- We review 8 popular microphone boom suspension arms.
- Options to suit the budget-conscious and those who want full-blown studio quality.
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 boom arm stands on the market.
Best Mic 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 mic 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 arms 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.
3 Benefits Of Suspension Boom Arms
1. Free Up Desk Space
Unlike traditional mic stands, which take up space, boom arms are easily stored.
With a boom arm, music producers and engineers can easily save space to work. 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 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 in 2020, 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.
Our Top Microphone Arm Picks
- RODE PSA 1 (Buy on eBay | zZounds | Amazon)
- Samson MBA38 (Buy on eBay | Zzounds | Amazon)
- Blue Compass Premium (Buy on eBay | zZounds | Amazon)
- ON-STAGE MBS5000 (Buy on zZounds | Amazon)
- YELLOWTEC m!ka (Buy on eBay | Thomann)
- K&M 23860 (Buy on eBay | Amazon)
- ON-STAGE MBS7500 (Buy on zZounds | Amazon)
- Heil Sound PL-2T (Buy on eBay | Amazon)
Microphone Boom Arms: The Reviews
1. RODE PSA1 Review
Overall, 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.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. The RODE PSA 1 delivers on all fronts, and as a result is our top pick.
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 clamp, this model has two: the dual-axis swivel and the standard C-clamp. That gives you flexibility for your setup, no matter where you are.
2. Samson MBA38 Review
Samson’s most popular offering in the field of boom arms is the mighty MBA Range. It’s a solid contender offering all the staple functionality you'd expect from a boom arm, but without the crazy price tag. Available in various lengths.
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).
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. Blue Compass Premium Broadcast Arm Review
Overall, this boom arm gives you 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.
Next up is a great boom arm from Blue Compass that is purposefully built for studio desk recording.
The Blue Compass Premium 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 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.
4. ON-STAGE MBS5000 Review
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 to either clamp 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.
5. YELLOWTEC m!ka Arm Review
If you’re after a luxury boom arm that looks and feels different than the rest, give Yellowtec’s m!ka a look.
While on the smaller size, this boom arm is a solid addition to most studios, and comes with a few unique features not seen on other models.
For one, the 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 Review
With all the professional touches and add-ons, coupled with the beautifully sleek finish, the K&M 23860 comes at a price. But if you're the type of buyer that likes to invest in tech that lasts, then the K&M 23860 won't disappoint.
Much like the Heil PL-2T, the K&M brand is a bit of an outlier when talking about brand recognition. This boom suspension mic stand really surprised us though. If you’re looking for a stand that can handle some of the heaviest 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 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 Review
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 Review
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.
Last update on 2020-08-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API