Everybody knows the purpose of this microphone stand, how it looks, and its function for recording engineers and vocalists. A cheap stand is not as good as the best mic stands, just like it is with most everything else you can spend hard-earned cash for.
These stands are very similar because they’re such an example of form following functionality, so it can be difficult to see any differences at first glance.
These differences are important to understand, because they can often be the difference between a mic stand worth your buying power and one that should make you run for your life from your local music gear shop.
This creates a problem. You may not have enough time to compare the models and brands, or to understand their selling points.
We’ve been there. It’s not pretty. It’s not pretty.
On tour, we’ve seen a lot of different microphone stands. We have accumulated a lot of knowledge over many gigs to help you make informed decisions.
This could be the line that makes the difference between the right purchase, and one that causes buyers to remorse as soon as it is set up.
Things to consider before you buy
Before you visit a store to buy an item, the most important part of the buying experience is before you actually go into the store. You need to consider your music-fueled situation. These elements, when taken care of, will organically eliminate stands that are a complete failure.
DO I LIVE OR IN A RECORDING STUDIO?
You should first think about the place where you will perform. This means that you need to consider where you will be using the stand regularly. This will have a big impact on the type of stand you choose. This is also your first clue that no two stands are alike.
You will need something sturdy if you’re looking for a microphone stand that you can take to all your gigs. You’ll be setting up and taking down your microphone stand a lot in a live performance environment. To withstand this abuse, you’ll need something a little stronger.
If you plan to use the microphone stand only in a studio setting, it may not be a problem. You may not require something as strong.
Pro Tip: If you find yourself in a studio doing a lot of live gigs, it might be worth getting a pair of stands. One for each situation. You don’t have to compromise on quality with something so inexpensive.
TRIPOD BASES Vs. TRIPOD BASES VS.
It is important to also consider the type of microphone stand base.
These stands can be either a tripod or solid base. The tripod base is the most common, while the solid one has three pronged legs that look like a camera tripod.
The base of the latter is either flat or round, and the stand portion rises from the middle. Although the base is round, it is not very wide.
Another question is required to determine the base you will use. What kind of performance will you be giving behind the microphone?
A solid base stand might be better if you are just singing. A tripod is your best option if you plan on carrying a guitar to gigs.
This is due to a mic boom, a microphone that’s mounted on an extension bar to train on secondary sounds such as instruments.
Boom compatibility is not possible with solid base stands because the center gravity is too far out horizontally. They work best when you don’t need to mic another instrument.
Tripod stands on the other hand allow you to use them without or with a boom. This makes them indispensable if you want your instrument’s sound to shine through.
A tripod stand offers another advantage over a solid one: they can be folded up. They don’t take up much space. This is a good option if you plan to travel from gig to gig in confined space.
However, many round bases allow the vertical part of the stand to be removed from the base.
WHAT DURABILITY DO I REALLY REQUIRE?
You should also pay attention to how durable a stand is. This is a tie back to the previous point that we made about how you planned on using the microphone.
We’re repeating it because it’s easy for people to forget how easy it can be to make a stand. They will be knocked about, knocked around and have heavy instruments in hard shell shells stacked over them.
You don’t need to be Steven Tyler’s second coming to have a stand that is subject to wear and tear. It is important to keep in mind that the stage will take its fair share.
Factors such as storage, transport and occasional handling by others who may not be as cautious as you are all part of the overall equation. The more gigs you have, the less control that you may have over this latter aspect.
Some stands are quite technologically advanced. To assist you with all aspects of ownership, including stable positioning and minimizing vibrations from other instruments, stands can be equipped with counterweighted booms.
These are not the ones you want to beat. We’ll discuss more details about them later. Mic stands that are the best don’t need to be taken from gig to gig, then thrown in a van without a second thought.
These are the Six Types of Microphone Stands
There are six types of mic stands to choose from:
- Tripod stands – These stands are supported by three-pronged bases. These stands are easy to store and can be expanded to provide additional boom.
- Boom Stands These are similar to a tripod but have a boom built into it. This gives you a greater reach than regular tripod stands.
- Round Base stands – A round base is the stand’s aesthetic signature. These are great for singers who don’t need to use a lot of space. They also make it easier to get on and off the stage.
- Low Profile Stands These are microphone stands that are low to ground. These stands are designed to pick up sounds from low-setting instrument such as a guitar amplifier or kick drum.
- Desktop stands These are similar to low-profile stands but they’re not geared towards musicians. These stands are intended for recording your bedroom or podcast while sitting down.
