Alesis is offering what looks like a great starter kid for podcasters. If this had been around a year ago, I might not have bought my USB mixer/condenser microphone setup.
The Alesis USB Podcasting Mic Kit includes a USB Mic, a mic stand, and a decent set of headphones, and a set of ove the ear headphones. You can pick up the whole kit for $99 at BSW, and there’s a $15 rebate available. Alesis is also throwing in a free nylon carrying case for the podcaster on the go (PDF link).
Here are some of the recording kit’s highlights:
- 16 bit 44.1/48Khz recordings on OS X or Windows machines
- Bundled with Audacity software for digital audio editin (which isn’t really that impressive, considering you can download Audacity for free)
- 30 day trial subscription to the podcast hosting service at alesispodcast.com.
I’m still glad I went with the mixer/mic solution, as it gives me far more control over my recordings. But for $85 (after rebate), this looks like a great solution for recording podcasts, voiceovers or other vocals on a budget.
The last USB microphone I tried was the Samson C01U, which had a latency issue. If you plugged the mic into a PC, and then plugged the headphones into the PC, you’d hear your own voice echoing back to with a slight (but annoying delay). Some higher end USB mics like the Rode Podcaster eliminate this problem by including a headphone jack right on the mic itself. I can’t tell from the pictures or specs if there’s a jack on the Alesis mic. So you may have some latency issues with this kit.
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