We all know that the first piece of equipment you need to get started podcasting is a microphone. But how do you plan to hold the microphone? In your hands for the whole episode? No, you don’t want to do that.
That’s where microphone stands and boom arms come in.
Most of you reading this know that you need one – that’s why you’re here! You want to find what to buy and what criteria to look out for when choosing a mic stand or boom.
Let us get right to it – mic boom arms, desktop mic stands, and a floor stand:
Heil Sound PL2T
RODE PSA 1
K&M Floor Stand
I’ll get into the details of each of these and afterward, a buying guide discussing certain characteristics to look out for when buying one for your home studio.
But first, there are some mics out there that come with a desktop tripod of some sort. Test the packaged stands for wobbliness and vibrations if you tap your desk. You want sturdiness and well-built, solid stands to hold your microphone. Shock mounts will also help with vibrations and one of the things you’ll need later. I write about all the different pieces of podcast equipment you’ll need in another post.
Mic Boom Arms
1. Heil Sound PL2T Microphone Boom Arm – Best Overall
We are starting the list with a microphone boom arm because it’s the most popular microphone accessory amongst the podcasters, especially those who record video. The Heil PL2T is a popular choice for people and it’s very easy to setup (check the video out below).
If you don’t want to waste too much time setting up a boom, so you can get to podcasting, the PL2T is what you should buy. You can set up this boom in a few minutes. Watch how easy it is to set up in this video –
One of the coolest features is the ability to hide the cables inside the arms themselves, allowing for a clean look. Really useful if you plan to also record video, no loose cables. Loose cables everywhere is a pet peeve, so if a piece of equipment will help me with cable management, I already like it.
The arm’s springs are also hidden to continue its clean outlook. The PL2T has a reach of 36”, so its positioning is versatile and flexible with how you plan to position yourself. This is the best boom for the popular Blue Yeti mic because the Yeti runs heavier at about 2.2 pounds. The Heil can hold up to 3.5 pounds.
The clean, sleek design and the ability to hold more weight makes this my favorite.
2. RODE PSA 1 Mic Boom Arm – Best Value
The Rode PSA1 is a great boom arm for podcasters of all experience levels, beginner to pro. It comes with several features that you won’t find on any other boom within this price range. You’ll have all the high-end features that any expensive studio boom offers.
If you are concerned about its build quality then you can just relax as this is made of pure metal to deliver you solid long-lasting performance. The weight balance of this stand will allow it to hold positions until you move it.
A note, if you have a Blue Yeti, you’re on the edge of the weight limits as the PSA 1’s limit is about 2.5 pounds, the weight of the Yeti. In my testing, it was just barely able to hold and didn’t feel as secure as the Heil. Don’t forget you’ll also be adding on a shock mount and pop filter too, so that’ll add onto the weight.
If you’re looking for great value, the PSA 1 gives it to you. If you don’t have a heavy microphone, nor worry about hiding cables for aesthetics, then go with the RODE. It’s cheaper than the Heil and it offers better value for the money.
Desktop Mic Stands
3. Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 – Best Overall
The Gator Frameworks is perfect for those who want a clean look on their desktop table. Its compact size and simple design will look great on your desk without occupying too much space.
Even though it’s just a desktop stand, it comes with good features. The height from the base to boom arm is 23” and the boom arm is 16” long. You’re able to extend the arm as well, allowing you to put the stand’s base further away if you’re recording video.
The weighted base will help to balance and support heavier mics. It also comes with a cable management clip. If you remember from the above on the Heil PL2T, you know I hate loose cables. The build is very solid. From the feel of it, you know that if you drop it, you don’t need to worry about it breaking (just the floor).
There’s a Deluxe version that has a longer arm and heavier counterweight for balancing.
4. On Stage DS7200B – Best Value
The On Stage stand is great value as it gets the job done and isn’t expensive. It’s one of the more popular basic desktop microphone stands.
It comes with a 6” base weighing around 2 lbs, so you can carry it quite easily The 6” solid base features non-slip rubber that will provide a good grip so that it won’t move on its own.
With its adjustable height from 9” to 13”, you can set it to your height when at your desk.
Floor Mic Stand
5. K&M Black 21090 Microphone Floor Stand – Best Overall
This microphone stand is manufactured by K&M, a trusted company in the field of microphone stands. They set the industry standard for floor stands. The K&M Black 21090 comes with a telescopic boom arm.
The stand is constructed with Swiss steel and zinc die-cast base for long-lasting durability. Despite its sturdiness and weight, it still offers you great portability and versatility. It can hold heavy mics without worrying about the stand tipping over.
Key Things When Buying a Mic Stand for Podcasting
There’re a whole lot of different microphone stands with many accessories to choose from. So, from all these various options it’s natural to get confused about what to buy.
If you follow the below key things before buying a microphone stand, you’ll get the right one for your needs without any doubt.
How Do You Record Your Podcast?
Knowing how you record episodes will help you choose what to what. Some questions to answer:
- Do you record at your desk sitting, standing, or both?
- Do you move around a lot when you record?
- Do you always have one position you like when you record or does it change each time?
- Will you have guests?
- What kind of mic(s) do you have that you’ll use a stand with?
Compatibility with Microphone and Accessories
The very first thing you should check before buying a stand is the compatibility of whether the stand is compatible with your microphone or not. If you don’t keep an eye on this, you may end up buying a stand that won’t hold your microphone. Then this stand is nothing but wastage.
Most mics have a 5/8″ thread, so you’ll want to see if the stand is the same or at least has an adapter to convert the thread to 5/8″. For example, the RODE PSA 1 is 3/8″, but it comes with a 5/8″ adapter.
Don’t forget about the accessories you use as well. Do you have a shock mount and pop filter? Maybe you don’t need a shock mount because you won’t get much vibration from tapping on the desk, but you should consider a pop filter.
Microphone Stand Types
There are several types of microphone stands depending on how you record. There are Desktop Stands, Boom Arm Stands, and Floor Stands.
Desktop stands are perfect for those who are always sitting at their desk when recording. The only thing is the majority of stands don’t offer positioning flexibility, so if you happen to be too tall or short, you might be straining your neck when sitting and recording. That’s where you may want to get the Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 or a boom arm.
Boom Arm Stands are used widely by the podcasters due to their flexible positioning. If you’re someone who moves around and doesn’t have a set position that you record in, you might want to get a boom arm. It works great if you’re sitting or standing.
Floor mic stands are popular for musicians and singers doing live shows. For podcasts, it’s not as widely used because podcasts aren’t always recorded standing up. Plus there’s the need to have your computer and audio equipment on your desk, so depending on your desk, you may not be able to get a floor stand near enough. That’s why most podcasters go for the boom arms that clamp onto the desk itself.
There you have it. In order to know what the best mic stand for podcasting is, you’ll need to first know how you’re going to record.
Whether you sit or stand, microphone stand options are out there for you. Search for what’s right with how you record and you’ll be good to go.