- Overhead Stand These stands are useful when you have to deal with extreme angles or heights, like with a drum overhead. These stands are the most expensive and largest, and they’re basically giant tripod boom stands.
We won’t be covering all of them as they may not be relevant for most users. You can even find unique stands such as Freddy Mercury’s bottomless mic stand. We’ll stick to the three main types for the reviews below, as they cover 99% of cases.
You might also be interested in these additional resources. Take a look at the reviews:
- The Best Studio Mics to Record Vocals
- The Best Condenser Mics For Pro & Home Studios
- 14 Tips to Record & Mix Vocals
- Taming Sibilance & Polosives in Vocals
- How to set up a recording studio
There are many more, but we cannot list them all here. You can use the search function at top to find the information you are looking for, or browse through the Mixing & Recording column or Studio Recording column.
The Best Mic Stands
This will be broken down into two sections: the best options for musicians who are going to gigs and rehearsals, or bedroom producers on a tight budget, and the best of what is available for professionals who want to save money and impress their clients.
Note: Every image and text link takes you to Amazon.com, where you can read additional reviews and find technical details listings and make your purchase.
Let’s begin with the less expensive models first. Scroll down to view all the accessories for microphone stands. These accessories come with mic clips to fit your shockmounts.
The Best Mic Stands at a Cheap Price
These are the best-selling items in this group. They can withstand a beating, but the most important thing is their strength and ability to not slip. This is the problem with cheap products.
It’s worth spending an extra $10 here. As with any stand, they should not be over-tightened. Otherwise the plastic will crack and become compressed.
- Favorite LedgerNote
The Samson tripod base will provide you with the boom. This tripod option has a unique feature that extends lower horizontally and farther than other options. This reduces the center of gravity, creates a wider base and resists tipping under side pressures.
This boom does not have a counterweight, although you could put one on your own. However, you can make sure that it extends in the same way as a tripod leg if it is extended as far as possible. I also like the quick-twist adjustment latches.
Another thing about this sucker is its ability to collapse into a very small size. Once you have collapsed the pole, turn down the boom and pull the legs together. These can all be kept together in one closet.
This model has many great features. It’s very affordable, can be loaned out, or left at gigs. This model is a great choice for stage or studio use.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON The Working Man’s Mic Stand…
The Pyle Pro PMKS5 is similar to a standard round base, but it’s a tank. It is made of steel and die-cast. This stand is attractive because the pole can be removed for transport.
The base is over 9 pounds in weight and can withstand rocking, but it’s not too large that you can’t move your hands around with live performances. It can reach up to 60 and a half inches at its lowest point.
This may seem low for tall people, but dynamic mics are tilted up and condensers will add quite a bit to the height of the shockmount.
Before I bought the luxury models, I have owned more than one model of this exact model. It was so good that I returned to it. It’s a great investment for anyone who is starting out, or traveling with one.
A Round Base Stand That Is Stable and Strong…
The Best Microphone Stands
The top stands are reserved for professional studios, orchestras and other recording environments that can withstand a lot of abuse. You won’t want them to, but they can. We’ll explain why below as we discuss each of our three choices.
Let’s begin with the top-tier microphone stands:
LATCH LAKE MICKING 2200
This microphone stand is the ultimate. The Latch Lake microphoneKing series stands are the best quality you will ever find. The spin and lever locks offer quick and easy use. This saves time and eliminates slippage and repositioning. It sounds absurd, but it is true.
You won’t find these features anywhere else. Not only are all components made from superior materials, such as the poles and the cord clips but they also come with unique features. The counterweight on the boom is a great example. Heavy top mics, particularly large condenser mics are used.
Boom slippage is the most common problem in music and audio recording. This solution completely solves it. The base is amazing. It is extremely heavy and has wheels that allow for quick movement (only when it is tilted!). It doesn’t tip even when you bump it. 90% of its weight is around the perimeter.
My favorite thing is that multiple microphones can be interconnected to create a more secure structure. This is a great solution for interviews, press conferences, and live music.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON The End-All, Be All Mic Stand
ATLAS SOUND MS25E
The Atlas Sound HTML25E is a stable round base stand. This is due to its triangular shape, where most of the weight was stuffed in the corners. This is a great choice among the many choices in this section. It’s durable, even with the threading and latches.
