How much money should I spend on a microphone?
The answer to that question really depends on you.
Is this going to be a hobby or a profession?
Are you going to do interviews on other podcasts?
Will you be interviewing other people for your podcast?
Unlike video, podcasting is all about the audio component. The better the audio, the better the quality of the podcast. And if you are going to create a podcast in an effort to promote your business, start a business or promote you online status, then you will want a good quality microphone.
Not only does a better microphone result in better sounding audio, it could also cut down on the amount of editing you should do to end up with the best possible result.
But, that does not mean you must invest in an expensive microphone set up if you are going to be recording in a less than perfect environment. I know some podcasters who carry around their expensive microphones and mixer boards to do “on site interviews.” They go into bars and restaurants for their interviews (that is the theme of their show) and the end result: It sounds like it was recorded in a bar or restaurant with all of the associated background noise.
That being said, I have heard great podcast interviews recorded in a quiet room but they used really cheap microphones and it sounded like they were in an echo chamber!
The best advice I can give is this: If you are doing this as a hobby, then an iPhone headset with microphone attachment will work great. Even if you normally record in a studio and “sometimes” take your interviews out on the road, this will work fine. It is not the best, but it will work.
If you are doing this to start, create or build a professional podcast (one that you can monetize and make some money with), you might want to invest in a microphone set that will help you to sound as professional as possible. Stay within your budget. Do not go overboard on a microphone set up.
When I first started out, I was using my flip phone and talking into a free website on the computer. That was my first podcast and I used that set up for about six months. It sounded like I was “talking on a flip phone to a free website on the computer!”
Once I started to get serious with what I was doing, I invested in a $20 headset/boom mic combination. The difference in sound was amazing!
About six months after that, I went to a “snowball” microphone. Again, the difference was definitely apparent.
Then, I went to a Blue Yeti with a retractable boom, etc. It made a HUGE difference in the quality.
I'm currently moving to a set up where I will have Dynamic mic rather than a Condenser mic. I'll talk more about those differences at a later time.
Bottom line, determine your end result for your podcast. Determine your current budget. Purchase your microphone accordingly. Don't over extend on your budget just for the sake of the microphone set up.