What’s The Best Remote Podcast Recording Platform in 2023?

Riverside vs Squadcast vs RINGR vs Zencastr: I’ve tried and tested all the best podcast recording services. Which is #1 in 2023? (Updated in September, 2023)

Jonathan Carson
16 min readJun 13, 2020

There are a bunch of great remote podcast recording services out there — but which one is the best?

When you’re recording a podcast remotely, you want to be sure that the platform you choose ticks these boxes:

🎙️ It records studio-quality audio (or as close to it as possible)

🎙️ It’s easy to use (so you and your guests don’t get confused)

🎙️ It’s reliable (doesn’t drop the connection)

🎙️ It’s loaded with features that make podcasting easier

You would think all of the podcast recording platforms could get these things right, but there’s one that does a better job than the others.

If you can’t be bothered reading the full, in-depth review of each podcast recording software (I totally get it), here’s something I prepared earlier 👇


#1. Riverside.fm 🥇 — Riverside is the best remote podcast recording service out there right now. For the past two years, Squadcast was #1, but Riverside.fm has done enough to claim the throne in 2023.

#2. SquadCast 🥈— Squadcast is the best runner up remote podcast recording service out there right now. I’m a little biased because it’s the one I’ve used the most, but it’s never failed me. It sounds great, it’s easy to use, and it’s super reliable.

Start a free trial of Riverside (Get ONE HOUR FREE!)

Start a 7-day free trial of SquadCast

#3. RINGR 🥉— RINGR is a trusty option for a remote podcast recording platform. What it lacks in audio quality it makes up for in versatility.

Get RINGR here (2 months for free on me)

Who am I and what do I know?

Hey, I’m Jonathan 👋 and I’ve been recording a podcast for about two years now.

In that time, I’ve tried and tested several different online recording services.

We record most of our podcast episodes remotely, so we need software that ticks all the boxes above.

Usually, that means my co-host and I are in different locations and our guest is in a third location.

Therefore, we rely heavily on our remote podcast recording service.

I’ve had some bad experiences along the way and it’s taken me a while to find something that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

So seeing as I’ve tried and tested all of the most popular podcast recording platforms, I thought I could save you the trouble of doing the same.

These reviews are based on my personal experiences. However, I’ve heard from quite a few others who’ve had similar experiences.

Please note, these are super honest overviews of the services I’ve used to date. As you’ll see, I have plenty of criticisms 👎 to offer amidst all the praise 👍.

Hopefully, this helps you to choose the best recording service for your podcast in 2023, particularly if you’re recording remotely.

The best remote podcast recording software in 2023

1. Riverside.fm

Riverside.fm Review: Summary

The Good 👍

  • Record high-quality audio and video
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Packed with awesome features
  • Trusted by big brands

The Bad 👎

  • Honestly, since they updated their pricing, nothing comes to mind…

Riverside.fm has finally taken the throne as the BEST online podcast recording platform in 2023.

I’ve been writing this article since 2020 and updating it each year. Over that time, Riverside has continued to improve to the point that it is undoubtedly the best option available right now (in my opinion).

READ MORE: See my full in-depth review of Riverside.fm here

There’s very little that separates Riverside and Squadcast in terms of the basic requirements for a remote podcast recording service.

BUT, Riverside is leaping ahead of the pack when it comes to improved functionality and features.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that make Riverside.fm the best option for podcasters in 2023.

Start using Riverside.fm for $0 today

User experience 🥰

Riverside is a pleasure to use. The dashboard is nice and clean and it only takes a few clicks to get up and running with your first episode.

When you click to join an episode you’re taken to a ‘waiting room’ where you can check your input, output, and make sure you’re looking good for the camera before you start recording.

The crazy thing about Riverside is that it supports up to EIGHT PEOPLE on a recording (one host + seven guests).

I can’t imagine why that would be necessary, but it’s pretty awesome.

Audio quality 🔉

Riverside allows you to record uncompressed crystal clear audio (48kHz WAV, if that means anything to you) from your browser.

The audio quality is seriously good and I find it impossible to tell any difference between Riverside and SquadCast.

If you’re recording your podcast remotely and you want the best audio quality possible, then Riverside is a safe bet.

Get a free trial of Riverside.fm here

Video recording 👩‍💻

Riverside’s high-quality video recording feature is a game-changer for podcasters.

Yes, we all know that Zoom and Skype have been doing video recording for ages.

But Riverside records up to 4K video quality — and it doesn’t matter if you have super strong wifi or not.

The video is recorded locally and uploaded in the background, which means you’re guaranteed to get a clean-finished product 👌

Why does video matter for podcasts? You’ll know that many of the world’s top podcasters — Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll etc — released video versions of their shows.

