Let me guess. You’re here because you’re looking for ways to give yourself some breathing room in your home studio. Finding the best boom arm for your specific setup is no small task though. There are a lot of microphone boom arm options out there, each of them different than the last.
Well, you’re in luck. This guide is designed to help you sift through the sea of boom arms on the market so you can make a confident investment.
There are a number of other benefits that come with having a microphone suspension boom arm in your studio though. Before we jump into my list of personal favorites I want to talk about those benefits. On top of that, we’ll also talk about some things to keep in mind before investing in the best microphone boom arm stand for your needs.
Let’s get into it…
Benefits Of Microphone Boom Arms
At the beginning of this guide we briefly talked about one of the many positive impacts that a boom arm stand can provide to your studio setup.
These are practical tools that podcasters, producers, and even recording engineers should take advantage of. Here’s everything you can expect from adding a mic arm to your arsenal.
Free Up Some Space
We all know how cramped a home studio setup can be. With all of your gear living in one small area, it’s imperative to find ways to save space. Many professional music studios utilize both a boom arm, and a microphone stand with a shock mount.
It is true that having both is great for varied uses, a boom arm is most ideal for a home studio setup. Now, I’m not saying that all home recording spaces are tiny, but even if you have one that’s mid-sized it’s still nice to have some room to expand.
Most boom arms come equipped with an adjustable C-clamp mount so you can easily attach it to any spot you need it. Additionally, a microphone suspension boom scissor arm stand can be configured and twisted in any way you see fit. From there, you can fold it back up when not in use.
All in all, a boom arm is a very flexible utility that’s likely to save you some frustration.
Related: Studio Microphones Guide
This benefit goes somewhat hand-in-hand with the previous one. If you ever need to take your studio on the go, you can easily break down your boom arm and pack it anywhere.
This is especially useful for those of you who are podcasters or content creators. You never know where your creations will take you. Mic arms are typically lightweight which is much needed when considering all the other pieces of equipment you need to take with you.
The overall flexibility that I mentioned before gives you the ability to position your favorite studio mic in the best possible way. This leads to better recordings, and a better overall sound quality for your livestreams or podcasts.
Another cool feature that’s found on some boom arms out there is the ability to thread cables internally. How great is that? Cable management is every producer’s best friend so this is a much needed feature.
One notable benefit of a boom arm is the way they make your home studio look. I know, it’s a bit superficial, but think about it. I’m sure you’ve noticed that almost every livestream or live podcast has a mic attached to a boom arm that the host is talking into.
This makes the streamer or host look professional and makes them seem like they know what they’re doing. That’s because they do. As you go down the path of starting your own channel or podcast, it’s inevitable that you’ll learn the importance of having a microphone suspension boom scissor arm at your side.
This is even true for a home music studio. Whether you’re a solo artist or a recording engineer, the versatility of a boom arm is a much needed addition to your studio desk.
Related: Home Studio Desks Guide
Some Factors To Consider
Before pulling the plug on a microphone boom arm stand, there’s a number of important things to consider. Let me quickly break these factors down…
Make Sure Your Microphone Fits
The best microphone boom arms out there should have an included adapter that should fit most microphones on the market. In rare cases you might find that your mic won’t fit on the stock threaded socket on one of these boom arms.
Before you make your final decision, I’d suggest double checking your microphones specs to make sure that an included adapter or stock socket will hold it.
Not only that, but you should make sure that you’re investing in a boom arm that can support the weight of your mic, a pop filter, and a shock mount if you need one. You probably think it’s a bit silly that I’m bringing this up. A microphone boom arm should be able to support a microphone right?
Well yes, it should. That being said, we all know how things go sometimes. It’s worth it to make sure before potentially ruining an expensive piece of equipment. Microphones that weigh a lot can still put some stress on a boom arm.
How Much Rotation Do You Need?
