It can be stressful figuring out the best way to get the best audio into Switcher for your stream. We've made this simple flow chart to help you decide the best route to take and included gear recommendations for each budget below.
Where Do I Start?
To start follow this flow chart to decide what equipment if any you'll need and then double-check the recommendation list below to check for any adapters if any that may be needed. We've also included gear recommendations and budget items there.
Gear Recommendations: Mixers
Important Note on Mixers: Most USB mixers will work with Switcher Studio. Just make sure that the manufacturer says that they are iOS compatible. You'll also want a mixer with loop-back audio for video chat. To use a USB mixer you'll need an Apple Brand USB Adapter. For devices with Lightning Ports, we recommend the USB 3 Camera Adapter. For devices with a USB-C port, we recommend the A/V Multi-Port Adapter. Both of these adapters are chosen for their ability to charge while using USB. We also HIGHLY RECCOMEND buying these from Apple, Target, or BestBuy. Amazon has had a recent influx of counterfeit adapters. We advise against ordering one from Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Allen & Heath Zedi 8 or 10
This is a great little mixer. It's personally used by members of our team for their personal streams and they love it. The only drawback is that you have to use the PFL button to monitor USB audio loop-back when using Video Chat. At this price, we certainly don't think this is a deal-breaker.
Best for Podcasters and Social Media Streamers: RODEcaster Pro
The RODEcaster Pro is maybe the best mixer all around. It's got 4 mic inputs, a mobile input, a Bluetooth input, and a USB input/output. It's loaded with features. It has a built-in effects pad and the ability to play audio assets from a micro SD card. It's our favorite mixer and the easiest to use with Switcher.
Best Portable Option: Zoom H6
The Zoom H6 is a great portable option if you find yourself at conventions or on the road a lot. It's a recorder by itself but has the ability to turn itself into a 4-channel mixer when needed. The Switcher team has used this on many video productions and it's never failed us.
Best for large productions and churches: Behringer x32
Although our team hasn't had personal experience with this one it comes highly recommended by a lot of our users. It's got a great system for creating BUS', which will make sure your mix sounds just as great online as it does live.
Gear Recommendations: Interfaces
If you're only planning to use 1 or 2 microphones then an interface may be more economical. You'll also need an interface to get an analog mixer into Switcher. While you can use a standard USB interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, they require a stronger power source, like the 20w charger that comes with an iPad, and require your main switching device to stay plugged into power. The mobile options below are a much better option in our opinion.
Best Overall: iRig Pro Duo
This 2-input interface is the best way to get stereo audio into your Switcher from a mixer. It's also a great tool for a 2 microphone setup. We recommend plugging in iRigs via Lightning or USB-C whenever possible.
Best for 1 Mic: iRig Pro
Not much to say here. It's a single input version of the Pro Duo. It's a little bit cheaper than the Pro Duo and will be limited to mono sound.
Budget iRig: iRig Pre HD
The iRig Pre HD is a great option if you're on a budget and only need one microphone. It's limited to a single XLR connection where the iRip pro will take an XLR or 1/4inch cable.
Best for RCA/ Best Budget option: Behringer U-Control UCA202
If you need to use RCA this is our top choice. You will need an Apple USB Adapter to connect it though.
Our Favorite Cheap Hack: Sabrent Audio Adapter
If you're on a super tight budget and already have an Apple USB adapter, then this little $8 adapter will get you by. It's only got a mono input, but it works and you can't get beat it for the price. Seriously though, only send mono sound through this guy.
Interfaces to Avoid:
While we recommend most of the IK Media catalog the iRig Stream and iRig 2 are not that great for use with Switcher. While they work they both have some drawbacks. The iRig 2 is built for guitars. For the best sound quality when using microphones we recommend using an XLR input. Plus it's the same price as the iRig Pro, which also has a quarter-inch input.
The iRig Stream works for some of our users but it has the tendency to cause an audio loop that sounds much like a skipping record. For this reason, we don't recommend using the iRig Stream. If you want to use RCA we recommend the Behringer U-Control UCA202
Gear Recommendations- Microphones
Best Budget Option: Behringer C-2
This is a pair of condenser microphones. This style is typically used for micing amplifiers and instruments, but they work just fine for vocals as well. If you're starting your first podcast or sports podcast these will get the job done.
Best Wireless and Lav Mics: Saramonic Blink 500
The Blink 500's are great little wireless mics. You can get these straight to your Lightning or USB-C ports. You can also get them with 3.5mm cables to use on your smartphones and other cameras. They also sound really good. They're our top pick if you need a wireless or lav mic.
Best mic with a direct connection: iRig Mic HD 2
If you only need 1 mic and want something that plugs straight into your device this is the one. If you've seen Dan on any of our Facebook live streams chances are he's using this.
Best of The Best: Shure SM7B
If you want the best microphone money can buy then the SM7B is the mic you want. This is the industry standard microphone for podcasting, vocals, and well... everything. This mic sounds incredible and will last you decades. Be sure to check out the CL-1 cloudlifter. The SM7B is a gain-hog and in some situations, it may be needed to boost the SM7B's volume to an appropriate level.
Headphones and Headsets
Best Budget Headphone: Samson SR850
These are great cans for the price. They're open back, so they won't cancel noise, but I think that can be a benefit for being aware of any background noises that may be interrupting things. They sound great and they're flat which makes them solid for mixing audio in post as well.
Best Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
These headphones are the industry standard for a lot of musicians. They sound great and will last you forever. Not much to say. They come highly recommended from professionals everywhere.
Best Headset: Audio-Technica BPHS1
First a quick note on headsets. You'll get much, much better audio quality using a stand-alone mic with headphones. I get asked this a lot from people filming sports. If you watch most games you'll notice the commentators use standard mics and the coaches and staff are the ones using headphones. It just sounds better. If you're a one-person show or just don't want to lug around a bunch of stuff this headset is the best we could find.