10 Essential Pieces Of Audiobook Recording Equipment

Whether you have a non-fiction book, short story, or novel, audiobook recording equipment will help you transform your story into a new income stream.

If you are an author, you can earn extra money by creating an audiobook of your original story. Audiobook production may seem complicated, but you can turn your living room or spare bedroom into a home studio with the correct recording equipment.

There’s a large market for quality audiobooks, which adds an additional income stream to any book you write. Of course, you can hire a voice actor to record the book; however, more and more authors find they prefer recording their own audiobooks.

So before you get started, here is the audiobook recording equipment you’ll want to have on hand to make the process easier.

1. Computer or iPad With 8GB of RAM

Audiobook recording equipment you need

Before you start worrying about your studio, make sure you have a computer or iPad to capture your work. Of course, your everyday desktop computer or laptop should do, but consider these factors if you’re looking to buy a new computer.

  • Your budget
  • RAM
  • Portability

Budget is the most significant factor to consider when getting a computer for audiobook recordings. If you already have a laptop with over 8GB of RAM and good processing speed, you won’t need to get another computer. However, if your computer is a bit slow, you could get a fast computer or laptop for $300 to $600.

RAM is another essential factor to consider when recording audiobooks. RAM stands for random access memory and is one of the most critical factors determining your computer’s speed and performance. 

apple, computer, hands
Make sure you have a computer or iPad to capture your recorded work

In short, look for a computer with 8GB of RAM. Anything less, and it’ll freeze a lot, while 16GB or 32GB will just be overkill.

If you don’t have a laptop or computer to record audiobooks, consider the Macbook Air (B0863B2MLC). It has 8GB of RAM, an M1 processor, and 256GB of storage. This makes it a perfect option for recording audiobooks.

But if you’re looking to build your workstation around a desktop computer, opt for the HP Pavilion All-In-One. It offers 8GB of RAM, a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, and 512GB SSD storage.

NewestHP Pavilion 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop Computer PC for Business Student with 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor 8GB RAM 512GB SSD WiFi HDMI Bluetooth Webcam Windows 10 Home 1-Week AimCare Sup
  • Display:15.6" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS, micro-edge, anti-glare, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
  • Processor family :11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 (up to 4.2 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores)
  • Memory:8 GB DDR4-2666 MHz RAM (2 x 4 GB) Transfer rates up to 2666 MT/s.
  • Ports :1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C 5Gbps signaling rate; 2 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 HDMI 1.4b; 1 RJ-45; 1 AC smart pin; 1 headphone/microphone combo
  • Operating system:Windows 10 Home 64 1-Week AimCare Support

2. Digital Audio Workstation 

Next, you want to invest in a digital audio workstation or DAW. A DAW allows you to edit and manage all your audio files within a simple interface. If you have a Mac, you’ll already have a recording software called Garageband installed. With Garageband, you can:

  • Create audio projects from scratch
  • Manage and share audio files
  • Reduce noise floor
  • Record musical instruments like guitar and piano
  • Create audio samples and teasers

If you’re on PC, try Audacity. It’s free and offers similar features to Garageband. For example, you can duplicate, blend, and cut different sound documents together and change the pitch of your recording.

Another effective DAW that’s also free is LMMS. It’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, making production accessible for anyone with a computer. It’s also a practical option for those looking to sync their audio files across devices. 

But if you’re looking for a more high-end DAW, try Adobe Audition. It offers features like a loudness meter that’ll drastically reduce your creation and editing time.

3. Microphone

Microphone
Consider a cardioid condenser microphone when recording audiobook narration

A high-quality microphone is the most essential piece of equipment you’ll need when recording an audiobook. Most computers and tablets have built-in mics, but these have difficulty blocking background and ambient noise. 

Consider a cardioid condenser microphone when recording audiobook narration. These microphones have background-noise-blocking technology that picks up your voice and not other sounds.

The AKG C300 is a good choice for an all-around microphone. If you need a USB mic option, consider adding the DUET2 USB adapter. 

