Gift Guide: 7 perfect gifts for podcasters and streamers


So, this one is going to be a different from last year. Because everything is different from last year. I know 2020 has been a pretty big change for my own personal podcast. I always prefer conducting interviews in person when I’m able — in fact, around 400 or so episodes were done exactly like that.

But face-to-face interviews are going to continue to be a non-starter for the foreseeable future, so I’ve had to switch the show to a virtual setup. It’s less than ideal for my own creative and aesthetic preferences, but when the world shifts radically, you do your best to adapt along with it.

For me, that’s meant a couple of things. First — and most obviously — shifting from in-person interviews to virtual ones. Another more surprising (for me) aspect has been the addition of a video element. I’ve started doing it less frequently, but I’ve incorporated YouTube live-streaming into my repertoire. After all, most of my interviews are done over Zoom, with the video stripped out. Sometimes it’s fun to do both.

So here’s a good place to start for the podcaster in your life — whether they’re just starting out or looking to make the transition to remote streaming.

This article contains links to affiliate partners where available. When you buy through these links, TechCrunch may earn an affiliate commission.

AKG Lyra

Image Credits: Brian Heater

This one is a repeat from last year, mostly because I’ve been using the heck out of it. AKG’s mic has become my go-to for podcasts and meetings alike. I’ve used it for television appearances, Disrupt panels and a recent guest hosting appearance on NPR. It sounds good, has simple-to-understand settings, plug-and-play functionality and it looks great.

Price: Around $140 from Amazon

Logitech StreamCam

Image Credits: Logitech

The thing about webcams is that there are a lot of them. The other thing about them is they’re mostly pretty cheap. Logitech’s StreamCam is pretty pricey as far as the category goes. Many or most of these products can be had for around $100 or less. The StreamCam comes at a premium — but you get a lot of camera for that price.

It’s probably overkill for most scenarios (see also: our work from home gift guide), but it delivers really solid streaming quality in a compact package. That includes 1080p video at 60fps, with face tracking and good low-light shooting.

Price: $170 from Logitech

Yotto Microphone Pop Filter

Image Credits: Yotto

Okay, this one is less exciting, but man oh man is it important. I suspect most amateur podcasters don’t even consider a wind screen, but after listening to a bit of level-spiking sibilance, you’ll understand exactly why this microphone add-on is so important.

I was using another model until its recent, untimely demise. I just picked this one up for $12 on Amazon and it’s been great. There’s a clamp at the bottom that attaches to most USB mics (including the Blue Yeti and the above AKG). The arm is also super flexible, which is the biggest issue I had with the older model.

Price: $12 from Amazon

GVM Light Ring

Image Credits: GVM

This is the light ring that made most of our staff look great during our first-ever virtual Disrupt. It’s been sitting in the corner of my living room for several months now, and I utilize it for both video streams and meetings.

Like anything involving stills or video, lighting is incredibly important, and the GVM is a real powerhouse with a stated 70,000 hours of life. It’s intense and adjustable/dimmable, offering really solid realistic color settings.

Price: $127 from Amazon

RODEcaster Pro

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Another returning item from last year. And honestly, this one is a bit hopeful that some day soon we’ll all be comfortable talking at each other in cramped spaces again. But the RODEcaster Pro is honestly just too good not to include here.

The RODEcaster Pro is a multi-channel mixing board that saves up to four mics’ worth of input (along with effects and guest phone calls via Bluetooth) to an SD card, which will greatly assist in any post-podcast processing. I’m happy to retire it from my list when another podcasting board can offer similar functionality with such an accessible interface and reasonable price. Until then, the RODEcaster Pro continues to be the best way to quickly up your podcasting game.

Price: $599 from Sweetwater

Zencastr Subscription

Your results will vary, but I know a lot of folks who rely on Zencastr for remote recording. The interface is great, recording each track remotely, offering levels in-real time and uploading them to the servicer. Files are saved as lossless .wavs and separated by guest.

Price: $20/month from Zencastr

Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Image Credits: Audio-Technica

This is just a great pair of super comfortable and versatile over-ear professional headphones at a reasonable price. Audio-Technica is well regarded in DJ and studio circles, and the $149 price point delivers really excellent quality without breaking the bank.

Price: $149 from Sweetwater

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo