It took him 20 years, but Leo Laporte has built a podcasting empire that rivals the old-school broadcasters. He has more than 20 shows (This Week in Techbeing a must-listen), which reach a combined 5 million people each month. His California home doubles as TWiT's Brick House studio, and is littered with high-end tech to record, mix, and upload talk-show-quality content. Even if you're a few podcasts short of an empire, this gear will set you on the right track.
AKG MKII K271
If you want to hear quality sounds (and you'd better before you broadcast it to the world), you need clear and precise headphones. The MKII is legendary for its noise insulation—thanks in part to the large ear cups—and perfect sound reproduction. $199
When you record a podcast with a guest, it's important to pipe audio through separate channels. This Mackie mixer has two microphone jacks and 16 sound effects per channel. That way you can add things like reverb (to sound like you're in a large studio) or delay (to give you an endless goofy repeat). You can also listen back on studio speakers or headphones, depending on which you prefer. $129
Heil's dynamic microphone is a great match for a portable audio mixer. The dual mesh screens allow for reliable response between 28 Hz and 18 kHz while reducing any popping sounds. Its warm tone makes it a favorite among professionals, and a tough aluminum body means it will survive life on the road—and be worth every penny. $319