But if you’re looking for a more affordable microphone, consider an Apogee MiC Plus or the Blue Microphones Snowball. The SUDOTACK Cardioid Condenser MiC Kit is also available for less than $50.

Sale
USB Streaming Podcast PC Microphone, SUDOTACK Professional 192KHZ/24Bit Studio Cardioid Condenser Mic Kit with Sound Card Boom Arm Shock Mount Pop Filter, for Skype Youtuber Karaoke Gaming Recording
  • EXCELLENT SOUND QUALITY: The microphone gives you up to 24bit/192khz bit sample rate, so your recordings will be crystal clear. And it has a wide frequency response (30 hz to 16khz) and provides superb sound reproduction quality for high-resolution audio
  • CARDIOID PICKUP PATTERN: The cardioid pickup pattern offers pristine and accurate capture. It records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone, reducing unwanted background noise
  • USB PLUG & PLAY: High quality desktop recording is made simple! just plug the usb microphone into you computer’s port, it even works automatically with your mac or pc. No drivers required
  • NOISE ELIMINATION ACCESSORIES: The microphone comes with a microphone stand, shock mount, table clamp, anti-wind foam cap, usb a to b cable, and a pop filter. These accessories can effectively minimize the noise from unwanted vibrations or plosives
  • HIGH COMPATIBILITY: It can fully compatible with most mainstream operating system such as windows and mac os. The microphone can also use for mobile phone, but you need an adapter(not included) Note: This microphone is not compatible with XBOX.

4. Pop Filter

Now that you’ve got a reliable microphone, you’ll need to optimize your audio. One of the biggest challenges when recording audio is controlling plosives. Plosives are P and B sounds resulting in a small puff of air that travels to the microphone. Unfortunately, this sounds like a big thump and is unpleasant for your listeners.

These thumps are also challenging to remove after a recording because you can’t equalize them out.

However, you can avoid these thumps in audio by using a pop filter. A pop filter is a thin metal screen that breaks up any puffs of air and prevents them from hitting the microphone.

Pop filters are also affordable. An Aokeo Pop Filter works on any microphone and is super easy to set up. It comes with an adjustment gooseneck which allows you to change the angle and distance of your filter based on your audio performance.

If you’re looking for a more advanced pop filter, consider the CODN Pop Filter. It’s made from high-density sound-absorbing foam, which disperses air better than a metal screen.

Sale
CODN Recording Microphone Isolation Shield with Pop Filter, High Density Absorbent Foam to Filter Vocal, Foldable Sound Shield for Blue Yeti, Studio and Most Condenser Microphone Recording Equipment
  • ❉【ELIMINATE NOISE INTERFERENCE】The inner side of the recording microphone isolation shield is made of high density absorbent foam that can reduces noise and preserve the clarity of your voice and instrument sound, while eliminating audio wave bounce back and interference to create an optimal recording condition in the studio,home or office
  • ❉【PORTABLE & FOLDABLE】 The folding panel design features enables angle adjustments, provide you with the great recording effect,the compact and foldable design makes it easier for you to carry it around you
  • ❉【STURDY & DURABLE】 The microphone isolation shield is composed of 5 panels made of high-quality iron to ensure that it is durable and sturdy and it can be used for a long period of time
  • ❉【ADJUSTABLE POP FILTER】 The metal gooseneck holder fully supports the filter's weight and keep it in place. You can adjust the angle and distance between the screen and the microphone to best fit your needs for yours lovely voice,dual-layer pop filter making the music recording effect more clear
  • ❉【VERSATILITY】 The microphone sound shield can be fixed on a countertop or tabletop, we have a tabletop monopod and a conversion nut , suitable for blue yeti ,studio and most condenser microphone recording equipment, or you can use it with your own tripod, also can be mounted to a microphone stand for your professional recording . Great for vocal,acoustic recording and podcasting sound booth

5. Mic Boom Arm

Now that you have a microphone and pop filter, you’ll need a mic boom arm to allow you to adjust the microphone placement for optimal sound quality. So whenever you feel like recording audio, simply pull the boom arm towards you, and you’re good to go.

