Five Best Microphone Boom Arms (Budget To Pro)

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Mounting a microphone ensures that you will not accidentally record handling noise and allows hands-free recording.

There are a variety of methods to mount microphones, but boom arms are widely considered the most ergonomic and convenient way to do so.

Tutorials, podcasting, vlogs, and desk videos are some of the many different situations boom arms are used, and as these styles of content become increasingly popular, a variety of manufacturers have begun designing their own makes and models.

Often it can be difficult to differentiate between prices and quality, however, I have selected five of the best boom arms at varying price points on the market today.

If you are familiar with boom arms or have used them in the past, feel free to skip to the end of the article to see our suggestions.

However, if you are a bit unsure about what these are, when to use them, or how, the next couple sections will briefly get you up to speed.

What Are Boom Arms?

In this article, I will be discussing desk-mountable suspension boom arms.

Boom arm microphone stands typically function by clamping on to a desk and the arms themselves can pivot via three joints, enabling you to push and pull the microphone in nearly any direction.

There are springs supporting the arm, allowing the microphone to stay wherever it was moved to without the need for tightening screws.

Why Use a Boom Arm?

There are many benefits of having a boom arm on your desk.

Outside of eliminating handling noise and freeing your hands, these mounts free up a lot of space.

And because they clamp onto only a small section of the desk and being able to swivel boom arms keep your microphone out of the way until it is needed.

Take advantage of the Proximity Effect for a nice Radio Voice-Over

For filmmakers, in particular, boom arms assist in recording clear audio and can be super helpful if you do a lot of voice-overs.

Being able to get your microphone close to your mouth will help you eliminate the reverb from your room, which is important if you want good sounding audio.

Another benefit of having your microphone close to your mouth is that you’ll take advantage of what is known as the ‘proximity effect‘.

In short, the proximity effect gives your voice a bass boost, so your voice gets some of that nice deep radio voice sound that sounds awesome on podcasts, voice-overs, vlogs, and tutorials.

Keep Things Tidy and in Order for a Streamlined Work Flow

A lot of boom arms have cable management systems that help organize wires. In other words, they can help you keep your desk tidy.

Also, being hands-free allows you to scroll through your script while reading and move around when recording.

Though this sounds like a small thing, having to lean into a microphone while recording can affect the voice-over performance. Being as comfortable as possible while reading is important and often overlooked.

If any of these forms of content are things you produce or are planning on producing, I would strongly suggest picking up a boom arm and seeing how it feels.

The Five Best Boom Arms

There are countless boom arms on the market at a variety of prices, making it very difficult to know what to purchase.

In order to expedite that process, I have selected five of the best models on the market from budget to professional quality.

The following boom arms all have their strengths and weaknesses, but will be a safe bet for most filmmakers.

However, it is important to note the weight and mount of the microphone you will be using. Since these boom arms rely on spring suspension, certain models have lower load capacities than others.

The specs are listed for each model but double-check your microphone’s weight and any accessories you may use.

1. Neewer NB-35 Suspension Boom Arm

Weight: 0.84 kg / 1.85 lbs

Load Capacity: 1 kg / 2.2 lbs

Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread / Handheld Microphones

Clamp Size: 4.5 cm / 1.7 in

Strengths: The Neewer NB-35 is an extremely budget-friendly boom arm and a great choice for those looking to experiment with using boom arms. It is capable of attaching to any desk under 1.7 inches and features a 5/8″ screw to attach your microphone. The NB-35 also comes with a mic clip holder, making most handheld microphones compatible.

Weaknesses: As an entry-level boom arm, there are some issues with sturdiness and durability. This boom arm can only support microphones under one kilogram of weight which means you will have to be careful about what microphones you use, especially if you have attachments such as a pop filter. The material is somewhat flimsy, so avoid over-tightening screws.

Description: If you are looking for an affordable boom arm that works with most microphones, the Neewer NB-35 is a great option. The 5/8″ thread and microphone clip give plenty of mounting options, and it can fit on most desks. Compared to professional quality boom arms, the NB-35 struggles to withhold its position and will feel much more flimsy.

Check the current price on Amazon

2. Heil Sound HB-1 Microphone Boom Arm

Weight: 1.45 kg / 3.2 lbs

Load Capacity: 1.13 kg / 2.5 lbs

Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread

Clamp Size: 3.81 cm / 1.5 in

Strengths: The Heil Sound HB-1 is another great boom arm for those on a low budget. It has a load capacity of 2.5 pounds, allowing for it to be used with most microphones. Functionally, this arm performs great and holds its position well if used within its limits.

