While not a requirement for every podcaster, a good podcast mic stand can be a helpful thing to have in your recording setup–and can even improve your audio quality. A stand helps keep the microphone in the right place, ensuring your sound quality is as high as possible. The right stand also helps you avoid strain on your arms and neck during long recording sessions.
This guide breaks down the types of mic stands, the best ones for podcasters, and how to pick the right one for your own setup!
Note: Unsure if you want a stand? Check out this video with Tim Ferris using a handheld mic attached to his Zoom recorder. This is an excellent alternative to a more traditional setup.
Types of Microphone Stands
Microphone stands come in a variety of types. But the industry standards in podcasting are the desktop stand and boom arm models. Let’s break these options down.
#1. Desktop Mic Stands
Desktop mic stands can include tripod stands and base stands and are best for podcasters who want a lightweight and compact setup that can be quickly set up or taken down. They are also best for podcasters who don't need the flexibility of a boom-arm mic stand or who are looking for a more affordable option.
These mic stands are designed to sit on a desk or table. They usually have adjustable legs for different heights and angles. While they are lightweight, compact, and can be quickly set up or taken down, they aren’t always as adjustable as other stands, so you may need to experiment with positioning the mic to get the best sound.
- Most affordable
- Compact, light, and portable
- Harder to adjust on the fly
- Need to make sure you get the right height so you don’t have to hunch
#2. Boom Stands
Boom arms are best for podcasters who want a professional studio setup and who like the convenience (and the aesthetic) of the adjustable arm. The boom arm stands let you easily make more exact adjustments in order to get the best sound quality.
Microphone boom stands are usually heavier than desktop stands and require more effort to set up, making them better suited for those who don’t need the convenience of a compact mic stand.
These stands allow you to position your microphone in any direction, allowing for a more flexible setup. They’re heavier than desktop stands, a bit more expensive, and require slightly more effort to set up. But they’re worth it if you’re looking for versatility.
- Professional look (great for video podcasters)
- Can make small adjustments on the fly very easily
- More expensive
- Slightly more involved set up
Now that we’ve reviewed the types of mic stands that are best for podcasters, let’s go over the top 10 mics in both these categories so you can decide which one is the best fit for you.
Top 10 best microphone stands
Here are the highest-quality options for both boom arms and tabletop stands.
Best boom arms:
The Rode PSA1 ($99)
This broadcast-quality boom is made specifically for podcasters and is perfect for a professional-looking, convenient studio setup. The sturdy design also ensures that your mic will stay secure during recordings which is especially important if you have a heavier condenser mic.
- 360-degree rotation
- 3/8" to 5/8" inch adapter included
- supports mics that weigh between 1.5 and 2.4 lbs
While you can use other mics with this boom arm, it was designed specifically for the RODE Procaster and the RODE Podcaster.
Heil PL-2T ($109)
The Heil is a solid second choice for a heavy-duty, podcasting-friendly boom arm. Like the RODE, podcasters like it for its durability and ability to hold up heavier mics. However, some users say they’ve had trouble with looseness and the boom arm not staying in position. We think the RODE is the better option of the two.
- Internal spring tension that helps reduce noise when moving
- Designed without velcro straps to enhance the visual appeal for video podcasters
- Comes with the Heil C-clamp mount, but you can purchase other adapters for different mounts if you prefer a different one.
Blue Compass ($96.93)
The Blue Compass is a boom arm made by Yeti. It's compatible with most microphones and holds a weight of up to 3.5 lbs. It features a hidden cable channel with cable clips, so your work area is free from a mess of cables and chords. The flexible joints can be adjusted to any angle and locked in place.
The boom arm gets a 4.4 rating on Amazon. Most podcasters report that it does the job just fine and is a great option if you're on a budget.
The Blue Compass comes with:
- 1 extension tube
- 1 mic clamp
- 1 3/8" to 5/8" adapter
- 4 cable clips
- 2 handheld screw tools
Best budget options:
Samson MB26 26" ($39.99)
The Samson MBA26 is a great budget boom arm that can hold up to 4 lbs. It's made of steel, so it's a bit heavier than the RODE and the Heil, but users report that it still has good functionality and exceptional sturdiness.
- Comes with a 5/8" threaded mount
- Easy to assemble and use
- Includes a cable management clip for cord organization
InnoGear Mic Arm ($20.99)
This ultra-affordable universal mic arm has a 3.3 lb capacity with built-in cable channels. It gets high marks from podcasters for being easy to adjust and for swiveling smoothly. There are occasional complaints about the scream lock being finicky, but most recommend it as an excellent entry-level budget boom arm.
