2018 Podcaster Gift Guide
Whether you’re an aspiring podcaster, a podcasting pro, or just have a special podcat in your life, you’ll find plenty of gift and wish list worthy options below.
Last Minute Podcaster Gifts
Great last minute digital gift options that can often be delivered within hours of purchase.
This audio editing software is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, is easy to learn, and powerful enough to keep up as your skills improve. It's what we teach at our workshops and use in the studio every day.
We couldn't help but plug our own services! Delight the podcaster in your life with a gift card for studio recording or consultation sessions.
They say it's not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail, but WHEN. Keep your precious audio data backed up in the cloud with Backblaze. It's what we use to keep all of our projects safe.
Izotope's RX suite of audio cleanup and restoration tools are like a magic wand for audio problems. Hollywood studios use it to remove background noise, fix clipping, and more. We use it too, almost every day.
Nick Quah's email newsletter has become an indispensable source of podcast industry insider info. Podcasting pros and hardcore fans will love learning more about how the podcast sausage is made.
Apple Podcasts (iTunes) doesn't make it easy to keep track of your podcast reviews. Yes, you can easily look up the reviews for your country, but what about the 100+ other iTunes stores around the world? My Podcast Reviews provides a weekly reminder that people all over the world are listening - a gift that keeps on giving.
Podcaster Gifts Under $50
You might not think you need a boom pole, but it's a great item to round out any recording kit. Yes, they're great for hanging a mic overhead on a video shoot - but audio documentarians will appreciate the added reach in many situations. And if you've ever conducted a 90-minute interview with a handheld mic, you'll definitely appreciate the fatigue-reducing positions that are made possible by a boom pole.
Many podcasters got into audio thanks to Ira Glass' inspirational work on This American Life. This admittedly somewhat dated comic book walks you through the creation of that iconic show, step by step. And eye opener for newbies and old pros alike.
This masterful graphic novel from Jessica Abel picks up where Radio: An Illustrated Guide left off - this time profiling Ira Glass and several other podcasting and radio storytelling masters. A fun and educational read.
This is the textbook for radio reporting, NPR-style. Admittedly, it's a little dry, but jam packed with tips and tricks from veteran reporters and producers. Don't miss this one if your podcasting leans toward the journalistic.
Radio Diaries are intimate first-person stories. The basic premise is to hand someone a recorder and ask them to record themselves over time, then cobble together a story from the resulting mountain of tape. There's a little more to it than that though, which is why you should read this short book from the pros who defined the style.
There are a million ways to go about creating an audio documentary - learn from some of the best and get an idea of the scope of approaches in this great book.
An inexpensive headphone amplifier does wonders for sound quality by allowing everyone to hear themselves - and when you can hear yourself, you can hear audio issues and adjust accordingly.
Anyone who ears Sony's MDR-7506 headphones for long periods knows the included ear pads aren't always the most comfortable - especially when combined with glasses. These aftermarket ear pads provide extra luxurious cushioning for those long edit sessions.
Everyone knows audio cables make great stocking stuffers - especially when there's new gear under the tree waiting to be plugged in! Monoprice has some of the best value cables around.
These budget-friendly over the ear headphones sound surprisingly good (especially once you see the price). And that low price means you can afford a pair for every podcaster on your list!
Mic stands: don't get caught recording without one. An affordable tabletop stand like the ChromaCast can do wonders for sound quality by elevating the mic up to 16 inches. Any stand with at least that much height will do the trick, but this one is a great deal.
Freeing up an extra hand by hanging your recorder from your neck or shoulder can be a field recording game changer. This inexpensive strap from NPET provides a few different attachment options.
Podcaster Gifts Priced $50 to $200
These aren't your average earbuds - use them to monitor (listen) as you record and you'll hear every nuance. Great for anyone looking for a more compact alternative to the industry standard (but bulky) Sony MDR-7506. We own them, and love them.
Great for handheld applications - the Rode Reporter has more powerful output than many dynamic mics (which reduces hiss), a nice long handle for added reach, and great sound.
The Zoom H1 is a great little recorder. It's built-in stereo mics capture environmental sounds well, and the mini-jack input with plugin power makes it a great match for lav (lapel) mics. No XLR connectors here, but its compact size and versatility make it an excellent secondary, specialty, or backup recorder.
Acoustic foam isn't the sexiest gift... but we're pretty sure the recipient will appreciate the reduced reverberation these panels provide. This type of room treatment is one of the best ways to improve home studio sound quality.
Rode's boom arm strikes a great balance between price and professional build quality and performance. Sure to please anyone going for a more professional look and sound.
This is a great first mic. It sounds good, doesn't cost too much and provides both USB and XLR connectivity. That means you can plug it directly into your laptop when you're starting out, and still have the option to connect to professional recorders and mixers down the road.
Got hiss? Some mics don't sound great when paired with cheaper pre-amps. The Cloudlifter is essentially a phantom powered external pre-amp that provides clean gain to low-output dynamic mics. Translation: no more hiss.
A recent addition to our gear library - this tiny recorder combines with any handheld mic for an instant portable recording combo. Don't let this single XLR recorder's size fool you either, it sounds great, and features like automatic levelling and backup recording make it great for novices.
Hear what the pros hear. These are effectively the industry standard for studio monitoring and they work great in the field too. We wear them every day.
Podcaster Gifts Priced Over $200
Binaural mics essentially help you create sonic VR. These look like earbuds, but actually record environmental sounds from your left and right ears. The resulting stereo file makes the listener feel like they were really there. Very cool.
The EV RE50 has been around a long time - with good reason. It's build like a tank (rumour is you can drive nails with it). This classic reporter's mic sports an internal shock mount and good wind noise rejection. Awesome for on the street interviews and other handheld applications.
Camera bags aren't just for cameras - those padded compartments do a great job of protecting audio gear too. We love this model from Lowepro's build quality and versatility - there's even a laptop pocket in case you're editing on the go.
Can you tell we love Zoom recorders around here? It's because they deliver such great sound and versatility for the price. The H4N Pro gives you 2 XLR inputs and stereo internal mics. A great place to start.
A step up from the H4N Pro, the H5 adds analogue gain knobs and the stereo mics are interchangeable this time. The H5 comes with two XLR connections and a stereo mic capsule - but you can swap that out for an additional two XLR connectors and other options.
The Zoom H6 is our primary field recorder. It has four XLR inputs built in as well as an interchangeable mic capsule. This is essentially a tiny battery powered mixer. Very nice.
The Sound Devices MixPre-3 and it's sibling the MixPre-6 are PRICEY - there's no denying that. But believe it or not they're actually among the cheapest recorders that feature such analogue limiters - a key feature that prevents irreversible clipping. That and other pro features put it high on our personal wish lists.
The EV RE320 is our studio mic of choice. It's a modern take on the classic RE20 broadcast mics that makes everyone sound great. Variable-D technology and a thick built in windscreen means you'll never have to worry about messing up a recording by getting too close.
Our studio mixer. Probably overkill for many, but we love the versatility of having so many inputs, outputs, and mixes. It allows us to record to a computer via USB while also recording a backup version on the mixer itself, as well as many, many other tricks. Want physical faders? Check out the Qu-16 or Qu-24, also from Allen & Heath.
Did We Miss Something?
Let us know what you're wishing for in the comments!