The amount of rotation offered among microphone suspension boom scissor arm options can vary a bit. Some options feature full 360° rotation, whereas others only swivel 270° or 180°.
Depending on your setup, you might need full rotation on your mic arm. On the other hand, if you’re in a very cramped space, full rotation might be more of a hindrance than anything else.
For instance, if you’re a podcaster, 360 degrees of rotation is probably the best. Alternatively, if you’re a streamer, you should only need 180° boom arm rotation.
This is all highly dependent on you and your studio needs. Think about what exactly you’re going to need and how much space you have. From there, you can decipher how much rotation you need out of a boom arm stand.
Best Boom Arm List
Now that we’ve tackled the important stuff, it’s time for the fun stuff. In this mic arm list I’ve tried to include a healthy blend of options in lue of the factors we just talked about. Let’s dive into the list.
It’s no surprise that a company that makes some of the best mics in the industry has a boom arm to match that standard. The PSA1 is a widely praised mic arm that’s more than suitable for any home studio.
The overall reach of the PSA1 is 32.5” horizontally and 33” vertically. It also features full, 360 degrees of rotation, and a great cable control system. There are numerous velcro bands spread throughout the mic arm itself so you can easily control those mic cables.
On top of that, the springs are all internal. This means that making adjustments will be virtually silent.
Additionally, you get two mounting types included (clamp and flush) and two threaded adapters (⅜” and ⅝”) with a swivel mount. With all of these mounting and fitting options, this mic arm makes life very easy.
As far as weight limit goes, this boom arm is designed to hold a shock mount and a microphone with a ceiling of 4.4lbs.
I mean, it’s easy to see why the PSA1 microphone boom arm is one of the best out there. All of this does come with a hefty price tag though. That being said, this mic boom arm stand a worthy companion in any studio setup.
Heil Sound PL-2T
“It’s no surprise that a company that makes some of the best mics in the industry has a boom arm to match that standard.”
The Heil Sound PL-2T and the PSA 1 might be confused as the same mic arm if you’re looking at them side-by-side. While it’s true that they’re both great boom arms, there are some distinct differences between them.
For example, the PL-2T has a universal ⅝” thread adapter built onto the arm itself instead of two interchangeable adapters. ⅝” is adequate enough for almost any mic, so that’s actually a positive thing.
Also, the PL-2T has an internal XLR cable management system. Luckily, this mic stand is pretty easy to set up and once you have everything hooked up right, you likely won’t ever have to worry about it again.
The Heil Sound PL-2T has a slightly more modest reach than the PSA 1, which is to be expected considering the lower price point. You should have more than enough reach for most studio setups though.
One big plus-side of the PL-2T is the amount of weight it can support. If you choose to invest in the multitude of mounting options that are available separately, then you can put pretty much anything on this mic arm stand.
Check out these alternatives here:
All in all, the PL-2T and the PSA 1 both deserve the highest spots on this mic arms list for different reasons. They’re both suitable for any situation and it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.
Yet another option from an established mic manufacturer. Blue made their Compass mic arm to work in conjunction with their own microphones. It’s a well-known fact that their mics (like the Blue Yeti) are fairly heavy, so this mic arm can undoubtedly handle a lot.
Now, you get 360° rotation with this microphone arm stand and all the hinges are manual-friction. This makes adjustments easy and it’s internal spring design is pretty much silent.
There is also a smart hidden channel cable management system on the Blue Compass mic arm, which is always a welcome addition. The C-clamp is easy to use as well so finding a spot to put this boom arm shouldn’t be a problem.
The one small gripe I have with this particular arm stand is the spring tension. If you have a mic that’s lightweight, then you might have a hard time. The spring is very strong and it has a tendency to snap back into its original position a little too easily. Again, this thing was made for mics with the weight of the Blue Yeti. It’s worth keeping that in mind with this particular mic boom.
Overall though, the Blue Compass microphone boom arm is an attractive option. It’s well built and likely to handle almost anything you throw at it.