For increased resistance to bend even within the inner pole, the tube assembly for vertical poles has been oversized. This allows for thicker walls, which doubles the strength. If you use a reflection filter to create a mini-vocal box around your mic, this is the stand you want. It helps keep the weight in place and doesn’t tip unless you tackle it football.
You can also add another company’s boom, since the threading has been standardized.
The Most Stable Base…
- Favorite LedgerNote
MC-125 ULTIMATE SUPPORT
A hybrid-style base is also available for the Ultimate Support MC125. This base is a combination of a circular and a tripod, but has extensions that make it look more like a triangle. To increase stability, weight can be moved further outward. This one has wheels.
These wheels come with locks that you can quickly disengage or engage with your feet. They lock both the rolling motion and the angular movement, so there is no shifting. You’ll also notice the knob at the boom’s back that is actually a 5.75 pound counterweight.
You can see the center of gravity moving if you place a heavy condenser microphone of 3 to 4 pounds and extend it. This counterweight will bring you back to the center.
This is crucial because the boom height can reach as high as 61 inches and the stand height can reach just under 83 inches. This boom has been called one of the best studio booms. Without the stability that the base and counterweight offer, this would be a major negative.
It’s a great bonus. This is the ideal investment for studios who want the best for clients, but don’t want it to break the bank.
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON The Reasonable Person’s Luxury Model…
Mic Stand Accessories
You’ll need more than the mic stand when you decide to purchase one. To maximize the effectiveness of your mic stand, there are some accessories that you might also need.
Below are our top picks for each type. To learn more, click on any of the blue links or images. You should also consider these accessories:
These filters are great for reducing plosives and keeping them from reaching your recording. These can be used to help clients or yourself keep the mic away from your client. We all want to talk like the TV.
Windscreen – Most wind screens are made of tiny puff balls of foam, or long-nap microfiber materials. However, I like the style shown above because it is visually appealing and works just as well. They prevent air-breathing and wind gusts.
Reflection filter As an at-home engineer, it’s not always possible to afford or want to invest in a lot of acoustic treatment. These mini-vocal booths wrap around your mic and rest right on top of your stand. These don’t work with booms, so be aware!
Sidemount booms – This is a must-have tool for singer/songwriters who need to record both vocals and guitar simultaneously. Attaching this space-saving device directly to your stand allows you to mike both the guitar and vocals simultaneously. You can adjust it to make your guitar sound exactly how you want.
Headphone Hangers – If your recording is going well, then you know that headphones are a crucial part of the process. It can be tedious to have to roll up your headphones and then put them away every day only to find that they are still there the next day. The stand allows you to hang your headphones and they will stay there until you need them again.
Ground isolators – Vibrations can be caused by foot and instrument movements. If you aren’t careful, this could compromise the integrity and performance of your stand.
These devices wrap around the prongs of your stands creating a floating effect that reduces contact with the ground. This will ensure that your sound is consistent and smooth. The shockmount that comes with your microphone is also available. The shockmount suspends your microphone in mid-air and includes rubber bands that stop vibrations from entering your recordings.
Drink Holders This may seem redundant, but it is more important than you realize. A drink is essential to keep a singer’s throat healthy. Why not keep this liquid handy? The proper drink holder can be clipped to the pole of the stand in a way that doesn’t block any other items. This can make the difference between a good take and one that you have to accept.
Clip Mounts If you want to make your recording session multi-media, remote control from a tablet or smartphone is more than just a cool gadget. You can control the mic with a good clip. This technology makes the process much more efficient.
This accessory is not a replacement for a stand. It is, however, a stand replacement. This one is specifically designed to make guitar cabs. This tiny gadget can be a great help in recording spaces with limited space, since it allows you to skip the need for an additional stand.
Scissor Arms – Another space-saving device that has a twist. The compact design allows for a mic to be held in tight spaces, such as a desktop or radio DJ booth.
Guitar Pick Holder There isn’t much to this, which makes it almost free. It looks much better than the DIY options that guitarists have to choose from. You can fit a few picks in the clip, which is tight and compact. You must be able grab the next pick immediately if you drop one on stage. Otherwise, it could cause serious damage to your set.
Accessorizing your core equipment will save you time and record more efficiently. It’s also fun for both us and our clients.
These are the best mics available
While microphone stands have a clear purpose, the best stand for your needs and purpose may not be obvious.
It is important to consider the music you make and the environment in which you share it.
You need to consider the budget and malleability of each individual to ensure that you get the mic stand that is perfect for you. Once you have purchased perfection, all your hard work will be worth it.