YouTube is a huge distribution platform for podcasts and to have one platform where you can record your audio and video in excellent quality makes life much easier for podcasters.

One of the major reasons why Riverside jumped into the top spot in 2023 is the new pricing structure.

You can now get an audio + video plan for the same price (or cheaper) than an audio-only plan from Squadcast.

That’s a power move if I ever saw one

Notable mentions 🤷‍♂️

Riverside.fm has quickly added a wide range of helpful features to the platform — and at a much faster rate than most of their competitors.

  • Liked SquadCast, Riverside also uses progressive upload, which means you’re audio’s being uploaded in real-time. This improves Riverside’s reliability and saves you from lost audio, dropped connections, and other potential disasters.
  • Riverside allows you to stream your podcast live on any social media platform. Usually, this would require you to pay for another service, but you can now do it all within one platform. You do have to pay extra for the live-streaming option.
  • A brand new feature, Magic Clips by Riverside, allows you to easily repurpose your podcast content into shareable clips for social media and other marketing channels (this is AWESOME!).
  • The Riverside magic editor helps you save hours of editing work with a few clicks. You can upload your logo to videos, change the background, choose the speaker layout and export it to a clean and tidy video file.
  • Riverside also has a AI transcription function that takes the heavy-lifting out of transcribing your podcast audio. Apparently it has 99% accuracy, which is probably better than I could do.
  • It’s also worth mentioning that Riverside.fm has been used by some heavy hitters in the podcasting and celebrity world, including Tim Ferriss, Garry Vee, Michelle Obama, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Start your FREE TRIAL of Riverside.fm now (no credit card details required)

Riverside.fm pricing 💰

FREE — $0/month

  • Record 2 hrs of separate audio & video tracks (one off)
  • UNLIMITED single track recording and editing

Standard — $19/month ($15/m paid yearly)

  • Record 5 hrs/month of audio and video
  • Separate audio and video tracks
  • Live stream to Twitter/YouTube/Facebook
  • Up to 4k video quality

Pro — $29/month ($24/m paid yearly)

  • Record 15 hrs/month of audio and video
  • Separate audio and video tracks
  • Live stream to Twitter/YouTube/Facebook

Take Riverside.fm for a test drive for $0 today

2. SquadCast.fm

SquadCast Review: Summary

The Good 👍

  • Reliability (it’s never failed me!)
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Super easy to use

The Bad 👎

  • Honestly, nothing so far

In my opinion, SquadCast used to be the best podcast recording service on the market.

It’s still an excellent choice and while it’s fallen into second place behind Riverside, it’s more like “first-equal”) 🤝

Start with a 7-day free trial of SquadCast today

User experience 🥰

Firstly, the user interface is really simple. You simply have to create a new session (or use a previous one) and invite guests via email or with a link.

When you join a session you start out in the ‘Green Room’ where you select your input (microphone) and output (speaker/headphones), and make sure you’re looking good on camera, and you’re ready to go (just two clicks!).

The ‘Green Room’ is quite a nice touch as it gives you time and space to make sure everything’s set up correctly before joining an active conversation.

SquadCast lets you record with four people in total (one host and three guests).

Audio quality 🔉

SquadCast’s audio quality is excellent for remote recording.

Most recording services claim to have “studio-quality audio”, but SquadCast comes the closest to achieving that.

It has a built-in echo-cancellation feature, which is good if, heaven forbid, your guest isn’t using headphones.

And I’ve never experienced audio drift issues (when the audio files get out of sync).

When you’ve finished recording, you’re provided with separate audio files for each guest in both .wav and .mp3 formats.

I’m really happy with the audio quality.

It’s not easy to get super clean audio when recording remotely, but SquadCast does a stellar job.

It’s better than RINGR and at least as good as Riverside and Zencastr.

Progressive upload 🙌

The best thing about SquadCast is its “progressive upload” feature, which means audio files are being uploaded in the background of your conversation in real-time.

This is how it works:

With most other podcast recording platforms, the audio is uploaded once you’ve finished recording.

That means, if you happen to lose your connection or accidentally exit your browser, or lose power to your laptop, you lose all your precious audio.

With SquadCast, your audio is uploaded in real-time, so no matter what happens, your audio is safe.

I had a terrible experience with another podcast recording platform where I lost an entire one-hour recording (more on that later), and several others where I’ve temporarily lost audio files.

It just doesn’t seem like SquadCast (or Riverside, for that matter) could let that happen.

Get started with SquadCast for $0 a month

Video recording👨‍💻

SquadCast also lets you record high-quality video, similar to Riverside.

With remote interviews and conversations, it really makes a difference to be able to see the other person. And with the demand for video content these days, it’s becoming more important for podcasters to release video to keep their audience happy.

