Unusually heavy for its size and price point, the RØDE PodMic dynamic broadcast microphone feels overbuilt to the very meaning of the word. With an industrial black and silver look and minimalist all metal construction, this mic (and included yoke mount) weigh nearly two pounds. It's a cliche to say that "you could use this as a hammer," but it is entirely true – it would definitely work in a pinch, and, much like the hammer is a dependable tool for driving nails, the PodMic is a reliable, sturdy tool for capturing the human voice.

Primarily designed for dialog, the front addressable PodMic has an effective built-in pop filter so you can get right up on the grille without creating issues. There's no pad, but I doubt you'd need one; it sounds equally great when capturing intimate speaking passages and when things get raucous. The substantial adjustment knobs on the sides of the yoke mount feel well constructed and have the right amount of tension – it doesn't feel like they'll strip or wear out any time soon.

The PodMic sounds balanced and smooth and definitely comes across pre-EQ'd in a way that is functional and pleasing. The midrange is a bit more forward than say a Shure SM7, and the low end is more scooped, resembling the lower end frequency response of an Electro-Voice RE20 (minus the extended sub). This translates into a consistent range from mammalian chest/body low end presence through clear broadcast-y midrange and flattering highs. The frequency response curve for the mic shows a bump just below 1 kHz, with dips at 7.5 kHz and 200 Hz, and rolling off below 100 Hz. This mic has an ultra-tight pickup pattern. RØDE claims this is a cardioid mic, but in use it feels much tighter than that, easily rejecting bleed from other speakers and room reflections. It might be nice to see a more frequency neutral version of the PodMic at some point, designed for instrument mic'ing, as its narrow pickup would be extremely useful.

Though PodMic finds an easy home in the broadcast podcast world for which it was designed, I could see this as a rad mic for vocals that have to punch through a dense mix. If you have a wall of shoegaze guitar with a soft singer (and if you do, give me a call), this would be a great mic to cut through the fuzz. And though I never got a chance to use this mic on snare drum, I can see it being quite useful there as well, despite its heft.

I had to double check when I first saw that this mic was selling for only $99 street. Combined with its performance, thoughtful design and overbuilt construction I had thought that the PodMic would be double the actual price. This might not be everyone's first choice for instruments – let alone a go to for singers – but at that price it's an easy and smart addition to a mic locker. For any kind of podcast or broadcast application, especially if you need multiple microphones, this contender punches way above its weight.

The PodMic and its yoke mount pair perfectly with RØDE's PSA1 studio boom arm/swivel mount. The spring-loaded stand balances perfectly with any number of microphones and with a number of mounting solutions. It's easily mountable from any table or available shelf lip. Thankfully, the PSA1 is also all black – no doubt designed to be as unobtrusive as possible for video production. The tension on the arm is just right; very sturdy and stable yet easily adjustable with one hand. This is a great mount for smaller audio composer desks, or for those that just need a mic immediately available at arm's length.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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