Weaknesses: The desk clamp for the Heil Sound HB-1 is not very durable. It’s possible to purchase separate mounts, however, the included clamp is a bit flimsy and has trouble staying tight.

Description: The Heil Sound HB-1 is an affordable and overall sturdy boom arm for the price. The included desk clamp is flimsy and requires extra tightening, so it’s worth looking into separate mounting methods. Overall, this boom arm is a great choice for anyone looking for a boom arm without breaking the bank.

Check the current price on Amazon

3. Blue Compass Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm

Weight: 1.35 kg / 2.98 lbs

Load Capacity: 1.09 kg / 2.4 lbs

Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread (3/8″ Adapter Included)

Clamp Size: 6.35 cm / 2.5 in

Strengths: The Blue Compass Boom Arm is a durable desktop boom. It features internal springs and cable management, making it very clean and organized. There is a tension screw at the base which is necessary to know, otherwise, the arm may be either too tight or loose. It is also compatible with larger microphones such as the Blue Yeti.

Weaknesses: The biggest weakness with the Blue Compass Boom Arm is difficulty in setting it up. It can be difficult to adjust the tension to match the microphone. The springs used are very strong and can make it hard to use with lighter microphones.

Description: For larger microphones, the Blue Compass Boom Arm is a solid option. It is very clean, so if visuals are a consideration that is a plus. Setting the microphone up and adjusting it is difficult. If you plan on moving the boom arm often or swapping out microphones, this may not be the boom arm for you.

Check the current price on Amazon

4. The Rode PSA1 Studio Boom Arm

Weight: 1.74 kg / 3.84 lbs

Load Capacity: 0.70-1.1 kg / 1.5-2.4 lbs

Compatibility: 3/8″ Thread

Clamp Size: 5.1 cm / 2.0 in

Strengths: The Rode PSA1 is a very popular boom arm and with good reason. It has a solid build and can hold almost any microphone needed (though adapters may be required). Rode also manufactures a variety of products that pair seamlessly with their boom arm, including shock mounts. The PSA1 is quite painless to set up and you can be ready to record in no time.

Weaknesses: The biggest weakness is the 3/8″ thread. You may find yourself needing a 5/8″ adapter to attach your microphone which can make it feel loose or unsecured. Occasionally while moving the microphone there is some noise so take caution.

Description: The Rode PSA1 is clearly one of the most popular boom arms and with good reason. It is sturdy, able to hold almost any microphones securely. Be sure to know how your microphone will mount to the PSA1 and do not cut costs on an adapter.

Check the current price on Amazon

5. Heil Sound PL2T Overhead Studio Boom Arm

Weight: 1.81 kg / 4.0 lbs

Load Capacity: 1.6 kg / 3.5 lbs

Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread

Clamp Size: 7.0 cm / 2.76 in

Strengths: The Heil Sound PL2T is a sturdy boom arm, able to hold up to 3.5 pounds of weight. The moving parts are quiet and the overall build quality is very high. It is straightforward to set up, and a counterweight is included to allow usage with lighter microphones.

Weaknesses: The primary weakness with the PL2T is the clamp. If you plan on permanently mounting the boom arm to your desk this will not be a problem, however, the desk clamp is lower quality than the rest of the product. Though functional, a different method of mounting is suggested.

Description: The Heil Sound PL2T Boom Arm is a high-quality boom arm and a great option to take your recording to the next level. It is quiet, ergonomic, and can easily support most microphones with a shock mount and pop filter included. In order to get the most out of this product, it is suggested to mount it permanently or with a stronger clamp than what is included.

Check the current price on Amazon

Conclusion

From budget to professional models, listed above are five of the best boom arms offered on the market today. If you’re planning on recording audio in a home studio, or even your bedroom, a boom arm will definitely make your life and workflow easier.

In making the decision of which model to acquire, there are plenty of factors to consider. That said, microphone weight and mounting are two of the biggest things to understand to make sure that your boom arm operates as should.

Finally, there are some accessories worth looking into. In addition to permanent mounts for a desk, I’d suggest looking into shock mounts and pop filters to pair with your microphone. If you pick these up, add that weight to your microphone to make sure you don’t exceed the boom arm’s load capacity.

If there are any boom arms that stood out to you, let us know in the comments below which ones and why. If you already have a boom arm, then feel free to share your thoughts. We’re excited to hear about how you’re getting great audio!


Cade Taylor is a filmmaker and writer based out of Los Angeles. Originally from Seattle, he continues to work as the Outreach Coordinator for the Bigfoot Script Challenge, where he helps connect up-and-coming writers with industry professionals. When he’s not working on his own projects, helping out with Bigfoot, or covering desks, Cade loves to share what he knows with other filmmakers and promote great content.

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