Budget Media: Start your own radio station

Abdallah Al Alfy
3 min readDec 20, 2020
Public Domain image. Credit: Pexels.com

I’m going to give you a broad idea of what you need to start your own radio station at home. Via the internet. You know what you want to broadcast. Music, interviews, comedic monologues or maybe you just want to go off on rants no one around you wants to listen to. Whatever, that’s your business. This article’s just meant to help you make it happen. In the most basic sense, you need very little in the way of equipment.

To start your own radio station you need:

1. A reasonably functioning PC / Laptop with a reliable internet connection.

2. Headphones.

3. A USB microphone.

4. Software for an internet radio platform.

Those four basics are enough to start your own internet radio station. Your own webcast. Regarding the specifics of those basics, it goes without saying that the better performing the items on that list are, the better it is for your radio station. The good news is, you can start with relatively low budgets. But if you’re splurging, there are a few things to do for better results. A computer with high processing speed and greater storage capacity is always a plus. Go for one with an SSD hard drive and minimal fan noise so it won’t interfere with your audio. The higher your internet bandwidth, the greater the quality of your audio broadcast. Beyond a certain point, there’s no point splurging on sound stuff like microphones and headphones unless your technical knowledge is advanced. For most people, a 5000 dollar microphone is a waste of time, because it requires technically elaborate adjustment and set up. Instead, spend few hundred dollars on the best plug and play microphone you can find. Spend another few hundred on a nice headset with battery powered noise cancellation and very well pre-calibrated defaults for regular consumers. If you can afford it, pay for a reasonably priced subscription for a good internet software platform. Many services that make your time running an online station much easier can be included with such a subscription, like automated broadcasts and copyright solutions. Which brings us to further considerations. Things outside the basics, if you’re looking to run a higher-tier of home-based internet broadcast.

Now, of course, depending on what kind of radio station you’re running, there may be other things to think about. If you’re broadcasting material other than your own, there are legalities to consider. Royalties and copyrights. If you’re interviewing guests, you might need to script some questions. If you’re running a station for extended times, or even 24 hours a day, you’ll need your software to include broadcast automation options. Particularly if you’re running it alone. When you’re not speaking live or personally initiating every item of material broadcast, your automated pre-arrangements keep your listeners entertained. In the unlikely event that your household reliably runs your broadcast on time shifts, you might not need automation. Whatever the case though, 24/7 means you’ll need more than one computer to switch between. Most of all, to build a higher-tier home-based internet broadcast, you will require more than the four basics mentioned above. Other things that may help, depending on what your station is meant to be like include:

- A mixer. Particularly if your radio presentation style involves some DJing.

- A pop filter. Most USB mikes over $30 already come with a Wind Screen or a Microphone Muffler. But if you’ve spent a few hundred dollars on a microphone, and it didn’t come with a pop filter, it’s probably compatible with other pop filters you can buy and fit separately.

- A microphone processor can help enhance the quality of the sound you produce.

- Soundproofing panels made from foam can be placed around the room you’re using to broadcast. If placed correctly, this may enhance the audio of your broadcasts even further.

I hope this article was a useful starting step for you, on your journey to broadcasting your own online radio. Hopefully, now you know what you need to do to start your own radio station at home, online. Good luck.



Abdallah Al Alfy

Writer, Commentator, Pharmacist, Some-time poet. Love me. I command it.