Microphone Boom Arms Tailored for All Budgets (2023)

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DISCLOSURE: AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. READ THE FULL DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Mounting a microphone ensures you will not accidentally record handling noise and allows hands-free recording for YouTube voice-over, voice-acting work, and podcasts.

This is especially important with condenser microphones as they’re prone to pick up handling noises.

There are various methods of mounting microphones, but boom arms are widely considered the most ergonomic and convenient.

Below is a selection of curated microphone boom arms for video podcasts and voice-overs for all budgets.

1. The Rode PSA1 Studio Boom Arm – great quality at an affordable price

Specs:

  • 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
  • Horizontal Reach: 32″
  • Vertical Reach: 33″
  • Internal springs for quiet operation
  • Includes both threaded desk insert and standard desk mount clamp

Pros: The Rode PSA1 is a popular boom arm with good reason. It has a solid build and can hold almost any microphone needed (though adapters may be required).

Rode also manufactures products that pair seamlessly with their boom arm, including shock mounts. The Rode PSA 1 is relatively painless to set up, and you can be ready to record in no time.

Cons: The biggest weakness is the 3/8″ thread. You may need a 5/8″ adapter to attach your microphone, which can make it feel loose or unsecured.

Editors note: I can confirm that you need the 5/8″ adapter to pair this with a microphone like the Shure SM 7B, as I do.

I bought the Shure A26X 3″ Extension tube on Amazon, which is excellent for mounting the SM7B to the PSA1. See the photo below:

Shure A26X 3" extension tube with Shure SM7-B on the Rode PSA1

If you don’t, you can’t adjust the microphone position and fit an XLR cable simultaneously.

Other than that, I’m pleased with the Røde PSA microphone arm.

The horizontal and vertical reach are great, and I use this for creating video tutorials while sitting in front of my screen and standing up when recording voice-overs for client videos. It can also easily hold the SM7B mic.

Description: The Rode PSA1 is one of the most popular boom arms, and with good reason. It is sturdy and able to hold almost any microphone securely.

It comes with both a desk mount clamp and a threaded desk insert. Be sure to know how your microphone will mount to the PSA1, and do not cut costs on an adapter.

Verdict: It’s probably the best adjustable boom arm for home studio setups at this price point.

Check the current price on Amazon.

2. Neewer Boom Suspension Scissor Arm Stand – best budget-friendly white option

Specs:

  • 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
  • Maximum height: 31.5″ / 80cm
  • External springs
  • White steel frame

Pros: The Neewer Scissor arm stand is a highly budget-friendly boom arm and an excellent choice for those experimenting with using boom arms.

It can attach to any desk under 1.7 inches and features a 5/8″ screw to connect your microphone.

The scissor arm stand also has a mic clip holder, making most handheld microphones compatible.

Because it’s white, the Neewer scissor boom arm is also an excellent choice if you hate to look at all the dust that quickly settles black/dark studio gear.

Who makes these things anyway? Everyone knows content creation does rhyme with dusting!

Cons: As an entry-level boom arm, there are some issues with sturdiness and durability.

This boom arm can only support microphones under one kilogram, so you must 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: The Neewer scissor arm is a great option for an affordable boom arm that works with most microphones.

The 5/8″ thread and microphone clip have plenty of mounting options and can fit most desks.

Compared to professional quality boom arms, the scissor arm struggles to hold its position and will feel much more flimsy.

Verdict: Best choice for content creators on a tight budget who like a clean white look.

Check the current price on Amazon.

3. Heil Sound HB-1 Microphone Boom Arm – best affordable option if you need the extra weight-handling

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.45 kg / 2.5 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 1.13 kg / 2.5 lbs
  • Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread
  • Clamp Size: 3.81 cm / 1.5 in
  • Horizontal Reach: 40″
  • External springs
  • Steel construction

Pros: The Heil Sound HB-1 is another great boom arm for low-budget people. It has a load capacity of 2.5 pounds, allowing it to be used with most microphones.

Functionally, this arm performs excellently and positions well if used within its limits.

Cons: The desk clamp for the Heil Sound HB-1 is not very durable. It is flimsy and has trouble staying tight.

I suggest checking out the Heil DT-1, which fits into a 1.5″ drilled hole, or the FL-2 Flange Mount instead.

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.

Verdict: The Heil Sound HB-1 is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap boom arm but have a heavier microphone than the Neewer boom mic stand can handle.

Check the current price on Amazon.

4. Blue Compass Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm – best-looking mic boom arm

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.35 kg / 2.98 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 1.09 kg / 2.4 lbs
  • Max Horizontal Reach: 32″
  • Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread (3/8″ Adapter Included)
  • Clamp Size: 6.35 cm / 2.5 in
  • Full 360-degree rotation
  • Standard C-clamp mount
  • Friction Hinges
  • Aluminum construction

Pros: The Blue Compass Boom Arm is a durable desktop boom. It features internal springs and cable management, making it clean and organized.

