The best podcast and live stream (2021): microphones, stands, pop filters and more


If you are looking at other lighting options, make sure it has a temperature i brightness adjustment, not just one or the other. If it includes diffusers (for light propagation and shaping) or batteries (for portable use), that’s a plus.

Smartphone lenses

Current lens and case

Photo: A moment

Everyone at WIRED (and almost all the fellow nerds we met) are big fans Torque phone cases and lenses. They’re not cheap, but they can really take the images you get on your smartphone to the next level. If you’re recording a podcast with a still image or using an old phone as a camera, wide-angle lens is a good way to perform everything on stage. They are also useful for streams on the go.

Moment lenses require a Moment case on your phone, but the company only supports top brands like Apple, Google, OnePlus and Samsung. Be sure to check with the company amounts to the case for your phone model.

Quiet, dark place with soft material

Look for a room with lots of curtains, carpets and other soft materials that absorb sound if you’re striving for that classic radio DJ sound. As a general rule, try to avoid spaces where you can hear outside noise through windows or doors.

When shooting videos, it can be useful to dim the curtains or other devices that make your room darker, so you can control the exact amount of light you want the camera to collect.

If your software has the option, look for preset equalization and compression settings for male or female voices (often in the drop-down menu). Consider using a “high-pass filter” that can remove annoying quiet rumbles from things like refrigerators and HVAC systems. Mild compression, which makes the loudest parts of your recording quieter and the quietest parts louder for a more even overall volume. If you don’t know how to do this in your software, check out the links below.

Useful applications and guides

Gear isn’t the only thing you’ll need to get started with podcasting or live streaming. Take a look at these apps. We’ve also rounded up some of the best YouTube guides we can find help with.

  • Open streaming broadcaster (free): If you want streaming on Twitch, YouTube or almost any other platform, free streaming software OBS is the industry standard. The open source software is available for macOS, Windows and Linux, and is sponsored by Twitch, Facebook and Nvidia, among other major brands.
  • Cheeky (free): From GarageBand to Pro Tools, there are many great digital audio workstations for recording sound. But the best free option for most podcast beginners and streamers is Audacity. It contains everything you need to edit and upload audio, as well as an easy-to-use interface.


YouTube is a great free resource. Here are a few places to start, but feel free to look on the platform for videos that might help you.

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