Over the past few decades, podcasts have become a popular medium worldwide. New podcasts are created every day, on a variety of subjects. With all the podcast-making resources, tools, platforms, applications, and software on the market today, it’s never been easier — or cheaper — to launch a podcast.
If you want to start your own podcast, you’ll need good podcast recording software. There are many ways to record, edit, and post podcasts, so choosing the right tools isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve chosen the 11 best podcast recording software and reviewed each one for you. We’ve also included some other useful tools podcasters should know about.
Before we get to the software, let’s go over what you need to start your own podcast.
What do you need to record a podcast?
Starting a podcast is deceptively easy. It doesn’t take much gear at all, just a good microphone, a computer, and recording software. Of course, if you want your podcast to join the ranks of This American Life or NPR, then you’ll have to go for a higher standard of production. But starting out, these two pieces of equipment plus one or two recording and editing tools should cut it.
Podcasts are an audio medium — you can’t cover up poor sound quality with visuals. As such, viewers relate the quality of your sound directly to the value of your podcast. Even if you have the most innovative idea for a podcast that anyone’s ever dreamed up, few people will listen to it if it sounds bad.
To ensure good sound quality, you need a decent microphone. You can get a good starter mic for under $100 and gradually work your way up as your podcast progresses. When choosing your microphone, consider two characteristics: the type of connector and the way it captures sound.
🔗 Types of connectors
In the connector category, there are USB and XLR microphones. USB microphones plug directly into your computer via a USB port and are simple to use. They tend to be less expensive for this reason. XLR mics, on the other hand, require some kind of audio interface, such as a mixer, to hook up. With XLR microphones, you have to buy an audio interface, which adds another piece of equipment to your podcast startup list.
🔊 Capturing sound
There are also two types of microphones when it comes to capturing sound. Condenser mics are highly sensitive and will pick up on a lot of background noise, making them great for isolated recording environments. Dynamic mics are less sensitive to background noise, which makes them a better choice for recording more than one person at the same time in the same room.
You need a computer to run your podcast recording software. The software will capture and save your recording as an audio file, which you can edit on your computer. It doesn’t matter which operating system you use, as long as your chosen software is compatible. Your computer should also be powerful enough to handle your digital audio workstation (DAW).
When you choose a new DAW, or recording software, always check the hardware requirements to ensure your computer has what you need. Specifically, check the CPU, RAM, and storage. Audacity, for example, requires 2 Ghz of processing speed or equivalent and 4 GB of RAM.
🎛 Recording software
There are many options for audio recording and editing software, or DAWs. Some high-quality software is free, saving you money as you’re starting up your podcast. Audacity and Garageband are common free choices, and Adobe Audition and Logic Pro are some of the most popular paid recording software.
We’ll get more into the best audio recording software below, but keep in mind as you’re searching for a new DAW that the more expensive and complex a software is, the higher the hardware requirements are likely to be.
👌 Other podcasting accessories
A microphone, computer, and DAW are your basic podcasting setup, but you can add other accessories to make the experience better. Some of this extra equipment includes:
- Pop filters
- Shock mounts
Now that you understand the basic setup, let’s move on to choosing the best podcast recording software.
How to choose podcasting software
When looking for a DAW, what features should rank highly on your wishlist? Consider podcasting software with decent editing capabilities, the level of technical support you need, and the ability to save files locally. You should also take your price range into account, as not all the best audio editing software is free.
Recording your podcast and editing your podcast are two separate processes, sometimes requiring both recording software and an editor. But some recording software comes with editing capabilities to make the process more seamless. If you’re a podcaster who prefers an all-in-one solution, then look for podcasting software with editing features.
How tech-savvy are you? If thinking about troubleshooting technical problems makes you break out in hives, then you should look for a DAW that has adequate support and help documentation. The software should have resources you can turn to when things go wrong.
You need somewhere to save your audio files for your podcast, including your raw recordings and edited versions. A basic podcast recording software should be able to save files of your recordings locally on your computer. If you record multiple people for your podcast, you should also look for a split-track recording function on your DAW. Split-track recording allows you to save a separate audio file of each podcast participant, so you can clean them up and make the audio quality of your podcast consistent, no matter who’s speaking.
If you’re on a budget, then you’ll have to factor the price of the software into your decision. There are some great tools you can get for free, but as with most software, if you want the highest quality it will cost you the most money.
11 best podcast recording software
With our most recent updates, Restream has become a full-fledged audio recording software. You’ll have all the tools you need to record, customize, and promote your show. With our Record Only feature, you can record audio or video through the Restream dashboard without going live. We’ve also upped the ante on audio quality, allowing hi-res 48kHz. Restream recently developed split-track recording to keep audio with multiple guests clean and now allows up to 100 GB of cloud storage for recorded audio and video content.
