Best podcasting gear

Best Microphone Boom Arms 2021 – Guide for All Budgets


A mic stand is an essential accessory you need for comfortable work and recording. After years of working with different stands, I can definitely say that microphone boom arms are the best for this.

Best microphone boom arms are built from premium, lightweight materials, and are internally dampened for silent operations. They rotate at a 360-degree angle and allow for easy positioning of even heavy microphones. A good mic boom should have a robust clamp and a cable management system.

Here are TOP 5 mic booms available on the market right now:

Those are my thoroughly tested recommended microphone boom arms if you are looking for quick recommendations.

Below you can find a detailed explanation of why those are the best, along with some alternatives.

What is a Microphone Boom Arm?

A microphone boom arm is a type of mic stand. It is attached to a desk with a mounting clamp and has a 360-degree rotation. Most arms weigh c.a. 3-5 pounds (1.4-2.3kg) with a flexible arm extension of c.a. 39’’ (1m). Higher-quality stands have quiet springs and support mics up to 2.6lbs (1.2kg).

What do you get when buying a boom arm?

When buying, in the box you will find:

  • Boom arm,
  • 5/8 to 3/8 adapter to mount different microphones,
  • Desk mount clamp – most clamps can attach to surfaces 2-3 inches (51-76 mm) thick,
  • Threaded desk mount (optional) – to mount your stand to a desk that has a cutout,
  • Wall mount (optional) – to screw a microphone to a table, wall, ceiling, or other surfaces,
  • Cable management (optional) – with cheap boom arms you just have to wrap your cable around it, other manufacturers will throw in a few cable clips, and the best boom arms have cable holders with nicely integrated cable trays.

What is the difference between basic and premium mic booms?

A best microphone boom arm will be built using more robust materials and using a more precise construction process. You can expect better longevity and quieter work when changing arm position. Often you will also find cable holders as a cable management system.

Most springs used in boom arms can start squeaking with time. Make sure you have easy access to them, just in case they need a few drops of WD-40, to return them back to working quietly. Use it as soon as you notice a louder performance or less smooth handling.

Is a microphone boom arm worth it?

As a general rule microphone boom arm is the best solution if you record at your desk. They are great to lock in a position and enjoy the comfort of work, with a clean desk setup. They provide a safe and flexible work environment for your mic and look professional if you record videos or stream.

What are the benefits of a microphone boom arm?

  • Easy to mount using a desk clamp,
  • Solid permanent grip – no risk of toppling the stand and damaging the mic,
  • Flexible, 360-degree rotatable boom arms allow for a high comfort of work,
  • Clean set up – the booms arm doesn’t occupy space on your desk,
  • Compact size – simple to detach and store safely.
  • Ability to mount to wall or ceiling,
  • Great price to value when compared to heavy base stands or standing tripods.

What should I look for in a microphone arm?

When looking for the best microphone boom arm make sure it can safely hold your mic (check max capacity). Make sure if threads are compatible and if the mount clamp is wide enough to attach to your desk. Boom’s arm max reach is important for work comfort. Cable management is a nice to have feature.

10 steps process for buying a microphone boom arm:

  1. Always pick a recording mic first – you need to know its parameters,
  2. Check if the boom arm supports the weight of your mic,
  3. Make sure your mic and boom have compatible connectors or come with an adaptor,
  4. Pick the safe location where you will clamp your mic (mounting clamp can leave a visible mark on furniture),
  5. Measure the thickness of your desk and check if the clamp on your boom can be attached,
  6. Check if the boom’s max arm extension will allow for comfortable work,7
  7. Get a boom with cable management (holders or straps),
  8. Avoid mic booms with fixed XLR cables,
  9. Buy in places where you are offered 30 days return to have time for testing,
  10. Set it up and test thoroughly (clamp, springs, etc.) – cheaper boom units sometimes can be faulty.

