- We review 9 popular microphone boom suspension arms.
- Options to suit the budget-conscious and those who want full-blown studio quality.
- Which of these “best microphone boom arms” come out on top? Find out.
We all know that buying the right gear is critical. But that’s easier said than done, when there are about a billion boom microphone stands in the market, right? Over the past few years, desk-mountable suspension boom arms have notably risen in popularity, thanks to the rise of streaming and podcasting.
We sift through a whole bunch of them and give a rundown of the best microphone boom arm/stands on the market.
Best Microphone Boom Arms For Streaming, Podcasting & Recording
Most of us are probably familiar with how a traditional microphone stand works. They’re ubiquitous in recording studios everywhere.
But sometimes a typical stand doesn’t cut it. They take up unnecessary space due to their large sprawling legs, and can be a real inconvenience to those of you studios in small apartments.
That’s where microphone suspension boom arms come in.
Sometimes called a ‘scissor arm stand’, a mic suspension boom arm is a foldable piece of equipment that can be easily unclipped, stored and transported. Unlike a traditional stand, boom arms can be stored easily, transported and changed out for your needs.
Microphone suspension/boom arm stands can be attached to your recording desk or other equipment easily. They are typically hinged in the middle, allowing them to fold in half. On the other end, a cradle holds your microphone and can be adjusted.
Rounding Up The Best Microphone Boom Arms: The List
- RODE PSA 1
- Samson MBA38
- Blue Compass Premium
- ON-STAGE MBS5000
- YELLOWTEC m!ka
- K&M 23860
- ON-STAGE MBS7500
- Heil Sound PL-2T
- Sywon Desktop Microphone Stand
Microphone Boom Arms: The Reviews
1. RODE PSA1 (Our Pick)
The RODE PSA1 is the perfect arm in the 'middle of the road' price range with some great features. Two different mounts give you options, and the arm’s sections are highly flexible. It's the best seller for a reason.
It would’ve been a shock to discover that RODE, a reputable microphone company, would produce a garbage microphone stand so its not surprise to see them in our list of best microphone boom arms.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. The RODE PSA 1 delivers on all fronts, and as a result is our top pick.
Check out our full review of the Rode PSA1 Boom Arm here.
The RODE PSA1 has a 33-inch reach for your convenience, offering ample range. But the real star of the show is the dual-axis swivel mount, which allows you to freely position the arm in whatever position you so desire.
The arm body has two spring-loaded sections that are both quiet and flexible — making it a perfect choice for broadcast radio studios or voice-over studios. Because no one wants a recording with a squeaky mic stand audible in it, right?
Unlike other boom arms with only one table mounting clamp/mounting option, this model has two: the dual-axis swivel and the standard C-clamp mount. That gives you flexibility for your setup, no matter where you are.
Editor’s note: we recently reviewed the updated version of the PSA-1, the PSA-1+. Check out our review of the PSA 1+ here.
2. Samson MBA38 (Best Value)
Samson’s most popular offering in the field of boom arms is the mighty MBA Range. Offers all the staple functionality you'd expect from a boom arm, but without the crazy price tag. Available in various lengths.
- Great for broadcasting and recording
The MBA38 boom attaches to your desk quickly and easily with a C-clamp structure and can also be permanently installed and fixed to a mountable surface with three bolts and a unique base (included in the package). All you need to do is fix your shock mount from there.
The internal spring system and all-metal body allows you to have the rugged portability offered by the MBA38 but also provides you with a silent and easy mechanical operation during recording, meaning you can re-position and move the microphone without the risk of introducing ‘handling noise’ to your signal.
This boom will hold up to 5 pounds of weight, making it ideal for those with heavier or larger, more expensive microphones. You will be able to hang your pride and joy with peace of mind and watch it dangle in front of your face in all its shining glory.
3. ON-STAGE MBS5000 (Most Compact)
This is a great and affordable boom arm from On-Stage that utilises a surprising amount of design features for its low cost. Comes with a 10' XLR cable installed.
- Space-saving design
- Perfect for podcasters, vloggers, and voice artists
The MBS5000 boasts a huge selection of small but mighty features including square tubing for added rigidity and strength, a hollow frame for the discreet placement of microphone cabling, with a 10-inch XLR cable pre-installed into the arm for ease of use and convenience.