- Record without going live
- Save recordings in the cloud with up to 100 GB of storage
- Hi-res 48kHz audio
- Split-track recording
- Echo cancellation
- Noise suppression
- Stereo sound
- Great podcast features available on the free plan
- All features available in web-based version
- Podcast features complement Restream’s live streaming and multistreaming capabilities
Read Next: Restream tools and features: Full guide📍
2. Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is one of the most popular professional-grade podcast recording and editing software out there. It’s packed with features to make your podcast easy to edit and sound great. That kind of quality doesn’t come without a high price tag, however, and Adobe Audition’s $20.99/month can be a hard pill to swallow if you’re just starting out.
- Essential Sound panel for professional-quality audio
- Comes with built-in presets to help new podcasters get started
- Single and multitrack recording
- Noise reduction capabilities and advanced compression
- Batch processing lets you apply effects to one file and save those settings so you can apply them to another batch of files
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
- Adobe is an established brand, so you can find many tutorials online
- Features geared toward podcasting
- Professional audio features
- Steep learning curve
GarageBand is Apple’s free DAW for iOS and macOS devices. It’s aimed more at musicians than podcasters, but you can grab an external mic and convert your iPhone or iPad into podcasting software that records and edits. It also syncs across your Apple devices, so you can work on your podcast recording whenever and wherever.
- Works with the Logic Remote app to create a second screen
- iCloud backup
- Effects like visual equalization and compression to increase the quality of your recording
Compatibility: macOS, iOS
- Portable podcast recording and editing tool
- Clean user interface
- Mac only
- No split-track recording for multiple podcast participants
- Lacks advanced features
4. Logic Pro
Logic Pro is a powerful music production and audio editing software. It’s geared more toward music engineers than podcasters, so the sheer number of features may be overwhelming. If you are looking for a high-quality tool that works seamlessly, and you happen to be a music producer as well as a podcaster, then Logic Pro is a good choice for you. It’s a step up from GarageBand, and GarageBand files will load in Logic Pro.
- Logic Remote app for iOS
- Supports 24-bit/192kHZ audio recording
- Robust music editing tools if your podcast has music
- Library of ready-to-use plug-ins and sounds
- Professional quality audio recording and editing
- App turns iOS devices into a second screen
- Works with GarageBand files
- One-time fee of $200, no monthly subscription required
- Mac only
- Most features are geared toward music production, not podcasting
Auphonic is podcast editing software for people who don’t like to edit. You can upload your recordings (Auphonic doesn’t record), and the software will analyze and enhance them with level audio and noise reduction. It also provides a transcription of your recording. Auphonic has a free version that lets you upload up to two hours of audio per month. For nine hours of audio, you have to pay $11 per month.
- Transcribes in over 80 languages
- Exports to YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SoundCloud
- Automatic audio ducking and noise gate and cross-talk removal
- Adds metadata and chapter marks to podcasts and audio files
- Desktop and mobile apps
Compatibility: web-based, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- Speech recognition audio transcription
- Exports to common cloud storage systems
- No recording
- Not all features available in the desktop version
- Still need a DAW for some edits
Audacity is the free, accessible, open-source audio recording and editing software that many podcasters start with. It’s got all the basic features you’ll need to edit your tracks and clean up your recording. When you’re done editing, you can export into multiple file formats as well.
- Saveable EQ and fading
- Runs on any operating system
- Choose between 16-bit, 24-bit, or 32-bit recordings
- Library of audio effects
Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux
- Good recording and editing features for free
- Supports most commonly used file formats
- Widely used, so there are many online tutorials
- UI is outdated
- No multitrack recording
If you have a Mac and are planning to produce podcasts with it, you can use Apple’s default video and audio editing application, QuickTime. It’s free, and you can record and edit audio files, then export them when you’re done. QuickTime is easy to use and, as the name implies, is perfect for quick edits.
- Trim audio files
- Combine multiple audio files with the drag-and-drop feature
- Use your Mac as a podcast recording device
- Free on any Mac
- Simple to use
- Limited features
- Mac only
- Geared more toward video editing than audio editing
8. Hindenburg Journalist
Hindenburg Journalist is for radio broadcasters and podcasters who have multiple clips and interviews to piece together. This software delivers high production value — with a $95 price tag to match. With a multitrack audio editor and several features to control the sound quality, Hindenburg Journalist is software designed for podcasters.
- Automatically sets levels based on loudness
- Upload finished podcast directly to SoundCloud or Libsyn
- Save audio clips for later with the clipboard
- Hindenburg Field Recorder app for mobile recording (iOS only)
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
- Support for many types of audio files
- Designed for podcasters and journalists
- High production value
- $95 is the lowest price point
- You can only get full features in the Pro version
- Built-in Skype recording feature increases the price to $375
Reaper is the DAW with the most features for the lowest price. The digital audio production application allows you to record, edit, process, and mix audio and MIDI tracks. This software is known as the “lightweight” option because you can install and run it from a USB, meaning you don’t have to install the application on your computer’s hard drive.