Best Microphone Boom Arms – Premium Arms ($100+)

Rode PSA1+Blue Compass PremiumGator Frameworks
series 4000
Heil Sound PL-2T
Consumer rating5 of 54.4 of 54.4 of 54.3 of 5
PSA1+blue compassgator frameworks series 4000heil sound pl-2t
LxWxH37 x 3.94 x 2.6 in
940 x 100 x 65 mm
43.9 x 2 x 2.5 in
1115 x 51 x 63.6 mm
44.13 x 6.75 x 3.75 in
1120 x 171 x 95 mm
23.9 x 7.25 x 2.5 in
607 x 184 x 63.5 mm
Arm weight3.35 lbs
1.52 kg
2.98 lbs
1.35 kg
4.2 lbs
1.9 kg
5 lbs
2.27 kg
Max load2.65 lbs
1.2 kg
2.4 lbs
1.1 kg
4.4 lbs
2 kg
2.5 lbs
1.1 kg
Max table clamp2.76 in
70 mm
2.5 in
63.5 mm
2.17 in
55 mm
1.5 in
38 mm
Boom max reach37 in
940 mm
32 in
813 mm
32.25 in
819 mm
20 in
508 mm
Cable managementyesyesyesyes
check pricecheck pricecheck pricecheck price

On average you need to spend $130 for a premium microphone boom arm. For that price you will receive a high-quality product, that is quiet to operate, can safely hold your mic, and is made with premium materials.

1. Rode PSA1+

the best microphone boom arm - premium psa1 plus

Rode PSA1+ debuted in 2021 and quickly took one of the top places in the premium mic boom arms category. It is priced very competitively and is the recommended best microphone boom arm right now.

Pros

  • Clean professional look, with hidden springs,
  • Dampened internal springs greatly isolate outside noises,
  • Neoprene protective sleeve, looks and field nice, it isolates from the cold metal making the product look more friendly and approachable,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a very wide desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a threaded desk insert – for desks with a cutout, geared for more professional use,
  • Easy to operate cable management solution,
  • Solid build, looks premium, but is not too heavy to handle,
  • Great boom max reach of 37 inches (940 mm) for maximum comfortable work.

Con

  • Neoprene sleeve looks to be put on very solid – I haven’t figured out an easy way to remove it without damaging it, in case of any maintenance would be needed.

2. Blue Compass Premium Arm

the best microphone boom arm - design blue compass

Blue Compass Premium Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm is a great premium mic arm. It looks very clean for video recording and streaming and is mainly designed for overhead use.

From the design perspective, this is the best-looking microphone boom arm.

Usage recommendation: this boom arm is recommended if you mainly plan to record with a mic hanging from above (like in the picture). It was balanced mainly for this use, which means if you plan to position your mic, below your mouth, you might find it difficult to position it permanently. Many users have reported difficulty with balancing this mic, with non-overhead positioning.

It comes with its base elevated and is unfolded inside the box – both elements point to the fact it was designed for overhead use. 

Pros

  • Clean professional look, with hidden springs,
  • Discrete product branding, not too distracting for the viewers if you are using it for videos or streaming,
  • Well built hinges and internally hidden springs allow for quiet operation,
  • Super light, weighing only 2.98 pounds (1.35 kg) is easy to use at the same time supporting heavy mics,
  • Good C-clamp, with wide 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) grab,
  • Great cable management system, with a hidden channel,
  • Good boom max reach of 30 inches (813 mm) allowing for comfortable work.

Con

  • Designed for overhead use – trying to position the arm to hold your mic very low may cause stability issues.

3. Gator Frameworks series 4000

premium mic boom arm gator frameworks series 4000

Unlike the series 3000, which for some reason has a fixed built-in integrated XLR cable, the series 4000 doesn’t have this flaw, that should not be a feature of a professional mic.

Usage recommendation: just like the Blue Compass Premium this mic was designed for overhead use, so trying to position your mic lower may cause you problems.