This is another mic arm that’s similar to the PSA 1 and PL-2T from earlier, especially in terms of price point. It features full 360° rotation, a standard ⅝” thread adapter for most mics, a swivel mount, and has a load capacity of 4.4lbs.
This boom arm from Gator Frameworks is a great option for those looking for a “professional” looking stand. It sports lockable arms and a very solid build quality. There are internal springs, so yet again, this means that making adjustments is quiet and easy.
The tension of the spring is strong, but not too strong. That with its load capacity makes for a great combo. Also, the boom arm clamp mount is solid, but it can be a little finicky.
One other small downside is the integrated XLR cable. This means that cable management is present, but the cable itself isn’t great. There should be a way to replace it, but it might be a hassle.
With that, if you’re looking for a very well designed microphone boom arm, then this option from Gator Frameworks is worth taking a look at. Oh, and the version on this list is the 3000 series. The manufacturer has three other versions to choose from, each of them with different levels of fancy features.
This mic arm is an excellent budget option. Don’t let the price fool you though, this is a highly versatile arm stand with a few key features. The MBA series is a great representation of Samson’s reputation as a great manufacturer of recording equipment that doesn’t break the bank.
One of the best features of this boom arm is the multiple mounting options that come with it. You get a standard C-clamp mount and a flange mount. This gives you the freedom to decide on how exactly you want to secure the arm stand. With the C-clamp, you can have it in a spot temporarily, or with the flange, you can mount it permanently.
There are a few mic arm versions to choose from in the MBA series. The different options mainly depend on the overall horizontal reach. There’s 18”, 28”, 38”, and 48” styles offered. The price doesn’t vary much between them either.
The one unfortunate oversight with this microphone arm is the lack of cable management. You can always engineer your own way to manage that XLR cable, but it would be nice if it was included.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with this boom arm, especially with it’s price tag. The multiple table mounting clamp options alone are a leg up on the more expensive options on this list.
NEEWER Microphone Boom Arm
“At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with this boom arm, especially with it’s price tag.”
There’s not a whole lot to say about this mic arm that’s not already known. With over 17,000 reviews on various retailers sites, it’s easy to see why this suspension boom arm from NEEWER is popular. All you have to do is look at that price tag. I decided to include this particular option over the comparable Innogear microphone arm for a number of reasons, mainly because this one has more features.
This is a lightweight and humble option that’s meant to do one job. That job is to hold a simple microphone that doesn’t weigh much. The max load capacity of this mic arm is average at 2.2 lbs.
Also, this comes from NEEWER themselves in which they state that this arm stand is NOT suitable for shock mounts or heavier USB microphones like the Blue Yeti mic. With that, the table mounting clamp is solid and it can fit pretty much anywhere.
Now, this microphone arm does come with both ⅜” and ⅝” thread adapters and a 180° mic clip/swivel mount. Unfortunately, there’s no cable management system available, and the springs are not internal. Also, the build quality is somewhat lackluster on some components throughout the boom arm.
I mean, at this price, what can you really expect? You’re not getting anything fancy by any means, but this mic arm is functional and highly popular among a wide variety of users. If you’re on a very tight budget, there’s no reason not to give this arm stand a try.
If you’re looking for a nice little home studio package that’s within the same boundaries price-wise as this arm mic stand, then give the Neewer NW-700 a look. It comes with a pop filter, an extra XLR cable, a condenser microphone and a 48v phantom power supply. All of this comes at a very reasonable price.
There are a handful of alternatives out there, but in my opinion, these are the best microphone boom arms on the market. In fact, the Rode PSA1 tops out the list as the best of the best. It’s a solidly built mic arm with a number of great features for any and all uses, especially if you don’t have the room for a standing microphone stand.
All of the mic suspension boom arms on this list are great in their own way. The PSA1 just has a long reputation of being a favorite.
In any regard, I hope this list has provided you some useful information. As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or concerns.