Mic boom arms free up your desk, make you feel more professional, and improve your posture because there’s no need to lean forward when trying to adjust your distance from the microphone.

However, the quality of each boom arm varies, so consider your workplace size, audio recording needs, and the weight of your shock mount.

You can get a basic boom arm like the InnoGear Microphone Arm if you’re just starting. InnoGear’s adjustable arm can be folded and carried around for on-the-go use. It’s made of heavy-duty steel, so if it falls, you can be sure that the arm won’t break.

This mic boom arm can also support any microphone and can carry a weight of 3.3 pounds or 1.5 kilograms.

6. Shock Mount

To record high-quality audio, you’ll need a shock mount because it absorbs any tapping or bumping on your desk that transfers into the microphone.

There are two ways to set up a microphone. For the first, you could use a stand clip which is a hard mount, and the microphone screws into the clip and mounts directly on the stand. 

Your second and more effective option is a shock mount. With a shock mount, your microphone screws into a basket, suspended inside a ring of elastic bands. This allows the microphone to move freely.

So let’s say you’re recording some audio, and you accidentally bump your desk or boom arm. This sound resonates through your desk, towards your boom arm, and into your microphone, ruining your audio. But if you’re using a shock mount, it’ll absorb this vibration, and you won’t hear it in your recordings.

When getting started, look for an affordable shock mount that’s easy to attach and remove – for example, the Audio Technica Shock Mount. The universal spring clip fits almost all microphones. It also allows you to insert and remove microphones without having to screw them in or detach a cable.

Audio Technica Microphone Shock Mount
  • Spring Clip will fit most tapered and cylindrical microphones
  • Allows for insertions and removal of microphones without having to detach cable

7. Audio Compressor Software

An audio compressor evens out the volume level of an audiobook. Let’s say you’re recording an audiobook, but during some sentences, you speak softer, while in others, you’re more vocal.

When playing it back, it’ll sound unprofessional because the volume of your voice is constantly changing. 

An audio compressor will take the loudest parts of your audiobook and lower the volume to a threshold level. It doesn’t lower the entire audio file like adjusting the volume would. With a reliable compressor, you can decide what too loud is by setting the threshold.

If you’re recording your first audiobook, opt for free compressor software. It might not have additional features like a paid tool, but you probably won’t need many features anyway.

The TDR Kotelnikov and TDR Molotok are some of the best free compressor plugins on the market. Both interfaces are super simple and easy to use. On each dashboard, you’ll find typical controls for threshold, attack, release, and ratio. With these features, your audiobook’s volume will be consistent.

8. Headphones

Headphones allow you to monitor your recording. With a quality pair of headphones, you can listen to your audio and see if there are any background disturbances.

As a voice actor, you’ll need feedback on how you sound soon after you record. This way, you can find mistakes immediately and edit them out.

If you’re on a budget, consider the Cowin E7. It only costs $59 and offers noise-canceling technology. This is helpful if you often struggle to find a quiet place in your house to record. The Cowin E7 is also Bluetooth, so you won’t have additional cables on your desk, creating clutter.

If you’re looking for higher-quality headphones that allow you to hear the faintest of disturbances in your audio, try the Apple Airpod Max. It also offers noise-canceling technology and an advanced speaker system so you can hear almost anything. In addition, the battery lasts over 20 hours, which is helpful for long recording sessions.

Sale
Apple AirPods Max - Space Gray
  •  Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music
  • Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you
  • Computational audio combines custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences

9. Quiet Recording Space

A recording studio in use by voice actors
If you do not have a quiet room, pick up some soundproofing equipment

Ambient noise can destroy your recording, so make sure you have some way to block it. Sound travels through vibrations, and if you’re trying to soundproof your room, you must stop these vibrations.

You don’t have to invest in an expensive soundproofing setup though. You’ll only need a quiet room in your home and a few foam panels on the walls.