Pros

  • Clean professional look, with hidden springs,
  • Dampened internal springs greatly isolate outside noises,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a narrow desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a fixed surface mount,
  • Easy to operate cable management solution,
  • Solid build, looks premium, but is very heavy,
  • Good boom max reach of 32,25 inches (819 mm) allowing for comfortable work,
  • 70mm mic threads at boom end – allowing for easy overhead use,
  • It comes equipped with a removable 10’ (3m) XLR cable – some users report poor performance, but the fact that you can easily swap it for your own cable is a plus,
  • LED lights might add visual interest if you are recording videos or streaming.

Con

  • Price,
  • This desk mount is quite heavy with 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg),
  • Designed for overhead use – trying to position the arm to hold your mic very low may cause stability issues.

4. Heil Sound PL-2T

premium mic boom arm heil sound pl-2t

This is the best, small microphone boom arm. I recommend it if you are recording in a tight space. The features of this mic have to be assessed in the context of its compact size – to function well in tight space, the mic was made small, but heavy to provide balance. The arm’s reach is also not great, but it is good enough to work if you don’t have a lot of space.

Pros

  • Best for recording in a tight location,
  • Compact size – to offset this small size and provide stability the arm is very heavy at 5 pounds (2.27 kg),
  • Dampened internal springs greatly isolate outside noises,
  • Great cable management solution – the device features removable back and top plates, allowing you to attach your XLR cable and hide it for a very clean look,
  • Limited max reach of c.a. 20 inches (508 mm) for the comfort of work in a small environment.

Con

  • The top arm is now one element, which is something expected from most premium arms – looks a bit cheap,
  • The desk clamp is very narrow, allowing you to grab surfaces up to 1.5 inches (38 mm).

Best Standard Microphone Boom Arms (between $50 – $100)

Rode PSA1On-Stage. MBS7500 ProGator Frameworks series 2000Samson MBA38
Consumer rating4.7 of 54.3 of 54.4 of 54.6 of 5
PSA1onstage mbs7500gator frameworks series 2000samson mba38
LxWxH23 x 3.5 x 2.5 in
584 x 89 x 64 mm
23 x 3 x 7 in
584 x 76 x 177 mm
22.25 x 7 x 1.6 in
565 x 177 x 40 mm
22.4 x 7.1 x 1.6 in
570 x 180 x 39 mm
Arm weight3.84 lbs
1.74 kg
3.8 lbs
1.7 kg
3.2 lbs
1.5 kg
4.97 lbs
2.25 kg
Max load2.4 lbs
1.1 kg
3.5 lbs
1.59 kg
2.4 lbs
1.1 kg
5 lbs
2.3 kg
Max table clamp2.76 in
70 mm
2 in
50 mm
2.17 in
55 mm
3 in
76 mm
Boom max reach33 in
840 mm
38 in
965 mm
38.6 in
980 mm
38 in
965 mm
Cable managementno (straps)nonono
check pricecheck pricecheck pricecheck price

More recommended choices::

  • K&M 23840K&M produces fantastic music equipment, but sometimes they are hard to find in the US. K&M is especially recommended if you are located in Europe, where their stuff is much easier to find.
  • Knox Gear 38’’ Microphone Studio Stand (check current price) is on the low-end of the mid-tier mic boom arms. It is ok to purchase if it is on sale, or if you are on a tight budget.

1. PSA1

best microphone boom arm below $100 rode psa1

Rode PSA1 is an industry standard microphone boom arm. It is an extremely popular choice and will serve you well if your setup is just right for PSA1 weight requirements. It is the best microphone boom arm in the mid-tier category.

Warning! Usage recommendation: Supports only microphones weighing between 700g (1.5lb) and 1.1kg (2.4lb) when combined with shock mount – it is not balanced to support mics outside of this range, so make sure it supports your devices before you buy it, otherwise, it won’t work correctly.

Pros

  • Good quality springs working silently (easy to maintain),
  • Solid design and high-quality materials,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a very wide desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a small threaded desk insert,
  • Simple cable management based on included velcro straps,
  • Good boom max reach of 33 inches (840 mm) for comfortable work.

