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Published Oct. 5, 2021

Microphones are an essential transducer for turning sound waves into electrical signals that can be amplified through a speaker, transmitted in a radio broadcast, or channeled into a recording device. There are many types of microphones to choose from, but every microphone requires a solid stand for crafting and fine-tuning a stable live broadcast or recorded environment. 

Boom arm stands are the most common type of microphone holder used for staged events ranging from school assemblies to arena rock shows. The clamp-on variety is often a convenient tool for recording vocals into a digital audio workstation (DAW) or hosting a podcast. 

While many pieces of musical equipment are known for their creative potential, choosing a boom arm stand for your microphone should prioritize consistency above all else. In order for your words and music to reach the highest artistry, your mic stand should never surprise you with sudden movements or by gradually sinking toward the floor. Here’s what to look for as you outfit your home studio or prepare for a show.

How We Picked the Best Microphone Boom Arm Stands

Methodology 

As a professional musician with years of experience both on stage and in the studio, I know firsthand that reliability means everything in quality audio gear. I also factored in the growing need of many nonmusicians to have a professional-sounding home audio setup for business meetings, media interviews, podcasting, or streaming gaming sessions.

  • Brand: With the exception of my budget pick, I narrowed down my list of preferred brands based on the top brands available both at popular music stores and outlets geared toward audio/visual production equipment. While a podcaster or videographer may have different needs in a microphone stand than a trumpet player, many types of professionals can often select from the same trusted audio brands. 
  • Stability: I evaluated the method of securing each stand in an upright position, such as clamping the stand to a desk or table or setting it up on the floor with a tripod balanced to minimize the risk of tipping. 
  • Movement: I looked closely at the mechanisms for holding the boom arm and telescoping parts in place and prioritized models with levers and screws designed to prevent slipping during use at a crucial moment so you don’t ruin your perfect take. 
  • Size: More length or height is not necessarily better when it comes to the right microphone boom arm stand for the job. I assessed use cases for different instruments or home-studio workstations when determining an appropriate model for each.
  • Adaptability: I looked at multiple specifications when considering the flexibility of microphone boom arm stands, including whether parts could be added or removed, whether the stand folded up compactly for travel or storage, and the simplicity of setting it up.

The Best Microphone Boom Arm Stands: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: K&M 21090 Mic Stand with Telescoping Boom Arm

From Studio to Stage

Built for professional musicians and recording engineers. K&M

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Why It Made The Cut: We chose the K&M 21090 Mic Stand with Telescoping Boom Arm as a solid and versatile investment primarily for musicians and engineers who perform, tour, or run a professional recording studio.

Specs:

  • Maximum Height: 63 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Base: Tripod 

Pros

  • Height adjustable from 35 to 63 inches
  • Telescoping boom arm extends from 17 to 29 inches
  • Folding legs for easy transport
  • Constructed from steel that is two millimeters thick

Cons 

  • Telescoping arm adds bulk compared to a fixed-length arm

German musical accessory maker König & Meyer commenced production in 1949 when the two founders began manufacturing music stands. Today, they also produce a wide range of musical equipment holders for everything from microphones to smartphones. 

The K&M 21090 is an excellent portable and flexible mic stand with a telescoping boom arm that makes recording and amplifying a broad range of vocals and instrumentals simple. While the company makes fixed boom arm stands (where the boom arm length cannot be extended), we chose this telescoping model as a versatile solution to accommodate sessions or shows that might feature a vocalist in one set and a horn player in the next. 

Multiple design features provide peace of mind in the middle of a session, including molded cups to secure the legs of the tripod base, a T-bar locking screw to hold the boom in place anywhere along its length, and rubber washers to prevent slippage. An attractive powder-coat outer finish matches the professional-grade components.

Best for Podcasters and Streamers: RØDE PSA1 Professional Studio Boom Arm

Consistency at Your Fingertips

Keep the focus on what you have to say. Rode

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Why It Made The Cut: Full-spectrum mic rotation at a reasonable price makes the RØDE PSA1 an excellent choice for pro-level broadcasting from your workstation.

Specs:

  • Maximum Height: 33 inches 
  • Weight: 3.84 pounds
  • Base: Clamp mount or desk insert

Pros

  • Boom arm has a horizontal reach of 32.5 inches
  • Two attachment methods
  • Internal springs minimize noise from movement
  • Includes ⅜-inch to ⅝-inch adapter for extra compatibility

Cons 

  • Shock mount for heavier mics sold separately

Australian audio company RØDE designs and makes microphones that go beyond just music production to support podcasters and vloggers. While the company offers a mini-tripod mic stand and a desktop mic stand, the RØDE PSA1 is their only desktop boom arm. We like that you can either clamp it into place or drill a hole into your workstation for a more permanent installation with the included desk insert.