Acoustic foam panels can be an affordable way to set up your studio and begin narrating your audiobook without noise problems.

These foam panels cost around $20, and all you have to do is get some quality glue and glue the panels to your walls.

Sale
Acoustic Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Foam Panels, Studio Wedge Tiles, Sound Panels wedges Soundproof Sound Insulation Absorbing Home and Office(12 Pack, Black)
  • 3D ACOUSTIC DESIGN: Our 2 inches foam provides moderate sound control on walls or ceilings. Perfect for individuals to reduce and absorb unwanted echoes, waves, reverb, and flutter echoes.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Made up of environmentally friendly polyurethane foam at 50/lbs per cubic yard, the acoustic panels not only have effective sound absorption characteristics but also will not cause any harm to our body.
  • QUICKLY RECOVER TO NORMAL SIZE: Open the Vacuum package, put the foam panels in a ventilated place about 24-48 hours. Another method is soaking the foam in water for one minute then wringing the foam out of the water, then dry air it or use a hairdryer. You can also let them simmer under the sun as well!
  • WIDE USE: Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office - For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices. Easy to shape and cut to size, altering won’t affect performance.
  • AFTER SERVICE WARRANTY: Our US-based customer service means that you can trust that if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a hassle-free refund or replacement.

10. Audio Editing Software

Post-production is just as important as recording. Before releasing it on Audible or iTunes, make sure it sounds polished and professional. This is where DAW software and audio editing software can help. 

Audio editing software allows you to effortlessly edit, manage, mix, and delete your audio files. Sound engineers use these advanced tools to rearrange audio and manipulate MP3, WAVE, and MPEG-4 files to reach optimal sound quality. However, you don’t have to be an engineer to use these tools because they are pretty straightforward to operate.

If you are looking for a flexible option for editing your audio files, consider iZotope RX. This software lets you do all your edits from one program. However, if the price is too high, consider Studio One. It isn’t as detailed; however, it’s far more affordable.

Studio One 5 Artist [PC/Mac Online Code]
  • Intuitive single-window work environment with quick and easy drag-and-drop
  • NEW! VST / AU and ReWire support. Use third-party plug-ins, virtual instruments, and ReWire-enabled applications.
  • Unlimited Audio and Instrument Tracks, Buses, and FX Channels
  • Five powerful virtual instruments including: . ○ Impact XT: powerful multi-channel drum sampler for beats and loops. ○ Presence XT: virtual sample-player instrument (14 GB library included). ○ Mai Tai: polyphonic analog modeling synthesizer . ○ Mojito: monophonic subtractive synthesizer ideal for basslines and leads. ○ Sample One XT: robust sampler and sample editor
  • Patterns allow for intuitive drum and melody composition via familiar drum machine/step-sequencer style UI

Next Steps After Recording and Editing Your Audiobook

After recording and editing your audiobook, you are ready to load it to the Audiobook Creation Exchange or ACX. ACX will package your file and send them to Apple iTunes, Audible, and Amazon for interested listeners. Much like a regular book, you then earn a percentage of the profits for every audiobook you narrate and upload. 

A Final Word on Audiobook Recording Equipment

When it comes to audiobook recording equipment, you can spend as much or as little as you want. Of course, high-quality equipment will help you get high-quality audio, but you can build a home studio on a limited budget as well. 

Take some time to do your research, pick up the necessary equipment, and try to record an audiobook from your own novel or short story.

Once you have a home recording studio, explore more options. For example, you can use the same equipment to record a podcast, work as a voiceover artist, and record music.

Resources

How to Make an Audiobook

How to Become an Audiobook Narrator

The Best Audiobook Services

FAQs on Audiobook Recording Equipment

What Equipment Do I Need To Record Audiobooks?

You’ll need editing software, headphones, a quality microphone, and a computer or iPad to record audiobooks.

Can I record audiobooks from home?

Yes, audiobook recording requires little equipment, and many people can set up a recording studio in their own homes.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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