Con

  • Some users experience metal-on-metal grinding (make sure you buy from a good source in case you might need a replacement).

2. On-Stage MBS7500 Professional Studio Microphone Boom Arm

best microphone boom arm - price to quality onstage mbs7500

On-Stage MBS7500 Pro Boom Arm is my favorite alternative to the RODE PSA1. In many cases, both boom arms are extremely similar. The arm length and arm weight are similar, although the max reach on MBS7500 is longer. 

The On-Stage MBS7500 declares a higher supported max load, but I wouldn’t test that limit in the long run if you care about the longevity of the product. PSA1 also has a wider clamp which can make installation easier. 

Usage recommendation: mic arm designed for overhead use, so trying to position your mic lower may cause you problems.

Pros

  • Clean look, with hidden springs,
  • Solid design and high-quality materials,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a narrow desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a fixed surface mount,
  • Very good boom max reach of 38 inches (965 mm) allowing for comfortable work.

Con

  • No cable management,
  • Designed for overhead use – trying to position the arm to hold your mic very low may cause stability issues.

3. Gator Frameworks series 2000

boom arm gator frameworks series 2000

Gator Frameworks products are generally of good quality, but the company design decisions are sometimes surprising.

Out of 4 mic boom arms in their lineup, two products are disqualified due to having fixed, built-in XLR cable (series 1000 and series 3000). 

Thankfully the series 2000 and 4000 do not have that flaw and can be easily recommended.

Usage recommendation: just like the Gator Frameworks series 4000, this mic ar was designed for overhead use, so trying to position your mic lower may cause you problems.

Pros

  • Clean look, with hidden springs,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a narrow desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a fixed surface mount,
  • Very good boom max reach of 38.6 inches (980 mm) allowing for comfortable work.

Con

  • No cable management,
  • Designed for overhead use – trying to position the arm to hold your mic very low may cause stability issues.

4. Samson MBA38

boom arm samson mba38

Samson MBA38 is a perfect mid-tier microphone boom arm. It is affordable and can hold very heavy mics at the same time, It is available in 4 max arm reach options so you can pick the best one for your location requirements.

Pros

  • Clean look, with hidden springs,
  • Two mounting attachments inside the box – a narrow desk clamp for smaller studio use, and a flange surface mount – for permanent surface installation (desk, wall),
  • Very good boom max reach of 38 inches (965 mm) allowing for comfortable work,
  • Very wide clamp allowing it to mount on very thick desks (3 inches / 76 mm),
  • There are 4 available choices of maximum arm reach including 18″, 28″, 38″, and 48″ – the 18 inches option is not recommended, due to lower build, and 48 inches is probably too big for most setups. 38 inches boom arm is the sweet spot, and should meet most needs,
  • This boom arm can support very heavy microphones up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg) – it is a result of using a heavy steel construction, as the arm weighs 4.97 pounds (2.25 kg).

Con

  • Poor cable management – it comes with only 2 velcro straps – it is not enough for clean cable management,
  • It is very heavy (to offset the max load),
  • Some units are stiff to handle, so after you put them into a position it will require a lot of strength to move.

Best Cheap Microphone Boom Arms (below $50)

InnoGear Heavy Duty Mic ArmTONOR Suspension Mic StandInnoGear Upgraded Mic StandNeewer Scissor Stand
Consumer rating4.6 of 54.6 of 54.5 of 54.3 of 5 
innogear heavy duty armtonor suspension arminnogear suspensio armneewer scissor arm
LxWxH17.3 x 8.1 x 2.0 in
440 x 206 x 51 mm
16.1 x 6.6 x 3.9 in
408 x 169 x 98 mm
15 x 1.5 x 4 in
381 x 38 x 102 mm
16.3 x 4.7 x 2.2 in
414 x 119 x 56 mm
Arm weight3.3 lbs
1.49 kg
1.8 lbs
0.81 kg
1.35 lbs
0.61 kg
1.17 lbs
0.53 kg
Max load3.5 lbs
1.59 kg
4 lbs
1.8 kg
3.3 lbs
1.49 kg
2.2 lbs
1 kg
Max table clamp2 in
50 mm
2.4 in
60 mm
2 in
50 mm
1.85 in
47 mm
Boom max reach28 in
711 mm
27.6 in
700 mm
20 in
508 mm
23 in
584 mm
Cable managementno (5 straps)no (4 straps)nono
check pricecheck pricecheck pricecheck price
Max load is provided by producers. We recommend using light microphones on those stands, especially if the arm weight is below 2lbs (1 kg).