I’ve found that it makes the conversation sound much more natural, which results in a better podcast product.

I know, I know, you’ve been able to do this forever with Zoom or Skype, but they don’t provide the podcast-specific features and audio quality that SquadCast does.

I’ve tried Zoom for recording a podcast a few times, but the audio quality isn’t as good.

Notable mentions 🤷‍♂️

Other things that really impress me about SquadCast are:

  • I haven’t had a single issue with SquadCast so far. Every podcast recording has been simple and seamless. That means no audio syncing issues, no dropped connections, no lost recordings. Having tried other podcast recording services, you don’t know how happy this makes me.
  • SquadCast is created by self-professed “podcast fanatics” and it really shows. The founders have really paid attention to the finer details of podcasting. They’ve even started their own podcast called Between 2 Mics, which is worth checking out.
  • SquadCast has podcasting giants Jordan Harbinger and Pat Flynn on their advisory team, so they’re getting advice from some of the best in the business. This can only be a good thing going forward.

In summary, I can’t recommend SquadCast highly enough. It’s one of the best options for remote podcast recording in 2023.

SquadCast offers a one hour of free recording time a month so you can test drive the platform before you hand over your credit card details.

SquadCast pricing 💰

SquadCast has three core pricing options. They’ve simplified their pricing over the past year so they all include both audio and video recording.

FREE — $0/month

  • 1 hour of audio/video recording
  • 1 show

Creator — $15/month ($12/month paid annually)

  • 10 hours of audio/video recording
  • 5 shows

Pro — $30/month ($24/month paid annually)

  • 30 hours of audio/video recording
  • Unlimited shows
  • Iso and mix audio tracks
  • Master audio

Since SquadCast was acquired by Descript all plans also include free audio transcription, editing, screen recording and captions. This is pretty cool.

Sign up for a FREE 7-DAY TRIAL of Squadcast here


RINGR Review: Summary

The Good 👍

  • Decent audio quality
  • The mobile app (you don’t need a computer to use it)

The Bad 👎

  • The design hurts my eyes 😵

RINGR is a really solid remote podcast recording service that I’ve used several times.

While it’s not as good as SquadCast or Riverside in my opinion, it has some unique features that might make it the best option for you.

RINGR has a very generous 30-Day Free Trial, which gives you plenty of time to try all the features and get a feel for the platform.

I used the free trial (a couple of times actually) when I was looking for a new service after leaving Zencastr (more on that below) and if it wasn’t for SquadCast coming on my radar at the 11th hour, I would have given my money to RINGR (sorry, team).

User experience 🙂

I have to say right off the bat that RINGR is ugly. I really don’t like the colors, fonts, or the overall design of the dashboard. I don’t know what they’re thinking.

Despite that, it’s fairly intuitive. You simply have to add a conversation, invite guests via email, and then join the conversation.

There’s a ‘Green Room’ where you can chat with guests before you start recording, and there’s a nice countdown once you click ‘Record’.

RINGR lets you record with four people in total (one host and three guests).

Audio quality 🔉

RINGR’s audio quality is good, but not the best. It claims to be studio-quality, but I was a little underwhelmed by it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still excellent quality for remote recording (especially when many of our guests don’t have professional mics), but I think it has the lowest audio quality of all the services I’m reviewing here.

Listening back to episodes I recorded with RINGR, I can hear this faint static/scratching sound in the background. I only hear it when I’m using my headphones and the volume’s up full, but it’s definitely there.

The basic plan only offers .mp3 format in a single mono file, which is a bit disappointing.

The more expensive plans include .ogg and .flac, as well as stereo and split-track options.

Overall, the audio quality is good for remote recording, but it could be better.

Mobile app 📱

The thing that really sets RINGR apart is its smartphone app. It’s the only service that doesn’t require you to be at a laptop or desktop to record.

This alone could be enough for you to choose RINGR over all the others. If you record a sports podcast, for example, and you want to get a player or coach’s interview on the record straight after a game, the smartphone app might seal the deal for you.

Unlimited recording 📞

All of RINGR’s plans come with unlimited calling and storage, which is extremely generous. If you’re recording weekly one-hour episodes, RINGR might provide the best bang for buck.

Notable mentions 🤷‍♂️

Here I’m going to cover where RINGR fell short for me.

  • I experienced some audio upload issues with RINGR. At the end of the conversation, you have to keep the guest on the line until their audio has uploaded. Sometimes the upload took ages and, during that time, the connection with the guest would often cut out, which made saying goodbye quite awkward.
  • While I found RINGR to be mostly stable, there were a couple of times that the connection dropped momentarily. This can be quite scary, but it never resulted in anything serious.

