Unboxing my 2022 Podcast and Stream Setup!

Whats up Team KBA, so I’ve got plent of ideas and projects planned for 2022 – the year of execution – and with that, some much needed investment are required to follow-through. A raft of packages arrived at the unit so I can finally setup my podcast and livestreaming equipment!

Definitely watch my unboxing video where I talk through each part and give you a sneak into how everything comes together on my tabletop. I’ll hopefully give a look at the final look in the future! For now, below I wrote my thought process on the individual pieces I picked up, the alternatives I considered and why I ended up choosing these. Here’s my 2022 Podcast setup unboxing!

Subscribe to my YouTube

For disclosure, this article features affiliated links which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. They in no way influence or dictate my thoughts towards a brand, product or service. As the sole creator of One Tech Traveller, this helps support my work and platforms.

Please consider supporting my work by contributing any amount as low as $1. This helps to maintain my website costs, development, creation efforts and putting food on the table. Your support is very much appreciated. Keep being awesome! Donate to support my platforms

PODCAST / STREAM MICROPHONE

This was a tough choice that required quite extensive research on the kind of microphone I was looking for, understanding the different setups either through USB C or XLR, condenser or dynamic mics, price range, and functionality.

It’s definitely an application perspective of how you intend to use the mic, and whether you’re recording in noisier environments or in a treated room. My final choice ended up being the industrial standard Shure SM7B, one of the more expensive choices in the field but I’ll get down to the reasons in a moment. The alternatives are great contenders in the runner’s up list including the Elgato Wave: 3, Shure MV7, and Rode Procaster.

I’m a guy that likes to buy once, buy well so I don’t mind spending on quality mics that are maybe cost a little more since it’s an investment but also something I’m doing professionally. I like the SM7B‘s sound for my vocal profile (deep and bassy) but also the aesthetic design. Currently, there can be much surrounding noises so a dynamic mic is preferred to a condenser for that more focus pickup. Using an interface for controls, the SM7B‘s clean design and highly regarded podcast quality sound is the kind of standard I want to produce for my content audio-wise.

The Shure MV7 could easily be a cheaper alternative as it still sounds great, but needs some tweaks like getting the windscreen of the SM7B which handles plosives better and the overall sound. The USB port isn’t a big deal as I wanted to go the XLR route for a cleaner sound, but sadly it also isn’t USB-C which put me off. The glaring part is the Shure brand on the hardware which is too in your face and I don’t like to modify the hardware so visually for me, it’s far less attractive, the MV7 is quite a bit cheaper so if my budget couldn’t stretch that far, the MV7 would still be a great alternative to work with.

The Wave Elgato: 3 is a condenser mic that easily picks up surrounding sound, but the Wave Link software is very impressive for software audio output management. The Rode Procaster was also an option since I’ve been impressed with Rode hardware like the Wireless Go which I have, however, I preferred the SM7B sound.

PREAMP AUDIO INTERFACE

To go with my dynamic mic, I needed an XLR interface for a few reasons. The main reason is to connect the dynamic microphone to my laptop, and the second is to have an in-built preamp strong enough to provide enough gain for the Shure SM7B. Depending on your setup or requirements, you can opt for more stationary, heavier XLR interfaces that offer more features including hardware sliders and additional XLR ports like the Focusrite Scarlett, or the GO XLR.

Since I travel and hence, weight and size are a factor, I decided to go for a compact option in which the Elgato Wave XLR would do the trick, although you can choose the smaller Go XLR Mini without sacrificing hardware sliders. While I envision the desire to have 2 XLR ports, which the Focusrite Scarlett would be a clear choice, the Elgato Wave XLR is small, compact, provide enough audio interface settings, and more importantly a 75 DB gain to boost the Shure SM7B with plenty to spare. There aren’t many differences in terms of price so it’s down to preference and I think many of the audio interfaces are great, but I do like Elgato’s ecosystem and Wave Link software.

