September 22, 2014

Podcasting Microphone: Review of MXL Studio 1 Red Dot


Podcasting is a popular and effective way to share your expertise. While newer social media methods dominate the news, audio and video continues to grow as a way to connect with a listener and viewer, that is, your customer. For some, recording audio from a simple computer microphone is acceptable, but as you increase your listener base you will want to get a dedicated, external podcasting microphone.

The MXL Studio 1 Red Dot is a great USB-powered microphone at an affordable price. You can get their recording “kit” for around $100 on Amazon or your local electronics distributor.

MXL is well-known and respected for its recording equipment.

Podcasting Microphone: MXL Studio 1 Red Dot

I am not a sound expert, but I have used several external microphones over the years to record both audio and video (well, the audio portion of my videos).

But I have to say that this little microphone kit is now one of my favorites. It comes bundled in a durable carrying case, which is a small point. But one that makes a lot of sense given that most podcasting types are probably also mobile types. The company sent me a media review unit for this post.

podcasting microphone

What I Really Like:

  • I already mentioned the nifty carrying case. What can I say, I like boxes and containers.
  • Another nice thing to have is the 10-foot USB cable. Before you scoff, how many times have you received a short 2-foot USB cable with some peripheral gadget because the company was too cheap to give you some leash. MXL knows their customer.
  • Comes with a useful little tripod. (That’s also the main disadvantage as you’ll see below.)
  • Works with PC and Mac.
  • This is the best part is that it comes with a 1/8 inch headphone jack so you can monitor the audio.

What I’d Like to See:

  • A beefed up mic stand. This one will suffice as you get going, but you need a stable, secure spot for it.

This microphone is made well, feels solid and has a professional look to it. I have used it mostly for recording voice-over type recordings, but also some musical work and it performs well.

microphone windscreen

At the $100 price point, it can serve the needs of most podcasters until they start to get to the level where they are using a mixer board and other professional-level equipment.

I would add the wind screen (pictured left), by the way, to keep breath moisture away from the mic itself and to minimize popping when pronouncing P or T. 

The last thing I’ll mention is — it is plug-and-play, just as it says on the box. I plugged it into the USB-port and it was ready to go with Audacity, the open source audio program I use, in minutes. No setup required.

Take a look at the MXL Studio 1 Red Dot if you’re in the market to upgrade your basic computer recording gear.

Images: MXL


TJ McCue - Product Editor

TJ McCue TJ McCue is the Product Editor for Small Business Trends and an entrepreneur who publishes Tech Biz Talk. TJ is a former Wall Street Journal columnist. He also writes for Forbes and American Express OPEN Forum. He loves learning about technology apps and software services - share yours with TJ.

9 Reactions

  1. I’m not big into podcasting yet, but I will be getting into it in the coming months and I think better equipment will make a better sounding podcast, so this might be on my short list for necessary equipment.

    • Same here. It is not that podcasting does not have a good market. It is just that talking on a mic is not really my thing. The same with videos. While I know their value, these are the things that I better outsource than do them myself.

  2. TJ: Thanks for the review. I will soon do a review of an iPhone mic for my EGO NetCast site.

  3. Hi TJ,
    Thank you for doing this review of the MXL Studio 1 Red Dot. It is really appreciated. I just wanted to add that there is an optional professional grade desk-top mic stand (MXL model DS-03) that is available, with a heavy base and chrome steel pole at approximately $24.95 retail.
    Hope this helps.

    • Thanks for letting me, and the readers here, know about that stand, Ian. I didn’t see that when I visited the site, but sometimes I’m just moving through too quickly. Sounds like the perfect addition and one that I personally would appreciate — I prefer to stand when I record podcasts and other audio work.
      Again, thanks.

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