When you’re first starting out with recording audio for your online course, you don’t need much. A good USB microphone, quiet room, and free audio editing software, and you’re good to go. If you’re looking to seriously elevate your online course audio quality, it might be worth thinking about setting up a real home studio with quality, pro audio equipment. Today we have a few splurge-worthy audio gear recommendations for you that will definitely take your audio game to the next level.
The microphone is the most important component of audio recording. So, it’s natural it’s the first thing creators usually look to upgrade when they’re ready. Here are some of the best microphones on the market that are perfect for helping you record crisp, smooth, and professional audio.
Sennheiser MD 441-U Mic, $999
If you’re seriously interested in having a professional-level setup at home, then the Sennheiser MD mic is going to be right up your alley. It’s a dynamic microphone and offers the sound quality of a condenser mic with precise and smooth audio quality. It has a unique flat look and has a full metal body with a mesh metal grill at one end of it. On the sides, there are fake leather panels that make the microphone feel sleek and luxurious.
What’s also unique about this mic is its integral pop filter. This means you don’t have to add anything external to it to stop the sound of “p” and “s” from being unpleasant to an ear. It’s a good-looking microphone, so if you’re looking for a piece of audio equipment that looks great and professional on-camera, Sennheiser MD is the perfect option for you.
You’ve probably seen this microphone in almost every podcaster’s studio all over the internet. And there’s a good reason for that. Shure SM7B is an excellent quality dynamic mic that offers smooth and warm audio quality. This microphone is preferred by many creators because it offers the ability to record audio within close proximity to the microphone without worrying about the distorted sound or having to be at a certain distance to not disturb the mic sound.
SM7B records smooth, deep, bassy audio, which saves time in post-production that recording with some other mics requires to make the sound smooth and pleasant to an ear.
RODE NT-1 Mic, $269
Rode is one of the most well-known pro audio equipment companies. And they offer some great quality gear for video and music creators. Rode NT-1 mic is a great upgrade if you’re looking for a professional studio-quality condenser microphone. It offers a clear and crisp sound. It comes with a high-quality suspense shock mount that protects your microphone and stops any external movements to interfere with the sound.
Also, Rode NT-1 offers an extended 10-year warranty if you register your mic with them. So, you can be sure that you’ll get support if something goes wrong.
Shure Super 55 is a dynamic vocal mic with a vintage look. It has a sturdy built and is made of metal that’s heavy in the hand. Because this microphone is designed for stage performances, it has very good resistance to background noise and any handling noises you might cause if you’re holding it in hand while recording.
It offers very crisp and sharp audio, so it’s great if that is what you’re looking for in your audio sound in your online course.
Don’t forget the headphones
Headphones can be a huge help when recording audio for your online course. Listening to yourself while recording can help you improve your microphone technique and speaking ability. You can hear whether you’re too close or too far away from the mic. Doing so allows you to adjust while you’re recording, instead of noticing after you’ve already spent an hour recording.
Wearing headphones when recording can also help you notice ambiance noise, echo, and other interruptions you don’t want that can ruin the quality of your audio. This can all save you hours of editing! It’s definitely worth it to invest in this piece of pro audio equipment when you’re ready.
Here are some of the best splurge-worthy headphones for the pro audio feel of a recording studio.
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Headphones, $99.95
If you’re looking to splurge on headphones, but don’t want to go too crazy, then Sennheiser HD 280 PRO headphones are a great option for you. They have a comfortable and ergonomic design—but are heavy and sturdy while still looking stylish and professional. They have great sound isolation, so you can fully focus on your recording without the sound leaking through.
Bonus: They have a detachable cord that can be replaced when broken without having to replace the whole set of headphones each time.
These are great high-end headphones that are perfect for content creators and podcasters. Originally designed as gaming headphones, they offer a sleek and stylish design while still being comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
These headphones offer an array of different cables for you to choose from, which are all designed specifically for different purposes: podcasting, gaming, music recording, and more. This allows for a customizable audio experience while recording.
Shure SRH 1540 Premium Headphones, $499.99
If you’re looking for headphones that are the most high-end, durable, good quality, and promise longevity, then Shure SRH 1540 headphones are going to be a good select. They have a sturdy yet lightweight aluminum alloy frame and cushions made from soft and comfortable material. This ensures ultimate comfort, even if you end up wearing the headphones for an extended amount of time.
Shure SRH 1540 offers maximum sound isolation, so you don’t have to worry about any audio leaks while you’re in the middle of recording your audio. Together with the headphones, you get a sturdy case, another set of cushions, and all the necessary wires you might need.
Good quality professional microphones and headphones are crucial for improving your audio quality. But there are also other pro audio equipment purchases you can add to your home studio that will improve your sound quality and audio experience.
When you’re starting out, you might not have the budget for things like acoustic panels. And they’re not really a necessity. But as soon as you start looking for ways to improve your audio game, acoustic panels should be at the top of your list.
Even if you have a dedicated room for recording audio for your online course, chances are you have bare walls and floors around the room. While you can minimize the echo in a room by adding a rug and covering the hard surfaces with cushions and blankets, acoustic panels can be a way easier alternative.
You can buy them in sets of 12 or even more and place them either on the hardwood floors or fit them to the walls in your recording studio so that they could soak up all the echo when recording, making your audio quality so much better.
Our pick: Auralex Home Office Kit, $169.99
Another thing on our list that might not be on your shopping list when you’re first getting started is a diffuser. It’s something that you can find in all professional recording studios. It’s used to create a lively ambiance for recording without taking away all of the life out of the space when you have the acoustic panels fitted to prevent echo.
You see, when you soundproof your recording studio, it’s very easy for the sound to become flat and “dead” when recording. To avoid that from happening, get a few diffuser panels to place over the room so that they could bring in some of that life back to your audio.
Our pick: Auralex T’Fusor, $61.99
Although it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to get good, quality sound or video for your online course, we understand there may come a time when you’re ready to upgrade. Gearing up wisely can get you to the production level you crave in no time.