Home Recording Studio Setups for Beginners [5 Must Haves]

Keaton Robbins | August 3, 2023

With so many options available on the market, choosing the right equipment for your home recording studio setup can be an overwhelming task for beginner voice actors.

That’s why we went straight to the source and asked a group of seasoned voice over professionals what equipment they recommend for voice actors who are just starting out. The Voices Insiders are a team of experts who share their insights and tips with the Voices community to help talent of all levels learn and grow in their voice over careers.

In this article

  1. The Beginner Home Studio Equipment Checklist
  2. Microphone
  3. Pop Filter
  4. Audio Interface
  5. Audio Recording and Editing Software
  6. A Quiet Space to Record
  7. Bonus Home Studio Equipment Tips from the Voices Insiders

The Beginner Home Studio Equipment Checklist

At a minimum, your home studio setup checklist should include a microphone, a pop filter, an audio interface, recording and editing software, and a quiet place to record.


While it may be tempting to select the cheapest microphone when starting as a voice actor, you’ll find you need a more robust mic with higher-quality output very quickly in your career. But keep in mind that the most expensive microphone may not be the right option for your home studio setup either.

When choosing the best microphone for your voice over needs, you’ll want to consider the two most common options: condenser and dynamic microphones. The condenser mic is the most popular choice of microphone due to its enhanced response sensitivity, which picks up greater detail in the voice. Dynamic microphones are the less sensitive option, which can be ideal when soundproofing is an issue, though this is at the expense of vocal detail.

Before you commit to a microphone, try out as many different styles as possible and keep your budget in mind. If your perfect microphone is out of your price range, remember, you can always upgrade in the future.

Kim Handysides:

Kim uses a Neumann TLM103 Condenser Microphone.

For beginners, I recommend the Sennheiser MKE 600 or other directional mics with a VOMO portable studio, or the RØDE NT1-A with a sound-treated environment.

Sandra Osborne:

Sandra uses a Neumann TLM103 Condenser Microphone.

For recording equipment: A FANTASTIC starting microphone is the RØDE NT1A. It has incredible sound for the price. I’ve since upgraded to a Neumann, but I used the RØDE for some major gigs in the past and had quality sound.

Doug Barron:

Doug uses a Sennheiser MD 421.

I recommend beginners start with a good microphone like a Sennheiser or an Audio-Technica.

Laura Schreiber:

Laura uses a Neumann TLM103 Condenser Microphone. 

I recommend buying three mic options and trying them out in your studio and returning what does not work. My first mic was a mid-range mic in terms of price, a CAD Equitek E100S. I think I brought home a comparable RØDE NT1, and there was a third. Everyone’s voice is different — I have a high voice with no bottom, so what is right for me might not be right for a lot of people. For example, I love the TLM 103, but the 102 is too dark for me. So, you’ll need to find a place that will let you try out mics within your price range.

Jesse Adam:

Jesse uses an Advanced Audio CM87 Microphone.

If you’re just starting out, make your mic the biggest percentage of your budget. Don’t skimp on that. 

If you go cheap on your mic, there really isn’t much you can do to improve its sound. Potential clients can hear the difference between a cheap mic and someone with a higher-end mic. You may give the best reads in the world, but if the mic and sound quality aren’t there, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. 

Pop Filter

A pop filter is a helpful tool to help eliminate unwanted sounds such as popping, sibilance, and plosives. These sounds generally occur when your mouth is positioned too close to the microphone. A pop filter acts as a barrier to cut down the impact of fast-moving air while helping you maintain the appropriate distance from the mic.

While the Voices Insiders did not share a specific product recommendation, many of our experts encouraged the use of pop filters in your beginner home studio setup.

For voice actors of any experience level, there are two different types of pop filters you’ll want to consider: nylon mesh pop filters and metallic mesh or metal pop filters. Nylon is a budget-friendly option and is also the most popular type of pop filter, while metallic or metal pop filters are known for their durability and smaller size.

We recommend testing out a variety of options to see what works best for your voice over needs.

Audio Interface

An audio interface connects your microphone to your computer. The purpose of an audio interface is to convert your voice over and other air vibrations into digital audio so you can begin the editing process.

This video will take you through what audio interfaces do, how they work, and how to set up your audio interface in your home studio.

Sandra Osborne:

Sandra uses a Universal Audio Apollo Twin audio interface and a Focusrite Scarlett audio interface.

Focusrite audio interfaces are on the more affordable side and I can’t recommend them enough. My Focusrite actually gives me less trouble than my more expensive interface.

Rob Jellison:

Rob uses a Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity audio interface and a Focusrite Clarett digital audio interface.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a great audio interface and very affordable.

Audio Recording and Editing Software

Voice over recording and editing software is an essential component in your home studio setup. It’s the tool you’ll use to polish your audio files and edit out pauses, unwanted breaths, and other imperfections. 