- 64-bit internal audio processing
- Supports third-party plug-ins and extensions (for added sound effects)
- Customizable skin and layout
- Audio and MIDI routing with multichannel support
Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux
- 60-day free trial and discounted license fee only $60
- Fast startup
- Customizable UI/UX
- Somewhat clunky plug-in integration
- No mobile app
- Fewer online tutorials/help resources than other popular DAWs
Alitu was designed specifically for beginning podcasters. Its primary functions are recording and editing podcasts, and users don’t need much technical knowledge to get started. With an editing process that’s almost fully automated, the $28 per month may seem worth it to beginners. Although Alitu makes editing podcasts a breeze, the audio quality isn’t up to the same standards as other software on the list.
- Automatic audio cleanup
- Drag-and-drop editing tools
- Upload audio files of any type
- Publish straight to podcast hosting provider
- Web-based application for use anywhere
- Very easy learning curve
- Web-based means it’s less effective for longer recordings
- Audio quality is lower than other beginning-level DAWs
- No mobile app
Anchor isn’t a podcast recording software or DAW but rather a podcast-making app. What’s the difference? Anchor is dedicated solely to podcasts. It’s also a podcast hosting platform, so you can record, edit, and publish your podcast all within the same app, from anywhere. Anchor’s new Record With Friends tool also lets you record calls for your podcast with up to five guests. Anchor is a good choice for hobby podcasters who want an all-in-one tool, but businesses trying to launch a podcast for their brands may struggle with its limited capabilities.
- Pushes uploaded podcasts directly to Spotify and Apple Podcasts
- Monetization options on the Anchor platform
- Free unlimited hosting
- Analytics from Spotify
👉 Compatibility: Android, iOS, web-based
- Easy to learn
- Unlimited podcast hosting
- All-in-one tool
- Automatic upload to Apple Podcasts puts it under Anchor’s account, so you have to upload manually anyway
- 250 MB file size upload limit
Useful tools for podcasters
A DAW isn’t the only non-hardware tool you’ll need to make a podcast. You’ll also need a platform to host your audio files and tools for remote interviews, transcription, scheduling guests, and promotion. The following resources will make creating your podcast much easier:
- Restream: With Restream, you can conduct, record, and multistream remote interviews. If you’re doing a live podcasting session, you can also add streaming graphics to make your stream look more professional. If you don’t do a live session, Restream Events lets you broadcast pre-recorded videos, so you can upload your edited podcast and push it live across multiple platforms.
- Facebook Live: Live streaming one of your broadcasting sessions is a great way for your fans to connect with you. They can listen as you record and see how the “magic” happens. If you want to multistream your podcast recording session, use Restream to go live on multiple platforms at once, instead of just on Facebook Live.
- Zoom: Zoom is one of the most common video conferencing applications available today, so your guests will likely have experience using it. You can record your call in Zoom and upload the file to your podcast editing software.
- Descript: Descript is a smart transcription tool that transcribes your podcast into text, removing odd sounds, silences, and narration errors. You can publish your transcript alongside your podcast on your website or use it to create other content.
- Play: Play is a natural text-to-speech AI generator, which allows you to create voiceovers of your articles, blogs, or written content. You can select from over 260 AI voices, do as many revisions as you need, and retain the full commercial and broadcast rights over the voiceover you create.
- PodBean: PodBean offers free podcast hosting. You can upload a few episodes for free if you’re just starting out to see how well they do. PodBean is also a well-known podcast hosting platform that’s been around for a while.
- Buzzsprout: Buzzsprout is one of the best podcast hosting platforms for businesses. It’s not free, but the pricing is reasonable, and the interface is easy to use. You also get access to analytics, and there are helpful forums and Facebook groups dedicated to Buzzsprout to help you navigate the platform if you’re new.
- Calendly: Calendly is an appointment scheduler that works across platforms, so you and your podcast guests can schedule times to record without having to integrate calendars. Paid versions of Calendly also let you add it to your website and collect payments.
- Blubrry: Blubrry is a podcast hosting platform with robust statistics. It provides accurate insights on your listeners, where they are, and which platforms they’re using. Blubrry also gives you a free WordPress website when you sign up for their platform.
- Castos: With the Castos WordPress plugin, you can upload podcast audio files to your WordPress site and manage your podcast from within the WordPress dashboard. Castos creates RSS feeds that Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher can read and provides you with useful listener analytics.
Let’s wrap up
Launching a new podcast or overhauling an existing one can be an exciting process, but choosing the right podcast recording software can also be stressful. Not every software is perfect for every podcaster, so make sure you choose one that has the features you need. If you go with one of the 11 on our list, you’re already off to a good start.