Better Podcast Audio with the MXL APS Podcasting Bundle

A great microphone makes the difference between having a podcast and having a podcast that sounds professional. The MXL APS Podcasting Bundle makes it dead simple to get great sound in almost any room, in a package that’s hard to beat if you’re just getting started.

This all-in-one kit has everything you need to have a great out-of-the-box experience recording a podcast, doing voiceover for video, or pretty much anything else you might want to do with a microphone connected to your Mac or PC.

MXL BCD-1 Live Broadcast Dynamic Mic

The MXL BCD-1 is the cornerstone of the MXL APS bundle. It has a nice rich sound with a frequency response that maps closely to many of my favorite microphones. The MXL BCD-1 does a great job of eliminating room noise and ambient noise from passing traffic – I tested it with a window open nearby and could not detect any of the noises I heard while recording in the file on playback. An internal shock mount helps reduce vibration or the accidental bump of your desk from ruining the recording.

All in all, this microphone is a solid choice whether you are just getting started podcasting or looking for an upgrade to an existing configuration.

Microphone Specs:

  • Dynamic Frequency Response: 40 Hz-15 kHz
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Sensitivity: -54 dB re 1 V/Pa
  • Impedance: 600 ohms
  • Size: 157.5mm x 50.8mm / 6.2 in. x 2.0 in
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs / 567g

The MXL BCD-1 comes in a foam-lined plastic case that makes it easy to pack for travel, along with an adapter that would allow for mounting on other microphone stands.

MXL Mic Mate Pro XLR-to-USB

The key to the MXL APS bundle is the MXL Mic Mate Pro, which is a XLR-to-USB adapter with built in phantom power and gain control. This allows you to connect the included MXL BCD-1 microphone (or really any microphone) to your computer via USB. There’s a headphone jack on the device so you can monitor the audio level at the source. The MXL Mic Mate Pro also comes in handy if you decide to get an adapter cable to record on something like an iPad (USB-to-Lightning cable not included).

The MXL Mic Mate Pro comes with a sleeve that both keeps it free from dust when not in use and packs for travel if you record remotely.

MXL BCD-Stand Hinged Arm Microphone Stand

The articulating hinged arm of the MXL BCD-Stand makes microphone placement a breeze and also helps diffuse vibration from your laptop that could get picked up by a microphone on a standard desk stand. The arm easily adjusts up and down to accommodate your height relative to the size of your desk, for perfect placement.

The bundle includes two base options, which is pretty great. If you plan to permanently install the microphone stand, there’s a base that screws down into your desk surface. For more versatility, there’s also a base that uses a C-clamp style screw to compress the base against a flat surface.

While potentially not a common use case, the arm would easily fit in a regulation carry-on for travel if you plan to record in your hotel or at a trade show.

Bottom Line on the MXL APS Podcasting Bundle

This kit is a solid combination of microphone, USB adapter, phantom power and microphone stand in a kit that can be either permanently mounted or fairly easily packed for travel.

The only two complaints I have about this bundle are pretty minor. First, it is unfortunate that the bundle doesn’t include a USB cable that is compatible with USB-C in the box. As more laptops move to using USB-C as a standard connector, this cable choice misses the mark. Luckily, you can pick one of these up on Amazon for under $10. My other gripe is a lack of a bundled pop screen to reduce plosive sounds. MXL makes some nice pop screens that are compatible with the MXL BCD-1. The included windscreen will do a little to help reduce the impact of strong ‘P’ and ‘S’ enunciation, but a pop screen would be better.

Again, these are both pretty minor gripes overall and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this bundle to anyone looking for a microphone that will make their podcast sound fantastic.

Most outlets are selling this bundle for $299 as of this writing. Adorama and B&H both carry the bundle or you can find a MXL dealer in your local area on their website.

By Jake

Jake blog's many places on a variety of topics, including travel, tech, baseball, and writing. You can read more of his technology articles on Delighted Robot. Jake occasionally posts about great food at Daily Munch.

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