Want to Start a Podcast or Livestream? Here's What You Need

I'm a tall, nerdy, white man in my late twenties who obsesses over tube mics and Japanese-made Les Paul guitars, which means that even though I've never felt the need to start my own podcast or livestream, I totally thought I knew how to do it. It turns out in the years I've been outfitting my home recording studio with outboard preamps, compressors, and expensive, XLR-based microphones, companies have spent a ton of research dollars making equipment cheaper and smaller for the masses, with pretty incredible results.
I've been investigating this more-affordable frontier of digital recording and streaming gear, and the takeaway is that it's easier than ever to produce fantastic-sounding and gorgeous-looking content without spending a ton of cash. Whether you've been thinking about starting a podcast or sharing your epic Mario speed runs with the world, here's the gear you'll need to share your story.Be sure to check out our many other guides , such as the Best Gear for Learning Music , Best Webcams , and our home-office gear recommendations.
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Updated December 2020: We've expanded our recommendations in few areas and tweaked pricing throughout.

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Before You Start

We recommend a lot of gear below, but before buy anything, think hard about what it is you want to record or livestream. Brainstorm podcast ideas! Block out stories! Think of ways to make your livestreams different from what's out there already. Whether it's just a hobby or you're serious about making this a business, good content is always going to be more important than the gear.

You'll Want a Good Computer

Photograph: HP