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 TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

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.