In summary, RINGR is a reliable remote podcast recording software that offers valuable features that might boost it from #3 to #2 for you. I recommend making the most of the 30-day trial and seeing for yourself.

RINGR pricing 💰

Basic: $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year for unlimited calling and storage.

Premium: 18.99 a month or $189.99 a year for unlimited calling and storage.

Sign up for a FREE 30-Day Trial here (and get up to 25% off when you sign up for a plan)

4. Zencastr

Zencastr Review: Summary

The Good 👍

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Beautiful, easy-to-use dashboard
  • Free plan

The Bad 👎

  • Reliability and stability issues 😬 (Could be fixed by now)

I absolutely loved Zencastr when I first started using it for The Wild Podcast. And there’s a lot to love. However, I’m sad to say, I just had one too many bad experiences with the service and had to walk away.

It really is an excellent remote podcast recording platform, but as of writing it has a few issues that it needs to iron out.

It wouldn’t take much to see Zencastr jump from #4 to #1, so watch this space.

User experience 🥰

Zencastr is beautiful and easy to use

From the dashboard you simply have to click ‘Create New Episode’, give it a name, and you’re taken straight to the recording interface.

From there, you can invite guests with a link. There’s no ‘Green Room’ and you have to ensure you’re connected to the correct inputs and outputs before you open Zencastr (they should fix this).

Once the guest has arrived, you just click ‘Start Recording’ to get underway.

One thing that Zencastr has going for it is the professional plan lets you record with unlimited guests if you’re into that.

User experience issues 😤

I think this is probably a good place to go into the major issues I had with Zencastr.

There were several times when the audio failed to upload at the end of a recording and I had to get support to help retrieve it.

There were also several times when the connection cut out during a conversation and we had to restart, creating several different audio files in the process. It killed the flow of the conversation, wasted guests’ time, and made editing a nightmare.

The final straw for me was when the audio failed to upload at the end of a one-hour recording. I contacted support as I had previously and they informed me that the audio couldn’t be rescued.

I was devastated and I cancelled my subscription that day.

Update: It seems that Zencastr may have taken steps to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Their “bad connection fallback plan” feature sounds like it’s aimed at protecting your audio. However, I just can’t go back to test this out. Maybe one day.

Audio quality 🔉

With all that said, Zencastr’s audio quality is excellent, possibly the best out of all three providers.

You can choose to record in .mp3 or .wav. I had some issues with .wav, but .mp3 was fine.

Zencastr also has 10 hours of automatic postproduction on its Professional plan, which is awesome. It really makes the audio sound fantastic.

I miss this feature on SquadCast.

Video recording 👨‍💻

Zencastr has released a beta version of its podcast recording platform, which includes HD video recording.

I should say, the beta version of the new and improved Zencastr looks pretty darn awesome.

Anyway, I think video recording will be built into all podcast recording services going forward so it will be interesting to see how they all compare once they’re live.

Notable mentions 🤷‍♂️

I wish I could like Zencastr as much as I want to. It was founded in my homeland of New Zealand, too, which makes it even harder to speak ill of it.

For what it’s worth, the Zencastr support team was always extremely responsive, helpful and apologetic when things went wrong.

And Zencastr founder Josh Nielsen seems like a cool guy who’s doing his best to build a quality product.

I genuinely think Zencastr could be the best remote podcast recording platform if it just sorted out its stability problems (maybe it already has? Please let me know in the comments).

Reliability is essential when it comes to recording remote podcasts and, as of writing, Zencastr isn’t quite there yet.

However… it’s worth noting that Zencastr’s FREE plan is extremely generous. It’s the only service that gives you unlimited free access, which is pretty awesome.

So, by all means, go and try Zencastr out. It might have improved since I last used it (late 2019).

And to be honest, if I was starting a podcast in 2023 and wanted to “test the waters”, I’d probably start with Zencastr’s free plan.

Zencastr pricing 💰

Professional: $20 a month (monthly) or $18 a month (yearly) for unlimited guests, recordings, and 10 hours of Automatic Postproduction per month.

Hobbyist: Free for up to two guests and 8 hours of recording per month.

Sign up for a FREE Hobbyist Zencastr account here


So there you have it… the best remote podcast recording services of 2023.

  1. Riverside (Get your first 60 minutes free)
  2. Squadcast (Get your free 7-day trial)
  3. RINGR (Get your 30-day free trial and up to 25% off)
  4. Zencastr (Sign up for a 100% free Hobbyist account)

Feel free to drop a comment if you think I’ve got anything wrong, or if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.

Please note that I’ve included affiliate links for SquadCast, Riverside, and RINGR in this article. I can honestly recommend these platforms, based on personal experience. If you find my reviews helpful, please use the links to sign up.