Rode Procaster assessment: Broadcast-quality microphone for below $200



  • Tank-like construct high quality feels skilled
  • Wealthy, broadcast-quality audio
  • Cheaper than competing choices with related sound


  • Requires a sturdier arm than most
  • Wants a reasonably beefy interface to energy it
  • No on-device controls like some related fashions

It looks like everybody and their relations have a podcast nowadays. Whereas I will not get into all the the explanation why not everybody ought to, I’ll say that one of the vital vital components within the success of your audio content material is good-quality sound. Irrespective of how creative, groundbreaking, or thrilling your audio content material is, nobody will hear in the event you sound such as you’re speaking right into a tin can with a string on the underside. 

You may assume this makes for a excessive value of entry for getting began with podcasting. Whereas there are cheaper choices, the Rode Procaster microphone hits a superb candy spot in that value of entry. 

It offers distinctive audio constancy that shines with easy tools and has each the construct high quality and technical specs to develop with you as you broaden your audio content material empire. Let’s check out the most effective methods to get into high-quality audio manufacturing for below $200.


Microphone kind Dynamic XLR
Pickup sample Finish handle cardioid
Frequency vary 75Hz – 18kHz
Output impedance 320 ohm
Sensitivity -56.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (1.60mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Included equipment Carry bag, ring mount for arms and stands, XLR gasket ring
Pop filter Inside
Dimensions 214mm (H) x 53mm (W) x 53mm (D) or 8.43in (H) x 2.09in (W) x 2.09in (D)
Weight 745 g or 26.28 oz

Construct and options

Rode's Procaster mic from all four sides

By way of the magic of Photoshop, all 4 sides of the Procaster in a single picture.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

One of many many hobbies I partake in when not professionally twiddling with electronics for ZDNET is woodworking. Any woodworker that is been at it for a short time can let you know whether or not a device you hand them was made for hobbyists or professionals. There is a stark distinction in really feel. The professional instruments have a density to them, and inflexible, exactly becoming joints. They instantly appear to speak that, so long as you take care of it, this device will final you a lifetime. I went off on this little tangent as a result of that is precisely what the Rode Procaster appears like in hand.

The all-metal development is heavy, sturdy, and confidence-inspiring. In a high-speed collision between this microphone and a brick wall (Disclaimer: Don’t check this at residence), I might count on the mic to win.

Rode's Procaster microphone lying on its side

The included silver ring nut and all shock mounts I attempted it with screwed on simply and stayed precisely the place I put them.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

That very same stage of exact and durable development applies to the mic’s two connection factors. The threaded portion on the backside can both be related to the included ring mount utilizing the bundled silver nut, or it may be threaded instantly right into a appropriate shock mount like the Rode PSM1 I used throughout my testing. The XLR connector positioned on the underside can be precision-machined, offering a strong, jiggle-free reference to each Rode’s XLR cables and different third-party cables I attempted.

From finish to finish, this appears like an expert gadget that will be fully in a high-end recording studio.

Extra: The 5 greatest streaming mics: Begin that podcast or Twitch channel


The accessories included with Rode's Procaster microphone

The little squiggly blue ring on the appropriate helps tighten up looser XLR cables, although I by no means wanted it throughout testing.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Within the field with the Rode Procaster you may discover a zip-up carry bag, Rode’s RM2 ring mount (used with the pre-mounted spherical silver nut), and a small blue gasket for tightening up loose-fitting XLR cables. The RM2 mount was sturdy sufficient to maintain the mic in place, however I might suggest investing in a shock mount in case your price range can help it. Not solely does this make an already impressive-looking mic seem like it would be proper at residence on NPR, however it additionally dampens undesirable vibrations that may journey up your mounting resolution and into the mic. 

I ought to word that the Procaster’s built-in dampening measures made it extra proof against such issues than most, however I nonetheless seen an improved resistance to ambient vibrations whereas utilizing a shock mount. 

Rode's Procaster mic in a shock mount with a windscreen on it

Rode’s PSM1 shock mount and WS2 windshield on the Procaster.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Apart from the PSM1 shock mount, the one different optionally available accent I examined was Rode’s WS2 windshield. Whereas the mic has an inside pop filter to forestall crackles and plosives (unpleasantly loud “P” sounds, basically), you’ll be able to nonetheless add a windscreen like this one in the event you are likely to breathe into your mic quite a bit. I discovered that, with a naked minimal of cautious positioning, it wasn’t actually mandatory. Your expertise could differ. 

One final word I will point out, you may need a sturdy growth arm for this mic. It does not must break the bank, nevertheless. I examined this with each the $99 Rode PSA1+ arm that the corporate despatched alongside, and a $45 Samson growth arm. Each supported the mic simply superb and stood the place I put them. Nonetheless, the Rode mannequin was significantly smoother and extra simply adjustable. That stated, any good-quality growth arm that is rated for the 745g mass ought to serve you nicely. 

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Sound high quality

The grille of the Rode Procaster

The Procaster is an end-address mannequin, that means you may need to speak into the roundtop portion for one of the best pickup.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

As common, one of the simplest ways so that you can perceive the standard of the sound produced by a microphone is to listen to it your self. Beneath is a video I recorded utilizing a setup designed to supply the purest, most unaltered impression of the Procaster’s sound. Take a hear and decide for your self…

For me, the sound high quality is up there with a few of the costliest XLR fashions I’ve examined, together with mics that value way more. There was by no means any undesirable background noise, hiss, or crackle, even and not using a windscreen. The standard of the sound is on the hotter finish, giving it a broadcaster high quality that many different producers try and emulate by way of software program post-processing. A few of them handle a satisfactory duplicate, nothing matches the real high quality of clear, heat sound coming proper out of the {hardware}. 

I might really feel comfy utilizing the Procaster for any stage of recreation streaming, video manufacturing, vocal music, or, after all, as a podcasting microphone.

Backside line 

Rode’s Procaster is a meat-and-potatoes form of microphone. It does its job and does it very nicely, with no pointless frills including to its value. All effort that went into designing this microphone was clearly about bettering the audio and construct high quality, not making it flashy to take a look at. And that is precisely what I might need in an expert setting. 

The Procaster would require some beefy help and a USB interface or mixer that may deal with its energy wants. However none of this stuff want to interrupt the financial institution in the event you’re simply beginning out. It really works nice with even budget-friendly interfaces and arms. Higher but, it’s going to develop with you, transitioning from one thing as cheap because the $75 USB interface I utilized in my testing to way more advanced mixing setups and companion tools. 

Certain, you will get cheaper fashions. However, similar to these skilled woodworking instruments I discussed on the prime, you’ll be able to spend somewhat extra as an alternative and get one thing that might be with you for years to come back.

Options to contemplate 

If you need related (if not fairly an identical) ranges of high quality from Rode in a smaller, cheaper bundle, the corporate’s Podmic is designed to work nicely with out an exterior shock mount and may very well be a terrific possibility for these on tighter budgets.

Additionally round $100 is Audio Technica’s AT2020, a mic that is been round some time however nonetheless offers distinctive readability and constancy. Its sound profile can be barely colder and extra analytical than the hotter Procaster, which some may desire.

Should you actually need to go all in, Shure’s SM7B is a microphone you have probably seen in entrance of a number of big-time podcasters and YouTubers. It is obtained a cult following however is available in at over twice the value of the Procaster. 

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