibility with a variety of devices and situations. For example, a USB-C adapter for the microphone. Perhaps a guest may not even own a computer and would need to connect to an iPad!
As well, a durable protective case will help to ensure longevity of your equipment, but may add to the shipping cost.
So you’ve decided on what equipment to use, but we’re not done yet. There’s more to think about before shipping a microphone to your podcast guests!
- Can you get by with owning just one set of equipment or will you need to buy multiple kits?
- How frequently do you record episodes?
- What shipping speed can you realistically afford?
- How fast can the guest ship the equipment back to you (or onto the next guest)?
- If you went with a low-cost headset option, is it more economical to just buy and ship a new one right to each guest?
You can use a spreadsheet like Airtable or Google Docs to keep track of the equipment, who it’s currently with, when it’s coming back, and more.
Be sure to include a return shipping label in the box when you send it out to your guest. You can also provide written or video instructions showing them how to connect and use the equipment. This should include some of the tips from our guest prep sheet such as using a wired internet connection, silencing phone notifications, and finding a quiet place to record.
The Bottom Line
Shipping a microphone to your podcast guests can definitely be beneficial if you’re frustrated by inconsistent guest audio quality. However, it requires an investment of time and money.
Want a team of audio professionals standing behind your podcast? Chat with East Coast Studio today to learn more about how we can make your podcast sound great!