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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 May 2009
Nice bundle. You get a mixer which connects to the computer via USB (I use a Mac, not tried it on the PC but I'm sure it works fine there too); a mic with a stand to sit on the desk; and a pair of proper headphones. It was really straightforward to connect everything up. The mixer has a power connection on the back... when it is plugged in there's a slightly annoying bright blue light which shows up on the front, and it's a shame there's no on/off switch, you have to unplug the mixer from the power. However, when everything is connected it just shows up as a new input (mic) and output (headphones) device in OS X.

It took me a little while to get used to the way the podcaststudio works, but that's not through any technical issues... basically, it took me a bit of playing with the various switches and dials to understand what the effect of each setting on the mixer was, but I was unfamiliar with how audio systems work. You can record directly into Audacity (open source free app, supplied), or any other recording software like GarageBand. The audio quality is excellent and the level of control offered is great. I regularly co-host the Dogear Nation podcast and use the podcaststudio kit on a weekly basis... I also use it for day-to-day things like Skype calls etc, and it is rock solid.

All-in-all a great introductory kit. I would have liked slightly more information about how to use the mixer and what the controls are for, but I'm very happy with the package overall.
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on 26 March 2014
I have been using the Behringer Podcastudio for over 3 years for broadcasting my radio show - mistaGROOVE's OldSpice Jams - and I just love it. I have never had any problems with the product. The package delivers all the items needed to put a podcast together - soundcard interface, audio mixer, mic, mic stand, headphones and all the cables. The mic that's included in the package is the Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone - a very solid mic that some reviewers believe is on par with Shure's SM58.

If you are contemplating buying some equipment for podcasting or internet radio broadcasting then this is all you need plus a pop shield for the mic (less than £10). .
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on 30 September 2009
I purchased this equipment from a specialist sound store based in Newcastle, expecting to get good advice and support. What a mistake! With Amazon if a product is of poor quality, or is not as described, you can just return it and get a full refund. With free delivery you also are not out of pocket with delivery costs. Not so with this company. They were unhelpful, rude, and factually incorrect with everything they said.

Now to the product. It seems such a good deal, a mixing desk, a microphone, a headset, and even free software... and a microphone stand thrown in! The product description says it connects straight to a USB socket for simple installation. What could be better? Well everything actually!

The software is free because it's free software available for anyone to download from the Internet at no cost. The unit does not plug straight into a USB socket, it requires a tacky adaptor so you end up with wires everywhere. The unit has an external power unit so more trailing wires and no power switch. So you either have to live with it plugged in all the time or pull the socket out. And it gets hot. But that is just the start of it!

If you are new to podcasting like me, then you probably don't know about microphones and don't expect to have to. It's a beginners podcasting kit so you just plug it in and away you go, right? Wrong! It has a dynamic microphone that only picks up your voice if it is about an 1" away from your mouth. I expected to have the microphone placed in the stand, on my desk, and have it to pick up voice. But placed in the stand it is not close enough to my mouth. All I got was a terrible noise. I wanted to use the unit for Skype, but the Skype audio test system complained that my microphone was too quiet to be used. It remains that way unless you hold the mic to your mouth, and the mic is heavy. I wanted to replace a USB headset with a better quality microphone and all I got was hassle. If I turned up the microphone gain all I got was a terrible noise that sounded like mains hum. Who wants a proper microphone and headset on their desk which Skype won't work with as it says the quality is not good enough?!

But I bought it from a specialist sound shop so they could surely sort out the problem, right? Wrong. They didn't even bother to call me back! When I called them back I got no help at all, just sarcastic comments as if I should know about dynamic microphones. It was clear that they did not want to help a beginner.

