Microphone Stand Buying Guide
Types of Microphone Stands
The “stand-up straight” variety of stands are the simplest out there. These can further be classified as a tripod, and round base stands. With Tripod stands, three legs make up the base. They’re pretty common – in fact, these tend to be the cheapest ones around. Round base products have a base made from metal or plastic and are a bit more stable, including on-stage – they are good for singers.
This kind of mic is best suited for those who will want to use it while standing. It has a very tall height, which is usually adjustable. These are a lot more stable and do not tend to flip over. For instance, the Ultimate Support PRO-ST Pro Series Microphone Stand with an Oversized Steel Tubing has a heavy rounded base that keeps the stand in position at all times.
These stands are similar to standard mic stands, but with an arm attached. Their advantage is that they can provide a longer reach, and can be adjusted to any angle. Boom stands are the best choice when you have varying heights, for example, if you have an adjustable music sheet stand or certain angles that you need the microphone to reach. A lot of the time, people are sitting down, so they’ll need a lower height. In a setting like that, this kind of mic stand is the best.
There is, of course, room for adjustment, both in terms of horizontal and vertical reach. An example of this is the DR Pro Tripod Mic Stand with Telescoping Boom, where the boom and angle arm can be adjusted for height, both at the same time. This particular kind is very useful.
Desk stands, or ‘desktop stands,’ can be attached to a desk. These are smaller than straight stands and can be used in studios for podcasting or radio shows. However, the use of this particular stand is growing, as it’s easy to use with almost any desk.
In a sedentary setting, this stand is the best option you can go for. Other stands can be a bit of a fuss when you have furniture close by. Since this mounts on a table, it becomes part of the furniture. It is straightforward to mount too, as you can see with RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm.
Low Profile Stands
These stands have a short height, both for the stand itself and the boom arm. They’re used mainly for kick drums (click here to find your mic!) or guitar cabs. These, too, have an adjustable height, but the range, of course, is smaller compared to a stand-up microphone stand or a boom arm stand.
Almost all the microphone stands have an adjustable height. However, the range can vary quite significantly. This is an important consideration and should commensurate to your own height. With the boom arm stand, you might get away with a smaller height in certain situations, such as if you had your keyboard on an adjustable stand, but with a typical stand, you need something that can reach you.
The height depends on the setting or uses, too. While a low profile stand may be suitable for kick drums, it cannot be extended enough for overhead drums. Some heights may be too low for covering a choir.
Types of clutches
The clutch is what allows you to adjust the height. This, of course, is important because, without it, the mic stand will not be as tall as you want it to. There are two kinds of clutches: twist and grip. The former is most widely used, and as the name suggests, twists to tighten. The good quality ones tighten pretty fast while others take several turns. Grip clutches utilize a one-handed squeeze to tighten into place. One obvious advantage is that this is much quicker to achieve in a live setting – this type of clutch tends to be the best.
For boom stands, there is another kind as well – a screw or a knob that can tighten a collar or push it closer to the tube. These vary a lot from one model to another. You have something similar for adjusting the angle as well.
Weight is an important consideration when buying a mic stand. A lot of people generally assume that a heavier stand would not make a portable or suitable choice on stage. On the contrary, a light stand can be less stable when compared with heavy ones. However, now some stands are incredibly lightweight but still quite stable, such as those tripod stands. If you are going to move with the stand a lot, then the obvious choice should be a light weighted one.
Another misconception about mic stands is that a heavier one would be difficult to carry around. That’s not always the case, as some lightweight ones can be difficult to carry too. It all depends on the make and its capability. If the stand is foldable, it becomes all the more easy to pack up and take wherever.
A lot of people think tripod stands are not highly portable. That’s not always the case, as some newer models have foldable legs, making the stand much smaller. As for the ones with a rounded base, it’s also easier to carry them. The stand can be removed from the base and packed separately with the other equipment. Perhaps this is why this type of stand is most commonly used.
