Though it’s often the most overlooked portion of your rig (second only to guitar picks), a good mic stand can make or break your performance. If you’re in the market for a mic stand, make sure that when you go to make your final purchase you have all the information that you need to get the best piece of equipment possible.
If you’re not sure where to start on your hunt for the best mic stand, you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you all the information that you need to find a perfect mic stand that you’re going to love, as well as give you five great recommendations!
- What Is A Mic Stand?
- What Should I Look For In A Mic Stand?
- Best Practices for Using A Microphone
- The Top 5 Mic Stands
What Is A Mic Stand?
For those of you that weren’t already aware (hey, these articles are for people just starting out just as much as they’re for those of you who are just looking for help making up your mind on what to buy), a mic stand is a piece of equipment that holds a microphone. This can be used by a vocalist, or to amplify and/or record an acoustic instrument.
Obviously, this makes a mic stand pretty important to your performance. If you don’t get something that’s at least halfway durable it would be pretty easy to end up with a microphone in your mouth mid-song, which unless you’re the lead vocalist in a metal-core band isn’t exactly ideal.
There’s also two main types of mic stands. One has a flexible arm that can easily be moved into pretty much any position, and a standard mic stand which while adjustable isn’t quite as versatile. The former is called a goose neck mic stand, while the latter is generally referred to as a standard mic stand. Or just a mic stand, depending on who’s speaking.
A standard mic stand is generally recommended for vocalists because it won’t move if it’s bumped while a goose neck will. A goose neck mic stand is really helpful for amplifying and/or recording acoustic instruments because you have a bit more options as to where you can place it, and it’s less likely to get knocked around in that situation.
What Should I Look For In A Mic Stand?
It’s so easy to find a good mic stand, all you have to do is not buy the cheapest thing you find and pay attention to the construction quality and materials. Cheap mic stands are generally constructed with metal for the arms and extendable portions, but the bolts that lock the arms into positions will be made out of plastic or cheap pot metal. These cheaper parts will warp, bend, or become stripped through use, which will in turn render your mic stand essentially non-functional.
So whatever you do, make sure that your mic stand is made out of good metal. It doesn’t cost that much more, and a good mic stand is going to last you for decades, unlike the cheap counterparts.
Best Practices for Using A Microphone
Unless you’re a classically trained vocalist, odds are no one has ever taught you how to properly use a microphone. It’s not hard, but it will take a bit of practice on your part.
First off, though it’s tempting to get as close as you can to the microphone it’s important that you leave at least a couple of inches worth of space between your mouth and the microphone. Getting to close to the microphone will actually cut your volume and clarity, which in turn is going to make your vocals sound muddy.
Second, never cup your hand around the mic. A mic is designed to pick up the wave of sound you generate, so if you cup the mic your cutting your total volume and tonal range. Instead, keep your hand off of the actual mic portion of your microphone,. Sure, it may not look as cool but it will make you sound significantly better. Lastly, make sure that you’re properly forming your vowels. This is more important in a live setting because there’s already so much background noise that you need to cut through. To help with this, make sure you spend a few minutes each day going over the “Italian Vowels” and Solfage. Both of these exercises will increase your clarity as a vocalist.
Top 5 Microphone Stands
As always, we try to make sure that everyone can come to our articles and find a great option for their rig and budget. So while we recognize that there are certain types of mic stands that will be better or worse than others, we include several different models at varying price points to ensure that everyone can find something that will be a great addition to their rig.
Still unsure where to start on your hunt for the perfect mic stand? Below you’ll find five great recommendations. And as always, if you feel that something else should be included on the following list be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
Neewer Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand
Owned by Shenzen Xing Ying Da Industry Co. Ltd, Neewer is a multinational business that specializes in producing high-quality pieces of equipment for the photography, film, and music industries. The brand was founded in 2010, and has dedicated themselves to creating products based on their customer’s feedback. The company’s main strength is that every level of their company is intended to service the customer. Their R&D bases every product that they make off of user feedback and searching for commonly requested features that many companies don’t feature in their designs. The company also focuses on maintaining a strong online presence, which makes it incredibly easy to purchase any one of the wide array of products they produce. A perfect example of the company’s dedication to fulfilling the needs of their customers, the Neewer Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand is a great buy for anyone looking for a quality addition to their home or professional recording studio.