After doing my own research on the Internet I found that most podcasters use condenser microphones not dynamic ones. Most also use microphones with a USB connecter that plugs straight into the PC or a USB hub. No masses of wires, no mixer desk taking up space. I thought, OK I'll buy a condenser microphone and plug it into the mixing desk instead of the dynamic microphone. Wrong again! In order to power a condenser microphone the mixing desk has to support "phantom" power to power the microphone. Dynamic microphones don't require power. Now the mixing desk included with podcasting kit is a 502, and the 502 now supports "phantom" power. But the 502 included with the podcasting kit is not the latest 502 and it does not support phantom power. In fact the 502 included in my kit, just purchased as new, was made in mid 2007! So NO condenser microphone can be used with it. Yes I can purchase a USB microphone but then this cannot be connected to the mixing desk and the mixing desk is therefore a pointless waste of money, space and power. Interestingly, Behringer include a condenser microphone with their more expensive "firewire" podcasting kit. One has to wonder, if they think a dynamic microphone is of use in their basic podcasting kit, why do they include a condenser with the more expensive one?

So the podcasting kit includes software that is free anyway, a microphone that is of no use, and a stand that is not tall enough to bring the microphone close enough to the mouth! But there is still the mixing desk and the headphones, right? Well, my cheapest Sony headphones sound better than the ones included with this unit, and are much more comfortable. The mixing desk is pointless unless you want to record musical instruments. But most people who are looking to podcast will have all of the audio they want to mix on their computer anyway and so can mix using just software. In order to mix with the mixing desk you have to pump the audio back out of the computer into the mixing desk using more wires, and you need the connections on the PC to do this. And I don't mean USB, I mean sound cards. So the mixing kit just takes up room, has wires everywhere, and uses power. Whereas a USB microphone can be used anywhere who wants to take a mixing desk with them and how are they going to power it on the move?

To sum up. If you are thinking of buying this kit then think carefully. Do you really want a mixing desk taking up space and using power when it offers nothing of any real use? Would you not prefer to choose some better headphones and check how comfortable they are in a store? Would you not prefer a USB microphone that you can take anywhere with a laptop? If you want some recording software then the Audacity program included is available for free download on the Internet, but I've found Adobe Soundbooth far superior. This is included with the Adobe Creative Suite Web Premimum or can be purchased separately.

I can find nothing to recommend this kit. Musicians would be better off with a more advanced mixing desk that supports multiple microphones and offers phantom power. Podcasters would be better off with a USB microphone that they can take anywhere. Most would be better spending more on the microphone to add more features. Advanced condenser microphones often allow headphones to be plugged in directly into the microphone, and set which directions the mic can pick up sound. If you just want sound from your voice you can shut off sound from other directions. This is a useful function, for podcasting. If you want to record two voices sat either side of a table you can set more advanced microphones to do that.

My last bit of advice would be, buy from somewhere that you can easily return it if it is not what you need and check out the help that is available from online tutorials on podcasting. Don't rely on a specialist shop as they are not interested in supporting a beginner to podcasting. I expected to learn how to use a mixing desk, I didn't expect it to be such a pointless waste of time and money!
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on 13 October 2015
This product was missing the disc that it needed. We rang up but there wasn't another one in stock so it was sent back.
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on 15 April 2013
I got this to record voices for radio styled plays and the occasional demo. Very easy to set up and the sound quality is better than I expected. I'm going to use it to host an internet radio show. Very impressed.
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2009
Bought this to do podcasts with and am really impressed with it. Set it up to work with my Macbook Pro and after some fiddling with levels etc I created my first podcast using Garageband. Seems quite a high standard of build quality, every component is solidly built.

Can recommend this.
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on 1 March 2013
just as advertised exellent equipment and speedy delivery and post and package prices very good easy to set up and back up from behringer
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on 30 November 2014
great piece of kit just got one,would have brought two if i had money, parcel came earlier than expected which was a bonus.
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on 27 January 2013
This is a reasonably priced piece of kit but I was disapointed by the fact that despite the package stating that software was included it was not, and despite Amazons best efforts they found that there was no software in any of their stock so I was left feeling a bit cheated. A visit to the Behringer web site will give you access to the software but its confusing and to be honest if its advertised with software (as stated on the box) it should bloody well have the software in it. Maybe a quick note to trading standards may be in order.

Rant over as I said other than that its not bad the kit was easy to set up and is not bad quality just about what I would expect from Behringer.
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on 19 November 2014
Does not work with windows 8 even if u download the latest drivers.

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