There are several voice over recording software options out there to fit any budget. Audacity and GarageBand are commonly used free software options, while Adobe Audition, the most popular software program according to Voices talent, offers a monthly subscription. If you are looking for more advanced recording and editing software, Pro Tools and Logic can be purchased outright.

Ultimately, the software you choose should depend on your comfort level. If possible, take advantage of the free trials that may be available on the software’s website to assess what works best for you. Before you purchase your recording and editing software, you’ll want to ask yourself what your specific needs are, if the software is compatible with your computer system, and if it will provide you with the results you’re looking for.

Kristy Reed:

Kristy uses Nuendo and Adobe Audition.

While there are some free software choices out there, I would highly recommend purchasing Adobe Audition. As you get deeper into VO, editing will become your life, so you’ll need something that is intuitive, yet powerful and flexible enough for you to get the job done. If you already have other programs like ProTools, Logic, Nuendo, or others, those are fine too, but you don’t need programs as complicated and expensive as they are.

I also recommend purchasing some high-quality noise reduction plugins to help your sound be competitive. You may have a killer voice and the perfect audition, but if your audio is noisy, it could cost you the job. Waves Z-Noise and NS1 are great options for our industry. Make sure to watch some tutorials to understand the settings before you use them. While they are great, they can also cause your audio to sound very computerized and unnatural. As with everything in life, there is a fine line between not enough and too much when it comes to plugins.

Tiffany Grant:

Tiffany uses Audacity.

I very much recommend using Audacity as your recording software. Simple to use, even for a beginner. It does everything you need, and it’s FREE.

Kristen Paige:

Kristen uses Adobe Audition.

The other tool that has made my life a lot easier is investing in quality software. I started out using Audacity (FREE!), but I upgraded to Adobe Audition after about 6 months and I’m so glad I did. I also invested in a program to help me eliminate the clicks from my recordings called iZotope RX 7. SO worth it!

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A Quiet Space to Record

When building out your home studio, you’ll want to choose a space that’s not only quiet but that you’ll feel comfortable working in. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in there doing auditions every day! Your home studio should be large enough to stand and move around so you can get the most out of your performance.

Once you’ve chosen your space, your next step will be to soundproof your room. As a beginner, it is recommended to start with cost-effective materials like rugs and moving blankets to address the issues in your space before progressing to more costly options including home renovation.

The basic steps you’ll need to follow to soundproof your home studio are outlined in our interview with Bob Breen from Armor Pro Audio.

Sandra Osborne:

One of the most important things is making sure your studio or your recording space is acoustically treated properly. Make sure to research the best ways to soundproof your area, which can vary depending on size, materials of the walls/floors, and whether you are on the ground floor or above.

Samantha Dockser:

First, you’ll want to find a quiet spot in your home to record. If you don’t have the space or don’t want to spend a ton of money on padding and soundproofing, I highly recommend just recording in your closet—it’s what I do! I also use a padded isolation shield that my mic fits into to block more sound.

Kristen Paige:

It can’t be overstated how important the sound quality of your studio is. When I started out, I found a bunch of old moving blankets in the garage and hung those on my walls for sound absorption. They worked great, but eventually, I got tired of the musty smell, so we upgraded to some foam tiles.

Jesse Adam:

You can always buy extra blankets and sound-absorbing material at second-hand stores for cheap (make sure you wash them first!) so treating your recording area can be done very affordably and you can always upgrade that later once you’re landing work.

Tricia Stewart Shiu:

The key is to make sure you’re working in a quiet space and keeping your process simple and stress-free.

Home studio setups shared by Voices Insiders Jesse Adam, Jed Williams, Rob Jellison, and Doug Barron.
Home studio setups shared by Voices Insiders Jesse Adam, Jed Williams, Rob Jellison, and Doug Barron.

Bonus Home Studio Equipment Tips from the Voices Insiders

Now that we’ve covered the essentials for building your home studio setup, our Voices Insiders are here to help with a few more tips to take your studio to the next level.

Laura Schreiber:

Be in Facebook groups with other voice actors because as others upgrade you can often get great gear second-hand.

Sandra Osborne:

Right now, something that is VERY important to clients is having a way to connect despite the pandemic. I highly suggest researching Source-Connect software. It is a valuable way to connect with production studios anywhere in the world. 

David Attar:

Understand that it takes time to build your setup and it’s easy to get paralysis by analysis. I would make sure that each time you do get something new, you learn it inside and out before moving on to the next equipment upgrade. A great way to start is to understand your DAW and how different plugins can affect your sound. You are a voice, but you can be so much more if you take the time to immerse yourself. And it’s a ton of fun!

Read more about starting a voice acting career and budgeting tips for your home studio.

What tools and equipment do you use in your home studio? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Avatar for Gloria
    July 8, 2020, 2:28 pm

    I would like to like to do this.

  • Avatar for Swapna
    July 16, 2020, 12:01 pm

    I want to join ,even I can do better as a voice to proceed ?

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      July 17, 2020, 9:43 am

      Hey Swapna,

      Sign up for a Voices talent account to begin building your online presence and auditioning for voice over work!

