When it comes to pure quality for streaming and podcasting work, the RØDE Procaster is hard to beat. This is a high quality dynamic microphone that delivers incredibly full, rich vocals with a minimum of fuss.
the good bits
Incredible, full sound
Premium build quality
Surprisingly well priced
10 year warranty
the not so good bits
Particularly large and heavy
Shock mount and XLR cable are both sold separately
RODE Procaster Dynamic Microphone
There are few brands that carry a reputation for quality microphones quite like RØDE does. The Australian manufacturer has been at the head of the table for that sort of thing for a number of years having carved out a history of just simply not missing.
The RØDE Procaster is a perfect example and has been a constant centrepiece in that quality lineup since 2008. A broadcast-quality dynamic microphone, it’s the friend of streamers, podcasters and voice over artists alike.
The Procaster’s design is a throwback to simpler times, a classic Bentley of a microphone without any fuss or bother. There’s no outlandish shape, no go-go gadget attachments and certainly no RGB. There’s not even so much as an onboard gain knob on the all-metal chassis, it’s a microphone and it’s happy being just that, thank you very much.
Though like the smooth curves of a Bentley, simple doesn’t mean boring and the RØDE Procaster oozes class in its design. It just looks like a professional microphone from the classic metal grill that hides an internal pop filter to the signature RØDE brass dot on the front. The matte black finish and go-faster swooshes cap it all off, it’s really quite a looker.
RØDE self-describe the Procaster as ‘robust’ and that might be putting it lightly. This is not a small microphone, this is verging on beast territory at more than 21cm long and weighing in at 745g. For reference that’s nearly three times as heavy as the Elgato Wave:3, and that’s before you’ve added another 390g for the PSM1 shock mount (sold separately, of course).
Weight is a factor here too because you’ll need to mount the RØDE Procaster on a mic arm and the cheaper options on Amazon might not handle that kind of heft. I tried the Procaster with both RØDE’s own PSA1 and Elgato’s Wave Arm and even they struggled to hold the Procaster too high, particularly with the shock mount fitted.
You’ll need the RØDE Procaster pointing near enough straight at your mouth for best results and this may create a problem of space for streamers. With a chassis already longer than most, plus the XLR cable sticking another few centimetres out the end, there’s a lot of room to find in front of a monitor. In tighter setups, the RØDE PodMic with its considerably stubbier frame might be a better choice.
Having made its debut some 15 years ago, the fact the RØDE Procaster is still a bestseller probably tells you all you need to know about just how good it is.
It’s excellent. Properly excellent.
The Procaster delivers incredibly full, rich audio and the quality on offer was immediately clear. Microphones can often be a case of diminishing returns once you’ve reached a certain quality but the RØDE Procaster stuck it’s nose clearly in front of other mics I’ve tested at this price point.
Tailored for speech, the Procaster’s tight cardioid polar pattern did an excellent job in focusing in on my voice while livestreaming. Unwanted noise like speaker audio and keyboard chatter was pretty well ignored and the result was a clean sound even with a minimum of acoustic treatment in my space.
While other dynamic microphones may also deliver perfectly sharp and clear vocals, what stood out to me was how deep and polished my voice sounded courtesy of the RØDE Procaster. It didn’t feel forced either, as others often can with an over the top ‘podcast voice’ EQ, I still sounded like me – just a smoother, better version of.
While there’s a pop filter hidden inside the Procaster, there’s little in the way of built-in shock resistance. RØDE do offer a separate shock mount that I found did an excellent job, but on its own the Procaster is a tad susceptible to desk bumps and knocks. It’s not life or death, but it’s something to consider if you’re a particular animated streamer.
Across the board, the RØDE Procaster is an excellent option for a huge range of vocal applications. Voice over artists and podcasters will appreciate the rich, high quality audio and streamers in particular will benefit from a definite bump in how professional they sound over just about any other option.
It’s surprisingly reasonably priced too for a microphone of this quality though bear in mind you’ll also need an audio interface like the RØDE AI-1 and an XLR cable too, which all factors into the overall cost. Even as a bundle though, the RØDE Procaster presents an incredible performance price balance and should be strong contender for almost any creator.