It is also compatible with larger microphones such as the Blue Yeti. It also pairs nicely with the Blue Radius III shock mount.

Cons: The biggest weakness of the Blue Compass Boom Arm is that it’s a bit difficult to set up. Adjusting the tension to match the microphone can be difficult. The springs are firm, making it hard to use with lighter microphones.

Also, it doesn’t come with a desk-insert mount as standard.

Description: The Blue Compass Boom Arm is a solid option for larger microphones. It is very clean, so if visuals are a consideration, that is a plus. That’s especially true because it has cable management inside the adjustable arm—no cable ties!

Setting the microphone up and adjusting it can be difficult. If you plan on moving the boom arm often or swapping out microphones, this may not be the boom arm for you.

There is a tension screw at the base, which is necessary to know. Otherwise, the arm may be either too tight or loose.

Verdict: The Blue Compass is a good boom arm if aesthetics are important to you. It has a clean look and is a top pick for live streaming.

Check the current price on Amazon.

5. Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Studio Boom Arm – best affordable option for setups over 1.1 kg

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.81 kg / 4.0 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 1.13 kg / 2.5 lbs
  • Compatibility: 5/8″ Thread
  • Clamp Size: 7.0 cm / 2.76 in
  • Internal springs
  • Covered cable channels

Pros: The Heil Sound PL2T is a heavy-duty boom arm that can hold up to 3.5 pounds of weight. The moving parts are quiet, and the overall build quality is high.

It also features a sleek design, including covered cable channels, which removes the cable clutter and the need for velcro straps and internal springs.

It is straightforward to set up, and a counterweight is included to allow lighter microphones to be used.

Cons: The primary weakness of the Heil PL-2T 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 of lower quality than the rest. Again, I suggest you look into the Heil DT-1 that fits into a 1.5″ drilled hole, the FL-2 Flange Mount – or maybe even the WM-1 Wall Mount.

Description: The Heil Sound PL2T Boom Arm is a high-quality option for taking your recording to the next level.

It is quiet, ergonomic, and can easily support most microphones with a shock mount and pop filter included.

To get the most out of this product, it is suggested that you mount it permanently or with a stronger clamp than the one included.

Verdict: Best option if you have a heavy microphone.

Check the current price on Amazon.


Buyer’s Guide: What Are Boom Arms?

Best boom arm podcasting vlogging

A microphone boom arm is a device that holds your microphone and clamps it onto desk stands.

The arms can pivot via three joints, enabling you to push and pull the microphone in nearly any direction.

Springs support the arm, allowing the microphone to stay wherever it was moved to without the need for tightening screws.

Below, I’ll discuss what to look for in desk-mountable suspension boom arms. Hopefully, this will help you choose the best mic arm for your needs.

Why Use a Boom Arm?

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

These mounts free up much space outside of eliminating handling noise and freeing your hands.

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

They’re much more flexible than a traditional microphone stand and don’t take up any floor space.

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.

Getting your microphone close to your mouth will help you eliminate the reverb and background noise from your room, which is essential 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 excellent deep radio voice sound that sounds awesome on podcasts, voice-overs, vlogs, and tutorials.

Keep Things Tidy and Orderly for a Streamlined Workflow

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

Though this sounds small, leaning into a microphone while recording can affect the voice-over performance. Being as comfortable as possible while reading is essential and often overlooked.

If you produce or plan to produce any of these forms of content, I strongly suggest picking up a boom arm and feeling it.

Other things to consider when purchasing a boom arm for your podcast or voice-over work

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

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

Remember that additional accessories, like a shock mount for a condenser microphone, should be included in the weight it should carry.

Conclusion

Using a mic boom arm can benefit everyone from music producers and radio hosts to content creators creating video tutorials, podcasts, vlogs, and voice-overs for videos.

Various manufacturers have begun designing their makes and models as these content styles become increasingly popular.

Five of the best boom arms offered today are listed above, from budget to professional models.

If you plan to record audio in a home studio or bedroom, a boom arm will make your life and workflow easier.

There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding which model to acquire.

That said, microphone weight and mounting are two of the biggest things to understand to ensure your boom arm operates properly.

Finally, there are some accessories worth considering. In addition to permanent desk mounts, I suggest shock mounts and pop filters to pair with your microphone.

If you pick these up, add that weight to your microphone to ensure you don’t exceed the boom arm’s load capacity.

Up Next: Recording good voiceovers for video.

Author

  • Cade Taylor

    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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