Any podcaster knows that avoiding plosives when you record means speaking at the perfect distance from your microphone. The 360-degree rotation and adjustability of this boom arm allows you to get comfortable during a long recording session and still capture good audio, instead of feeling frozen in place.

RØDE’s range of additional audio equipment from microphones to windscreens and shock mounts makes the PSA1 a good choice for beginning podcasters exploring what gear best fits their audio goals. Fans of the popular Blue Yeti microphone will be happy to know that the PSA1 supports the heavy 2.2 pound mic with the addition of a RØDE PSM1 shock mount. The maximum mic weight the PSA1 will support with the shock mount is about 2.4 pounds. 

Musicians who record vocals using a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Cubase or Ableton may also prefer this boom arm mic stand for its small footprint in a home music studio. Live-streaming gamers and remote workers who frequently rely on video-conferencing for important client-facing meetings should also consider the flexibility of this model as part of their pro-audio setup.

Best Podcasting Splurge: Gator Frameworks Professional Broadcast Boom Mic Stand 

Be a Radio Star

Pro-level functionality with a delightful bonus. Gator Frameworks

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Why It Made The Cut: We chose the Gator Frameworks Professional Broadcast Boom Mic Stand because of the unique LED indicator light that pays homage to radio broadcasting while serving a practical purpose for home studios.

Specs:

  • Maximum Height: 32.25 inches 
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Base: Clamp mount or desk insert

Pros

  • LED light to indicate that the mic is in use
  • Max weight capacity of 4.4 pounds accommodates heavier mics
  • Spring-loaded articulating arm
  • Removable XLR cable threads through channel for tidy appearance

Cons 

  • High price point 

You may have heard of Gator Framework in reference to their audio/visual equipment cases, but the company makes a range of equipment from mic stands to furniture for your studio. The Gator Frameworks Professional Broadcast Boom Mic is their top-of-the-line podcasting and broadcasting boom arm designed to support heavier microphones up to 4.4 pounds (in contrast, the RØDE PSA1 supports mic weights up to only 2.4 pounds, with the separately purchased shock mount).

The weight capacity may be a standout feature for some users, but we selected this model because of the indicator light just below the top of the boom arm (and just above where a microphone connects). The LED light is powered by a USB connector, so plug it into your desktop or laptop and use the controls to switch between red, blue, and violet tones to show that you’re “on air” and can’t be interrupted. In an actual broadcast studio this feature would be fairly useless, but in an at-home setup where family members can see the light through a glass door or window, it might just be what helps you avoid this BBC News scenario

In addition to 360-degree rotation, this boom arm stand can be adjusted with multiple knobs to hold your mic in place securely as you broadcast or record. The aluminum tubing has a black powder-coat finish, and you can attach the stand to your desk or table via clamp or desk insert, as long as your surface isn’t thicker than 2.17 inches.

Best for Drums and Amps: On-Stage MS7411TB Tripod Mic Stand with Tele Boom

Tiny but Mighty

Get colossal volume without cranking your amp up to 11. OnStage

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Why It Made The Cut: Whether you’re preparing for a recording session or going on tour without access to a backline at venues, the affordable and versatile MS7411TB is sure to come in handy.

Specs:

  • Maximum Height: 27 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Base: Tripod

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Scratch-resistant finish ideal for touring
  • Tripod base folds up to maximize space
  • Clutch height adjustment

Cons 

  • Short height limits use to a narrow range of equipment

On-Stage specializes in musical and audio equipment at a low to mid-range price point. The MS7411TB Drum/Amp Tripod Mic Stand with Tele Boom is a solid option for securing a microphone for drums, amplifiers, and other instruments that require a shorter stand.

The boom arm and counterweight telescopes out from 20 inches to 36 inches. In combination with the tripod base spread of 26 inches, this setup offers adaptability at a low center of gravity. 

If you’re a guitarist or bassist, there is a special appeal in using a microphone to route your instrument through a PA system. This allows you to choose the amplifier settings that best create your ideal sound and let the PA system do the work of maximizing loudness instead of cranking your amp. Stash one of these in your car trunk and you’ll probably find a use for it on a gig, whether it’s because you want to go through the PA or because the backline you were promised is missing a few pieces.

Best Value: Amazon Basics Adjustable Boom Height Microphone Stand

Studio Starter

Make your session happen on a budget. Amazon Basics

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Why It Made The Cut: We chose this Amazon Basics model as a no-frills option that can work in a variety of recording and performing situations when you don’t have a lot to spend.