The pricing is yet another important factor. To get high quality, you have to spend a little more money. In a professional setting, it makes sense to go for something more expensive from a known brand. For amateurs, a moderate-quality, lightweight stand should do the job. The prices vary greatly, but most microphone stands cost less than $100. Few stands from very high-end brands cost more than that, but you should be able to get a decent quality one of any kind within this range.
One of the reasons why mic stands so widely used is, as the name states, because they are useful for holding microphones. However, they have some awesome other benefits as well. There are numerous accessories you can use with the stand to make it more functional. Some of these are:
Cup holders: You can easily find cup holders to attach to the stand’s tube. This accessory works out well when you are continually speaking or singing and need water for hydration. It’s cheap and works with virtually all stands, be it standard or boom.
Phone holders: A lot of time, for various different reasons, you need your phone in front of you. You can now attach the phone to the stand, so you can read lyrics off it, record the sound on the phone as well, or even play from it. This isn’t just for your phone; you can also attach tablets to these holders. Much like cup holders, these easily attach to almost all the stands available.
Boom arms: Another handy accessory for your microphone stand is a second boom arm. This can attach to the stand at any point, transforming it into a multiple microphone stand. Such an addition is necessary when you’re playing the guitar and want the sound recorded or amplified. You can quickly align the mic with the guitar’s position.
Pop filters: For recording vocals, pop filters are necessary to maintain quality. They do this by protecting the sound from plosives that are often bad and can ruin the vocals. It also helps when dealing with any proximity effects. Usually, these pop filters come in a variety of material choices, from nylon to metal. The metal ones tend to be a lot sturdier and do the job well. However, nylon ones can be used too in place of metals. It’s better than having no filter at all!
Headphone hanger: Another great attachment for your mic stand is the headphone hanger. It can be so convenient while recording because you don’t have to remove the headphones then place them somewhere else; you can hang them on this hanger and go about your business!
All these accessories are cheap and easily available. There are numerous other accessories as well, like goosenecks, vocal booths, and stereo bars. They can make your recording sessions, or time on stage, very easy.
If you have a lot of mic stands, carrying all of them can be quite a hassle. The best solution for this is a carry bag, which can accommodate multiple stands and provide necessary protection and convenience. Rather than transporting each stand separately, it’s a lot better to have them all in one bag that’s easy to carry around. Those who move around a lot, and have invested in multiple stands, should have such a bag. Your stand will only last if you maintain it well, so make sure you take care of it while in transit.
Choosing the right stand
Now that you know each type of mic stand, their prices, and capabilities, it will be easier to choose the best product. However, there should be an evaluation of your own circumstances as well. The type of stand you want first depends on why you need it. For example, if you’re buying something for podcasts, then a desk stand is the ideal one. If you are buying for a child, then a tripod boom stand might be the right choice. If you’re going to use it in multiple settings, like in studios, or in classes, then go for the one that is most suitable for these. You don’t necessarily have to buy separate stands for each use – they are pretty multifunctional, especially if you add accessories.
What Is The Best Stand For A Podcast Setup?
For a podcast setup, the recommended product is the desk stand. These are designed for uses that don’t necessarily require a lot of movement. These stands, as explained, attach to a desk. They can be increased in length, as well as adjusted to many angles. For this reason alone, it’s well suited for this purpose – it just might need to be adjusted or swiveled around during the recording of the podcast.
Another reason why you might want to use this particular mic stand is that you can easily attach it to any desk. This makes it very usable in every kind of recording setting, and not just for podcasts. Secondly, it fits most microphones, which is yet another advantage. These stands are sturdy enough to hold the microphone, as well as shock mounts.
You can also use a boom stand for the same purpose if you don’t have a desk to attach the stand to. This kind of stand has essentially the same benefit in terms of convenience and reach. The arm can be swiveled and adjusted to any angle you require. Similarly, the length of the arm is long enough to reach a decent distance.
Podcasting has become very popular over the years and, to have the highest quality podcast, your equipment should be the best as well. People assume that the stands are not that important, but the truth is they are vital for your smooth vocal delivery. No matter how great the microphone is, if it’s not positioned well, your recording will be lackluster.