  • Avatar for Manju sharma
    Manju sharma
    July 26, 2020, 2:35 pm

    1)tips are very good.
    2)tricks are fine.
    3) i love your advise(in article)

    A)i have a laptop.
    B)for my voice i can dubbing and voice over
    C)i have a quiet space for record (my own room.

    Note – for trial i want some audio scrpt.

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      July 27, 2020, 12:50 pm

      Hey Manju,

      You ought to check out our library of voice over sample scripts. All of the scripts featured here are royalty-free and penned by our writers, so feel free to use them for your practice and/or voice over demos.


      • Avatar for Holly Gibbs
        Holly Gibbs
        September 10, 2020, 2:38 pm

        Hello Oliver,

        so the scripts in the library can be used to record demos that we upload on our profile? I would love to post more demos, but was unsure where to get the material since I’ve been warned against use real brand names and such. Thanks!

        ~Holly Gibbs

      • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
        Oliver Skinner
        September 10, 2020, 3:25 pm

        Hello Holly,

        That’s exactly correct. Our team of writers penned every script featured in our sample script library so that you can record your demos without running the risk of coming up against copyright issues. Feel free to use any script you’d like!

  • Avatar for Sharon Phillips
    Sharon Phillips
    November 12, 2020, 6:45 am

    If I have a professional recording of my work from my days in radio, can I use that for an audition?

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      November 13, 2020, 11:01 am

      Hi Sharon,

      Your radio recording sounds like something that would be great to include as a demo on your profile. A lot of voice over jobs will include a script excerpt for auditioning voice actors to read from, and when this is the case, we’d encourage you to read from the provided script.

  • Avatar for Brandee Veilleux
    Brandee Veilleux
    December 21, 2020, 12:23 pm

    Hello, i was wondering how someone would start work in that field? Before going through the cost .or are there companies who train ? Thks a lot .

  • Avatar for Topaz Wells
    Topaz Wells
    January 26, 2021, 3:23 pm

    Great info! Im so interested in Voice Acting…

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      January 27, 2021, 1:10 pm

      Hey there,

      If you’d like a good primer on the voice acting industry at large, you ought to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Voice Acting. Then, once you feel ready to sign up for a Voices talent account, you can watch this video playlist for a handy walkthrough on setting up your account.

  • Avatar for Meruva. Revathi
    Meruva. Revathi
    February 12, 2021, 10:18 pm

    I want to join and I can do better voice as a voice actor. Thank you

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      February 18, 2021, 3:15 pm

      Hi Meruva,

      Sign up for a Voices account to launch your voice acting career!

    March 15, 2021, 4:06 am

    The information that I read is very helpful and inciteful. It gives me ideas where to start but unsure how I should use my voice and for what. Many people tell me over the phone if I am in the radio business because they like how it sounds. I appreciate the complements but not in any radio or voice over business. Any suggestions or contacts I can send a demo of my voice?

    Warm Regards,
    Jeffrey Milliones

    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      March 16, 2021, 10:32 am

      Hi Jeffrey,

      You can begin by signing up for a Voices account and uploading a demo of yourself performing a voice over delivery of the work you’d most like to pursue. You’ll then be able to audition for jobs and get hired by clients in search of a voice that sounds like yours.

  • Avatar for Chris Beynon
    Chris Beynon
    November 19, 2021, 7:39 am

    Enjoyed this post very much!

    Could I ask, what would be the best way to increase my voice over and voice acting standard to the level needed to work professionally in the industry?

    • Avatar for Niki Clark
      Niki Clark
      November 23, 2021, 10:03 am

      Hi Chris! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the piece was enjoyable to read. Great follow up question!

      We often refer to a voice over career as a 3-legged stool: the technical ability to operate recording software and perform post production work on audio (this includes building a home studio as well), the artistry and acting skills needed to perform for each job, and the business management skills to operate a business smoothly and how to market yourself, as well as knowing how to conduct yourself professionally with clients. The personal and professional growth of a voice actor is never-ending. But that said, everyone starts somewhere! And you’re in the right place.

      Take a read through our beginner’s getting started guide to feel out the level of knowledge needed to more forward. Once you’ve finished that one, you can read the professional’s guide to getting started on Voices to see what the standard looks like in practice!

      And, of course, we are always putting out helpful articles for aspiring voice actors like yourself. Subscribe to the blog to receive the weekly roundup of blogs right to your inbox!
      Best of luck!


  • Avatar for Bidlola Lydia
    Bidlola Lydia
    March 20, 2023, 12:00 pm

    I will be glad to be part of your team

  • Avatar for SHILPA
    April 25, 2023, 12:13 am

    No home studio and only mobile

  • Avatar for Aisha Robins
    Aisha Robins
    January 30, 2024, 2:06 am

    I’ve been wanting to do VOs for ten or more years and appreciate this information to get me started now that I’ve retired!

    • Avatar for Tara Parachuk
      Tara Parachuk
      February 6, 2024, 11:25 am

      We’re cheering you on!