The MBS5000 also has the option for permanent or removable fixtures, offering the option for a table mounted clamp to fix it to your surface of choice or bolt it down and make it permanent.
This arm is silent in its movements, has no exposed springs and is designed to be moved while being used live. This arm will hold a weighty 3.5 pounds meaning most microphones should have no trouble being suspended by this boom, is worth noting that this accessory has a ball-joint tablet surface; allowing for an android or iOS tablet to be attached.
4. Blue Compass Premium Broadcast Arm
Great compatibility with a range of mid-weight microphones. The assembly and installation is a no-fuss ordeal, and the stand does a fine job of holding your gear in place.
- Mounts easily
- Premium all-tube, internal spring design
Next up is a great boom arm from Blue Compass that is purposefully built for studio desk recording.
The Blue Compass Premium mic boom arm has all the features you want for your recording experience. The arm itself has an “all-tube” spring system and hidden cable holder that gives the arm a sleek design. Definite bonus points for design on this one.
The arm uses hinges that are tightened by hand, cutting off unwanted noises during recording. The arm itself is designed for use with Yeti and other broadcast microphones.
All standard shock mounts are fully compatible with this mic boom arm, allowing you to transfer in and out as needed.
In contrast to other boom arms, this model has slightly less reach at 32 inches vertical and horizontal. Depending on your setup, this could be a good or a bad thing. Having a shorter arm does mean you’ll save more desk space, but might also mean you’ll have to lean in if you have a ridiculously deep and large studio desk.
If I had to be honest, the mount can be a little tricky to lock into specific positions, though is not a huge issue. In terms of weight, the arm can hold up to 2.4 pounds, which should suit most producers. Check the weight of your primary microphones first though.
5. YELLOWTEC m!ka Arm
If you’re happy to blow a bunch of money on a boom arm that looks as good as it performs, then this might be the stand for you. At the highest price on this list, the Yellowtec boom arm is for the discerning buyer looking for quality.
- XLR included
- ''On Air'' LED
- Small size
If you’re after a luxury and heavy duty boom arm that looks and feels different than the rest, give Yellowtec’s m!ka a look.
While on the smaller size, this mic boom arm is a solid addition to most studios, and comes with a few unique features not seen on other models.
For one, the suspension boom arm includes a red LED “on-air” signal that is not seen in any other arm on this list. Whether or not this impacts your ability to write better music, is beside the point. It is a nice touch though, especially for podcasters and those who require such a feature.
The sleek, white aluminum body has bright contrast to other models. In terms of cable management, this thing is pretty slick. Part of the hefty price tag is that it includes its own native XLR cable, which feels quality.
The ultra-small design is a big benefit to those with limited space, giving you more room to work. The sleek look and flashy features do come at a price, though.
However, with its smaller size factor, the Yellowtec m!ka does not extend as far as some of the other arms on this list. The reach sits at around 21 inches, with a maximum weight load of 1.98 pounds. That’s not insignificant, but it could limit you depending on the size of your desk/setup.
Check it out on Thomann here.
6. K&M 23860
With all the professional touches and add-ons, coupled with the beautifully sleek finish, the K&M 23860 comes at a price.
- Easily adjustable
Much like the Heil PL-2T, the K&M brand is a bit of an outlier when talking about brand recognition. This microphone suspension boom really surprised us though. If you’re looking for a heavy duty boom arm that can handle some of the largest condenser microphones out there, at an affordable price — this one’s a safe bet.
The K&M 23860 hold up to a whopping 3.2 pounds of microphone weight, enough for all but the heaviest mics, and much more than most of its competitors.
The K&M model also has a massive wingspan of 37 inches, outpacing most challengers. All of that reach means more room for you to move and capture your sound your way.
Oh, a couple more things.
The 23860 is constructed with steel, giving you maximum durability. The arm also includes plastic inserts that ensure a secure hold.
This boom arm’s impressive design includes a unique table clamp mount that gives you quick positioning. The arm itself includes an internal cable guide so you can avoid external clamps, which means less work.
7. ON-STAGE MBS7500
Overall, this boom arm is versatile, affordable and with a sleek look. The ability to hide your cables inside the arm frees you from the clutch of ghastly cable clamps.