The most notable feature of this stand is that it features an included XLR male to female cable. This makes the initial set-up of the stand a breeze, and it can help to reduce clutter in the recording area. The only downside of this is that if you don’t want to use this cord it can be a bit difficult to replace, so if you do prefer using higher-end cords you may not benefit overly much from this feature.
The scissor arm of the stand is also a pleasing feature, as while it’s not as flexible as a goose neck configuration it is many times more stable. While this will make the initial set-up of the stand a bit more difficult it does mean that you can rest assured that it’s going to say in the position you place it in.
An interesting feature is that Neewer includes a mounting clamp, which allows you to easily mount the stand to a flat surface. You may or may not benefit from this feature, but it will increase its overall utility for things like voice overwork or announcing. Many of you probably aren’t going to use it for this application, but for the few of you that will this definitely makes the stand worth a good look.
Unfortunately, the stand is not suitable for the Blue Yeti USB microphone. The company doesn’t specify why, but if you plan on using that microphone you’re definitely going to want to look elsewhere.
The stand needs to be babied a bit. The tightening mechanism is made from a cheaper metal, so if you use them too roughly there is a chance that they could break under stress.
Another feature that we didn’t like is that the stand doesn’t allow the microphone to shift from left to right, which is going to be inconvenient for those of you who don’t have a lot of space to work with. If you’re working in a more cramped studio you may find that a more flexible stand would work better for your needs. However, though the product does come with flaws it is a viable option for those of you looking for a stand that can easily be set-up.
The Neewer Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand provides a great value for any musician looking for a plug-and-go stand. However, there are reports of the stand being a bit fragile, which is something that you should keep in mind if you have a tendency to be a bit rough on your equipment.
K&M Microphone Stand with Telescopic Boom Arm
Established over 60 years ago, K&M has a long standing reputation of providing great equipment for musicians and audio engineers the world over. The company is one of the world’s largest providers of music stands, microphone and instrument stands, speaker stands, and chairs for musicians (drum thrones, and arched chairs like what you’d find in a choir classroom).
The most notable thing about the company is that a principle that the company heavily emphasizes is environmental sustainability. While we don’t want establish or dismiss anyone’s beliefs on the subject, we would like to give the company props for being conscious of actions that aren’t directly related to their profits. It’s really admirable, and goes a long way towards giving the company credibility that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Too many companies focus on profits first and customer satisfaction and the implications of how they operate their business second, so it’s nice to see a company that operates their business in both an environmentally and economically conscious way.
K&M has a commitment to all of their products that makes the musical accessories they produce worth serious consideration. If you’d like to learn more about how the K&M Microphone Stand with Telescopic Boom Arm stacks up to the competition, check out the specifications below.
The most notable feature of this stand is that K&M utilizes a proprietary steel tubing for their designs. The tubing used is of a really good quality, and while it’s not objectively better than a similarly priced stand you would be hard pressed to say that it isn’t incredibly durable.
An interesting component of the stand is how long the stability legs are. For those of you who haven’t really had a lot of experience with microphone stands, the shorter the legs (generally three) are on the bottom the more prone the stand will be to toppling over. This isn’t much of a problem in controlled settings like a studio, but it can be a bit troublesome in live situations where there’s more movement involved.
The overall length of the components (height of the stand, length of the boom) in the stand also give it a pretty impressive amount of utility. It’s really easy to dial in a setting that works good for most situations, and it’s not so long that it becomes unwieldy. It may not be the perfect fit for cramped recording areas, but that’s just a trait of boom stands rather than an outright flaw.
The only common complaint is that the stand is a bit light. However, this does make it a more valuable asset to musicians who are transporting it to and from gigs and practice sessions.