Specs:

  • Maximum Height: 85.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.31 pounds
  • Base: Tripod

Pros

  • Very low price
  • Easy to lift at just 3.3 pounds
  • Ample height when used as a straight mic stand
  • Boom arm for seated performers

Cons 

  • No mic clip
  • Easy to tip with a heavier mic

Everyone loves a good deal, and for some musicians and engineers, the bare-bones Amazon Basics Adjustable Boom Height Microphone Stand will fit the bill. If you’re running sessions for vocalists, acoustic guitarists, and other instrumentalists who can effectively place a basic mic stand without a telescoping boom arm, this budget stand can help you furnish your studio quickly without breaking the bank. And if you occasionally perform or speak in locations where you have to bring your own PA, the minimal 3.3 pound weight of this stand is attractive.

With a little adaptation (such as adding a counterbalance weight), you may be able to use a microphone that weighs about two pounds (the stated mic weight capacity is less than or equal to two pounds). However, because of its lack of maneuverability and the danger of tipping, it’s not ideal for a stable sound environment and not a good choice for use with a seated podcasting setup.

Before you choose this option, you’ll want to add up the other accessories you may need (such as mic clips or a ⅜-inch to ⅝-inch adapter) to get your setup ready to go. Then weigh the final price against brands dedicated solely to audio equipment. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Microphone Boom Arm Stand

As you evaluate the best microphone boom arm stand for your setup, here are a few key criteria to keep in mind.

Type of Signal

The first thing to identify before choosing a mic stand is the type of sound waves you want to transmit to an electric signal through a microphone. Are you recording, amplifying, or broadcasting voice, drums, horns, piano, or ambient sounds? This answer could be one or all of the above, but that knowledge will immediately dictate the dimensions and range of motion you need for proper microphone placement on a stand.

Location 

The two main types of microphone boom arm stands discussed in this article are upright stands with a tripod for stability and stands that clamp or mount to a surface. If you’ll be recording or broadcasting from a desktop workstation, stands that clamp to a desk or table can save space and are easy to position so you can access a mouse  or MIDI controller to start and stop a session or generate live effects. If you’re using a stand with a clamp or desk insert, make sure your surface isn’t thicker than the maximum depth listed in product specifications. Stage performers and musicians recording with someone else engineering will likely require tripod stands.

Microphone Preference 

A microphone boom arm stand is an accessory for microphones, so you should have a general sense of your microphone preferences before choosing a stand. Most stands are designed to be compatible with a wide variety of mics, but you may need to purchase an adapter. Even if a heavy microphone is compatible with a lightweight stand, performers may prefer the extra security of a stand with a heavier base to minimize the risk of knocking it over. 

Portability 

If you will be traveling with your stand to gigs, look for models that fold up compactly and consider how much they weigh relative to your means of transportation to the gig. If you’re taking public transit with instruments and other audio gear, make sure to add up the collective weight of everything you’ll need to bring. A 10-pound stand plus, an amp and a Gibson Les Paul can make for a weighty load.

FAQs 

Q: Is a microphone boom arm worth it?

A microphone boom arm is definitely worth the investment if you have a home studio for recording, podcasting, or livestreaming with an audience (e.g., narrating your gameplay on Twitch or performing your songs on Instagram Live). If you’re a professional touring performer who only plays live shows with a backline of quality audio equipment or your interview and podcast work is done in other people’s studios, you probably won’t require your own mic stand. Exceptions to this would be if you usually bring your own mic with you and it isn’t readily compatible with most standard gear (for instance, if it’s very heavy). 

Q: Does any mic stand work with any mic?

Most mic stands work with a variety of microphones. However, just because a mic can be attached to a mic stand doesn’t mean that stand is a good fit for your recording setup. A mic stand should fit the appropriate dimensions for the location where you want the microphone (a bass drum mic will not be placed at the same height as a vocal mic) and should meet your other criteria like portability and style (e.g., clamp or tripod). You should always review the specs of your microphone of choice to make sure a stand will hold its weight effectively without tipping.

Q: Where should I put my boom arm microphone?

Microphone stand placement is an art unto itself. Where you put your boom arm microphone to get the best sound is determined by many factors, such as whether you’re working with voice, instruments, or ambient sounds like a river rushing or birds chirping. As many vocalists and instrumentalists know, different effects can be created by minimizing or maximizing distance to the microphone, or even walking toward a microphone while performing. Boom mic stands that can be adjusted securely and have telescoping arms offer a lot of flexibility for experimentation.

Final Thoughts

Top-quality microphone boom arm stands are designed to work quietly in the background of a broadcast, performance, or recording and offer practical features derived from the real-life experience of pros on stages and in studios. That’s why we chose the K&M 21090 Mic Stand with Telescoping Boom Arm as a reliable all-around pick that delivers in a broad range of settings. For podcasters, streamers, and DAW users, the RØDE PSA1 Professional Studio Boom Arm is also an exceptional all-around choice. Your own experiences as an artist will help shape what you ultimately prefer. If you want an extra-heavy stand for added security against a mishap even if a lighter stand can safely accommodate your microphone of choice, go for it! It’s all about delivering your best performance, no matter what it takes. 

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