The low-cost category of microphone boom arms contains products that are not the best in terms of durability or silent work. You won’t find features here like premium design with hidden springs or cable management systems. They will do the basic job but satisfaction is not always guaranteed. 

Buying these products you may receive an uneven quality, as some booms from the same manufacturers are built better, while others have more defects.

Generally, I do not recommend buying those products, especially if you already have a more expensive microphone. In this situation, this is not a good place to look for savings.

1. InnoGear Heavy Duty Mic Arm

the best microphone boom arm -cheap innogear heavy arm

This is the best microphone boom arm that you can find below $50. Design-wise, it looks, like the creators were inspired by the success of PSA1. 

Pros

  • Clean design, resembling more expensive boom arms,
  • Built-in spring,
  • The heaviest out of all the low-cost boom arms, weighing 3.3 pounds (1.49 kg),
  • A heavy weight allows it to easily support heavier mics, without too much stress on the entire construction,
  • A good boom max reach of 28 inches (711 mm) provides comfort at work,
  • There are 2 available choices of maximum arm reach including 28″ and 38″ – both are good choices looking from the perspective of the optimum work set up,
  • Despite the lack of a cable management system, the 5 cable straps allow for a clean setup.

Con

  • The price puts it almost in the mid-tier category,
  • Some units experience very limited motion with the lower arm – make sure you move it a bit in your hands before putting the stand together. 

2. TONOR Adjustable Suspension Boom Scissor Mic Stand

cheap mic boom arm tonor suspension arm

This TONOR’s boom arm starts the series of low-cost, low-weight boom arms. It is decent for lighter mics, but I wouldn’t put heavier mics on it, despite the advertised capabilities.

TONOR’s boom arm is advertised to support heavy microphones up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg) – although due to the overall low weight of this boom of 1.8 lbs (0.81 kg) I recommend it for a low weight mics.

Pros

  • Wide clamp allowing it to mount on very thick desks (2.4 inches / 60 mm),
  • The clamp has a wide base for more secure mounting – it has 4 times larger contact areas. 
  • Headset hook integrated into the C-clamp device,
  • Comes with a set of additional accessories: 1 x mic clip, 1 x pop filter, 1 x foam cover, 4 x cable straps,
  • Decent arm max reach for a low-cost boom of 27,6 inches (700 mm),

Con

  • Design with visible springs,
  • Inconsistent build quality between individual units.

3. InnoGear Upgraded Microphone Suspension Stand

cheap mic boom arm innogear suspension stand

InnoGear Upgraded Microphone Suspension Stand is probably the best out of all the below $20 mic boom arms. Which is not a very competitive category filled with high-quality products. My general recommendation is to buy only if you see no other option, but you should plan the purchase of a boom arm to buy more reliable equipment.

InnoGear’s boom arm is advertised to support heavy microphones up to 3.3 pounds (1.49 kg) – although due to the overall low weight of this boom of 1.35 lbs (0.61 kg) I recommend it for a low weight mics.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable,
  • Very light at 1.35 pounds (0.61 kg) for potential mobile set up,
  • Compact size for working in a small location,
  • Comes equipped with a mic clip – with a max diameter of 1.3″/32mm, suitable for many microphones like Shure SM58, Samson Q2U, Shure PGA48 – the boom arm is optimized to work with those kinds of low weight mics.

Con

  • Design with visible springs,
  • Inconsistent build quality between individual units,
  • Only recommended for cheaper, low-weight mics.