Why the microphone stands?
It’s completely normal if you’re unfamiliar with, or don’t really understand the purpose of a microphone stand. These stands hold the microphone while you speak, record, or perform. The microphone is attached to the top of the stand, removing the need to hold it constantly.
It can be exhausting to keep the microphone in your hand all the time. Whether you are using it on stage or in the studio, it can affect your performance. A stand provides protection, as well as convenience, during such stints.
There are numerous types of stands, each having its own set of benefits. The most commonly found are straight up stands with tripod legs at the bottom. Another similar kind is the rounded base ones, which instead of having tripod legs, have a solid circular base. Another type is the boom stand, which has another arm attached horizontally to the vertical tube. This arm is termed as the boom arm and can be adjusted in length and angle. It provides a lot more room for adjustment – it adjusts according to your position rather than you having to adjust yourself for the stand. The final type you should know about is the desktop stands, which attach your microphone to a desk.
Nearly all stands can be changed in height to suit your needs. Some have low heights, designed for kick drums or other specialty uses. The range varies and is, of course, important both for efficiency and comfort.
Microphone stands are useful, not just for performance or recording, but also when it’s not in use. Rather than keeping the mic on the floor, or somewhere where it can potentially be damaged, the stand provides a solution for keeping it safe.
Are the microphone stands compatible with all mics?
Yes, most of them are suitable for almost all microphones, but you need to be sure before you complete the purchase. Microphone compatibility is usually indicated in the product description. For instance, some mic stands are not compatible with Blue Yeti microphones. If you need the stand for one mic in particular, it wouldn’t be hard to find one. However, when looking for a set of microphones, only buy the one that is explicitly designed to fit all microphones universally. Most microphone stands have standard threads that can fit all mics and shock mounts easily.
The stand and mic should be compatible weight-wise, as well. Some microphones are heavy and, therefore, require a heavy-duty stand. A lightweight stand may not be able to hold this kind of mic very well, so make sure you check out the weight of the stand to see if it’s appropriate for the mic you have.
Can I attach any other accessories with the stand?
There are numerous accessories available online to increase the functionality of your mic stand. Yes, you can hang or fix a lot more than just microphone to these stands using accessories. There are attachments available for adding another microphone, your smartphone, and an attachment to hang your headphones. For instance, if you need to attach another microphone for recording your guitar, you can add a boom arm like the On Stage Posi lock Sidemount boom. It can be placed onto any position of the stand and used for attaching another mic.
Similarly, you can use glass holders, headphone hangers, or a phone and tablet holder. This makes it multipurpose. Not only do you have the convenience of holding the mic, but also other necessary aspects, such as holding a phone to record or read lyrics from.
These accessories are designed to fit universally any mic stand, so whether you have a standard one or a boom stand, it should attach seamlessly. Also, these accessories are affordable.
This works out great, both in the studio and on stage. When you’re in the studio, you frequently need to take off your headphones or use your phone. While on stage, you can get thirsty and need water, which can be placed right on the stand in front of you. This is why mic stands are used and loved by musicians and performers everywhere.
I’m 6 ft tall, which mic stand should I get?
The best stand for your height would be the standard one, with either a tripod or a solid base. These have quite a wide range in terms of height, so even the tallest individuals can easily use the mic stand. Boom stands are good for tall people as well because, with the stand and boom arm, you get the right length to reach you. These stands’ heights are easily adjustable, and, depending on the clutch type, you can do it in just one go. Some are mobile, too, i.e. you can remove them from the base and take with you as you move around on stage. You don’t have to hunch or fix yourself in one position.
What is specialty mic stands?
Some stands are termed as specialty mic stands because they are designed for special purposes. For instance, studio booms are taller than 6 feet and can be utilized as overhead mics for drums, choirs, and orchestras. They have wheels to make them mobile and are designed to withstand heavy-duty microphones. They usually have an adjustable counterweight to achieve the necessary balance, and the height is adjustable too, of course, to reach even farther positions.
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