Best tabletop mic stands:
The Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 ($39.99)
The Gator Frameworks is a hybrid between a boom and a tabletop stand. It’s got a telescopic boom arm which makes it easy to make precise height adjustments, and it also has the convenience of the low maintenance setup of a desktop stand. Another point in its favor: it's a multi-purpose mic, so it's great for podcasters who are also musicians and want a stand that can record both you and a drum kit if needed.
Other stand features:
- Weighted base
- Cable management clip
- No slip vibration reducing gasket
The MAONO kit is perfect for beginner podcasters who want an all-in-one setup without having to buy each thing separately. This option features an entire mic kit with a professional handheld dynamic mic, an adjustable stand, a shock mount, and a pop filter. The mic has USB and XLR connections, and the kit comes with cables for each connection and a generous 24-month warranty.
Best budget options:
On-Stage DS7200B ($16.99)
This versatile desktop stand is compatible, sturdy, and stable and is a popular choice among podcasters. Despite its price point, users report that it's well-made and easy to adjust the height and position of the stand. The stand's height ranges from 9"-13" with a clutch that locks in the setting.
InnoGear Desktop Mic Stand ($15.99)
The InnoGear is virtually the same as the On Stage but stands slightly higher with a range of 10.6"-15.4". If you're a bit taller, this could be an important detail so you don't have to hunch during recordings.
Instead of a clip, this stand has a screw-in feature that locks in the height tighter than a clutch can. So if you're a taller podcaster, this option could help you not have to hunch during recordings.
Mictop Desktop Mic ($14.99)
The Mictop is the most affordable stand on the market and gets consistently high rankings for being a convenient, no-nonsense, high-quality stand. This tripod mic stand is perfect for podcasters who travel or just want a minimal recording setup. It is compatible with most dynamic mics as well as XLR mics like the Rode Podmic, Blue Yeti, and Shure MV7.
Tips for choosing the best microphone stands
Getting a stand is one of the easiest things to shop for as a podcaster, but there are some things to keep in mind:
- Check microphone compatibility. Before you purchase a microphone stand, make sure it can fit and support the microphone that you’re using. Some stands are only compatible with certain mics, or they might not be able to hold the weight of heavier mics.
- Ensure sturdiness (if you have a heavy mic). If you’re using a heavy mic like a condenser mic, you’ll want to make sure that the stand can support it. Boom mic stands are usually more sturdy than desktop stands, but you’ll want to double-check the weight capacity before you purchase.
- Adjustability. Consider how adjustable the mic stand is. If you’re looking for more flexibility, a boom arm might be better suited for your needs. But if you just need a lightweight, compact stand for your desktop setup, you might be better off with a basic tabletop mic stand. Some brands, like Atlas Sound, have desktop stands that are a fixed height, which we don’t recommend.
- Don't go too cheap. Typically, you get what you pay for. While it might be tempting to go with an ultra-cheap mic stand, you may end up dealing with more issues and have to replace it due to a lack of overall build quality.
Tips for using your mic stand to ensure top-quality audio
For the most part, using your stand is pretty straightforward, especially if you're using a tabletop stand. However, good mic technique and stand positioning are important if you want to avoid "plosives" and other sounds that could detract from the quality of your content.
Follow these tips to get the best audio:
- Set the height of the mic stand appropriately. You should be able to speak into the mic without having to strain your neck or arms. Also, make sure the stand is stable so your mic doesn't shift or pull the stand down during the recording (specifically important for boom arms). If this is an issue with your boom arm, here are a few tips to stabilize it.
- Position the mic and stand at least 12 inches away from you. Having some distance between you and your mic helps to minimize "plosives" and other unwanted noises that could detract from your content. You can also use a pop filter to reduce unwanted sounds or excessive sensitivity in your mic--if positioning it farther away isn't enough.
- Experiment with different angles. It can be helpful to experiment with different angles and heights to get the best sound quality for your recording. You may need to adjust your mic stand and position depending on what type of recording you're doing, such as interviews or solo recordings.
A quality mic stand can make an impact on your recordings, but don’t be too stressed about getting the perfect one! Most of them can be adjusted to suit your needs, and even an inexpensive one can get the job done just fine.
Just getting started with your podcast? Check out our How to Start a Podcast Guide to get started the most efficient way!