PHONE GRIP

This is something long overdue and admittedly one I needed to just fill up the basket, but surprisingly the Elgato Phone Grip is pleasantly sturdy and well-built. It’s made of machined aluminium, has a wide grip that easily fits my Galaxy Note 10+, and features thread points on both rear for vertical and horizontal positioning. I’ve got a pretty solid tripod, but I’ve always had cheap plastic phone grips that break or don’t withstand the uses over time.

Thankfully, the Elgato Phone Grip is perfect for my Manfrotto BeFree Advanced tripod, and when I add the ARCA Swiss Manfrotto adaptors on, they switch in and out of the ball head with ease. It’s decently well-priced and will come in handy if I’m doing any guerilla shooting or captures for social media content.

MIC STAND

I got the Konig & Meyer table mic stand since my boom arm is on backorder after the Christmas period, but honestly it’s a great tabletop solution I would still find myself using thanks to the quick setup and heavy-duty build to support my Shure SM7B. It has some good clearance and connects directly to the bracket of the SM7B, but you can install a mic clip or thread adaptor to mount other things if you choose to.

It’s inexpensive, high quality heavy-duty and provides good lift from the table. The base has rubber around the entire area to pad against the surface, although it leaves faint rubber marks. You can wipe them away although if you’re surface is glass or delicate, I recommend a cloth.

For me, I’d like a little more height so I’m considering the Shure extender pole which adds an extra 10cm to the height – which is perfect – but there are concerns of the extender’s tight fit unable to disconnect once added so that’s something I’m considering whether it’s worth it. Still, the Konig & Meyer stand is great in itself. I like the round base.

MIC BOOM ARM

There are several boom arms out there that aren’t crazy expensive, although there’s a little more distinctions between the models and what you pay for. Cheaper boom arms from Innogear and Neweer use a spring-load to achieve movement but may not have the payload to manage heavy rigs. The range of movement and stability can vary but in terms of affordable boom arms, they certainly do the job and are a great starting point.

I decided to invest in a quality boom arm to go with the invest in the mic as it’s just as important to have stable gear to mount the mic onto. More robust boom arm options are the RODE PSA1, Blue Compass, Elgato Wave arm high profile and low profile. The RODE PSA1 tends to be a popular combination and is where the Shure extender was made to allow full mic rotation and movement of the XLR cable from the SM7B bracket without getting in the way.

The Blue compass is a presentable and clean boom arm that can handle the Shure SM7B. The dynamic mic has internal shock-proof mechanisms so an external mount is not needed, but you can mount any shock mount for other mics thanks to the universal thread.

I decided to go for the Elgato Wave arm high profile as it has built-in cable management, wider desk clamp for more stability and a detachable riser to give more lift if you need to clear monitors or give you extra reach. Lighter mics can still work with the included counter weights, where other boom arms may cave upwards due to the mic being too light.

I like the versatility and opted for this versus the low profile arm if I wanted to mount it onto a coffee table for a different podcast setup where the table is lower. We’ll see how it fares once it arrives so I’m excited to receive and complete my setup for greater mic positioning and free suspended movement.

XLR CABLE this can be overlooked when setting up a podcast / stream but is essential in ensuring the clean sound is transferred from the mic to my laptop. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount on XLR cables, just good quality ones like either being braided and reinforced protection around the connector. I ended up getting the UGREEN 3M cable that connects into the Elgato Wave XLR and Shure SM7B. The Nordell No Bull cable is also a quality XLR cable and will suffice for that clean output.

My Setup

So that’s it! My setup is getting there slowly and I can’t wait to push forward my KBA podcast and do streams for you guys. Stay tuned for more setup updates and I’ll see you in the next one!

Please consider supporting my work by contributing any amount as low as $1. This helps to maintain my website costs, development, creation efforts and putting food on the table. Your support is very much appreciated. Keep being awesome! Donate to support my platforms