4. Neewer 40063970 Scissor Arm Stand

cheap mic boom arm neewer scissor arm

Neewer 40063970 Scissor Arm Stand and the InnoGear Suspension Stand are very similar devices. Despite some differences in the parameters (arm weight, max load, etc.) The same observations and general verdict apply.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable,
  • Very light at 1.17 pounds (0.53 kg) for potential mobile set up,
  • Compact size for working in a small location,
  • Comes equipped with a mic clip – with a max diameter of 1.26″/32mm, suitable for many microphones like Shure SM58, Samson Q2U, Shure PGA48 – the boom arm is optimized to work with those kinds of low weight mics.

Con

  • Design with visible springs,
  • Inconsistent build quality between individual units,
  • Only recommended for cheaper, low-weight mics.

Best Microphone Boom Arms with Built-In XLR cables

In general, I recommend anyone to get a boom arm without a built-in XLR cable. Those cables are permanently built-in and you cannot remove them without damaging them (cutting the XLR connector).

The quality of calves also varies. In general, you should get a premium XLR cable for your recording setup. Here is a full guide on finding and buying the best XLR cables.

Here are the top 5 mic boom arms with built-in XLR cables.

What are alternatives to having a boom arm?

Here is a guide with an overview of all types of microphone stands. You will find their details regarding:

  • Tripod Stands – This is the most common design available. Tripod stands are general-purpose stands- perhaps that is why they are so prolific. You can use them for a variety of tasks. 
  • Tripod Boom Stands – A tripod boom stand has a long boom arm, which gives the stand a longer reach. For musicians, particularly instrumentalists, this can be the best podcasting microphone stand they are searching for.
  • Round Base Stands – As the name suggests, these stands have a round base. They are great for stage performers like singers or stand-up comics, as these stands occupy less space on the floor, and the artiste is unlikely to trip over it. 
  • Low Profile Stands – A low profile stand can hold the mic at a lower position. It is commonly used for guitar cabs, kick drums, etc. 
  • Desktop Stands – A small stand that can be conveniently placed on your work desk. It can be the best podcasting mic stand for podcasters who record at home or prefer to record while sitting.
  • Overhead Stands – These stands are used when the mic needs to be positioned at greater heights or very different angles. Overhead stands are more expensive as compared to other stands.
Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821K&M 21090
Telescopic Boom
K&M 21021
TypeDesk heavy baseStanding tripodOverhead tripod
Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821K&M Telescopic BoomK&M 21021
Height23 in
58 cm
35.5 in to 63.1 in
90 to 160 cm
43.3 in to 79.5 in
110 to 202 cm
Boom length16 in
40.7 cm
30.25 in
76.8 cm
41.92 in
106.5 cm
Weight7 lbs
3.2 kg
7.2 lbs
3.3 kg
13.23 lbs
5.9 kg
check pricecheck pricecheck price

In Conclusion

Best microphone boom arms are built from premium, lightweight materials, and are internally dampened for silent operations. 

They rotate at a 360-degree angle and allow for easy positioning of even heavy microphones. A good mic boom should have a robust clamp and a cable management system.

There are 3 main quality/price tiers for the best mic boom arms:

  • Premium tier – with the best quality, starting at $100. This is my favorite class of boom arms, especially if you are using a premium microphone, then you want it to be secure and easy to operate, 
  • Mid-tier – that offers some of the qualities of the premium tier, but usually is made with less precision – here you will find booms between $50-$100
  • Budget option – anything below $50 can be considered the best budget mic boom arm. This is a tricky category, but in general, buy those only if you have to, and use lighter mics, despite what product specs tell you.

The final recommendation is to buy a boom arm and XLR cable separately, as some of the fixed cables sold with swivels are often not the best quality.

What is the boom arm you are currently using for your microphone?

About the Author

Chris Land

I'm the owner and creator of ImprovePodcast.com, the site dedicated to providing actionable solutions for podcast creators. My goal is helping people to develop their podcasts into effective marketing and sales tools.


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