- Sleek design
On-Stage are synonymous in the audio industry for putting out competitively priced, decent quality gear.
The On-Stage MBS7500 boom arm is near the median on price for our list, and sports some great features for the price point.
Out of the box, the arm has a modern, sleek look with no ugly springs or tension knobs exposed. Beauty points to On-Stage for sure.
The arm can be positioned on three axis points, which offers plenty of flexibility. Stands under $100 generally come with one common issue – squeaking, though we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was super silent.
The arm is hollowed out which means you can run your cables through the chamber, keeping cables out of sight — love this feature a lot.
There is a caveat, though. With all of these benefits, the table clamp on the boom arm can be a little bit problematic. The boom arm does have a temperament swiveling when its connected to the clamp, which does limit its range (but only by a little).
8. Heil Sound PL-2T
The tension system inside the boom arm makes it a no-brainer for sleek design enthusiasts. A versatile fit for those whose lives revolve around their studio desks.
- Internal springs
Kicking off the list is a suspension boom arm from a company that’s a little lesser-known, but is a solid option for those wanting a boom suspension arm that is quality and won’t break the bank.
The Heil PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom has a sleek, black design that anchors to your desk. The arm itself holds microphones that weigh up to 3 ½ pounds. Top and backplates can be removed to help you place the microphone cable inside the boom. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Unlike some of the other products on the list, Heil’s model employs out-of-sight internal springs. That means you don’t have to worry about springs on the outside of the case. That means no cable connectors to slow down your setup.
The stem of the boom arm is threaded with chrome and can be locked into place.
A small issue I had was that the little spinning tightener to lock the arm in place can be a little tricky to tighten down. With a little patience though, I managed to lock it in place fine.
9. Sywon Desktop Mic Stand
This stand is mainly used on desktops, not suitable for heavier microphones.
One for lighter mics, the Sywon is a microphone suspension boom that doesn’t clamp to your desk but rather holds the mic up through a weighted base.
Whilst this option won’t be suited for a heady condenser, it is a great option for portability and a quick setup if you’re using a lighter microphone (although we’re assuming most podcasters won’t be using a vintage tube mic).
Definitely useful for those using USB mics and for anyone who might not want a permanent edition to their desk, or maybe using a recording facility to create their content.
Check out the Sywon over at Amazon.
What Is The Best Boom Arm For HyperX QuadCast?
What Is The Best Boom Arm For Shure SM7B and Shure MV7?
For the Shure SM7B and MV7, we recommend using the Rode PSA1. It can support between 700 to 1,100 grams of weight which is right in the range of both the Shure SM7B and Shure MV7 microphones. While not the cheapest option out there, it’s worth the price tag.
- Check out our post on the best mic stands for Shure SM7B.
What is the best boom arm for Elgato Wave 3?
We’d suggest using the Rode PSA1 for your Elgato Wave 3. As we’ve mentioned it is one of the more expensive options on the market, but it’s also a versatile choice that lets you position your mic quickly and easily.
What Are The Benefits Of Suspension Boom Arms?
1. Free Up Desk Space
Unlike traditional mic stands, which take up space, a suspension boom scissor arm stand is easily stored.
With a boom arm, music producers and engineers can easily save space to work (great if you only have a small space for your home studio setup). That means more breathing room for you in often cramped quarters.
Boom arms also help free up desk space. They take the stationary mic stands off your desk, freeing up your real estate for the things that really matter – like synthesizers and drum machines.
Additionally, high-quality mic boom arms can fold right into your desk when not in use, saving even more space.
2. Easy To Transport
Unlike a traditional mic stand, which can be difficult to pack down, boom arms are easy to dismantle and transport.
The best boom arms can clip and unclip from your desk, giving you maximum interchangeability. If you’re a music producer or sound engineer on the go, boom arms provide ease of ability to shift your studio on the go.
3. Great for Content Creators
That “pick up and go” feature of boom arms is also great for live podcasts and streaming.
With the way music marketing is going, content creation is becoming an asset to bands and producers alike. Many are turning to YouTube and Twitch to host live production/DJ streams and band vlogs. Having a boom arm setup could be a real asset for you if content creation is something you’re looking to potentially explore this year.