The price to quality ratio is fairly reasonable. There are cheaper stands available, but the flip side of that is that they don’t have the glowing reception of the K&M. So while you could save yourself money by going with a different stand you may end up getting a significantly less durable product.
The K&M Microphone Stand with Telescopic Boom Arm offers a great value to any musician who needs a microphone stand that they know they can count on in a wide variety of situations. However, if you aren’t going to need to travel with this stand (of you’re very careful with your equipment) you may find that a cheaper stand will also fulfill your needs.
Latch Lake Music micKing 2200 Boom
Latch Lake Music deserve a lot of props. They set out to make the best mic stands in the world, and they arguably succeeded. They had a vision of being the best, and they took the steps to achieve it. They didn’t compromise, and that’s pretty admirable.
A perfect example of this is the Latch Lake Music micKing 2200 Boom. It’s a great example of the quality that a dedicated business can achieve, and in the right situations it could be to prove the secret weapon of a commercial studio.
The key thing to note about this stand is that you can use it to mic any instrument from any angle. This is the key selling point of the stand, because for a lot of situations a traditional design can make recording certain instruments (keyed instruments in particular) a huge headache. This is achieved both by the base and the design of the boom arm. It also manages to do this while maintaining a stability that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a gooseneck stand.
An interesting feature of the design is that it has a spin grip, which allows you to easily attach and remove the majority of mic clamps. This isn’t really all that big of a deal, but it does make set up and tear down a breeze. It also makes it easy to switch between mics, which is pretty invaluable when you’re trying to find the right mic for a recording.
This boom is long enough to be properly used in just about any application. It can extend to an astounding 14’, which gives you a lot of flexibility in how you mic. In certain situations, like Led Zeppelin’s famous elevator recording, this can be used to mic the upper sections of a room. You can also use it to place a mic in other hard to reach areas of a room, which if you have an acoustically resonant room can help you give your records a tone that would be impossible otherwise.
Lastly, because of the design you can use any mic with the stand. This is very helpful if you’ve ran into issues with trying to use heavy mics that can offset the stand when placed in certain positions. The stand is also surprisingly light for its size, which is going to make setting it up and/or transporting it a fairly easy task.
This is a professional quality piece of equipment, so you’re not going to run into any issues while using it. You’re never going to have to worry about it becoming damaged through normal use, and in all likelihood this stand is probably going to outlive most people reading this. So while it is a pretty substantial investment, you’re never going to have to buy one of these.
Every product produced by the company is also manufactured in their St. Paul, Minnesota factory. While the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on producing quality products, having a stand that’s manufactured in a location with workers who are paid a living wage and are experienced in their craft helps to ensure a level of quality that other manufacturers can’t match.
The Latch Lake Music micKing 2200 Boom is a professional quality mic stand, fit for use in just about any situation imaginable. While the stand is a hefty investment it’s also a product that’s most likely going to last you throughout the entirety of your recording career.
Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base All-Purpose Mic Stand
Atlas Sound (and its partner company Electronic Designs, which is the partner company to Atlas sound and why the company typically goes by Atlas Sound IED), is one of the premier manufacturers of commercial audio products currently on the market. These two companies have had products installed in more than one million businesses across the world. The success of the two companies is definitely due, at least in part, to Loyd Ivey. Loyd Ivey is the CEO and owner of both companies, and is widely respected for his creative approach to managing his business and designing products as well as his entrepreneurial success.
Considering the preeminence in the industry enjoyed by these two companies it shouldn’t surprise you that the Atlas Sound MS-10 C Round Base All-Purpose Mic Stand is a quality product. To learn how it stacks up to the competition be sure to check out the specifications below.
The most notable feature of this stand is that it features Atlas Sound’s wear-proof clutch. Basically, all this means is that Atlas Sound has produced a proprietary mechanism to reduce the amount of wear that the tightening mechanism (which is used to raise and lower the height of the stand) is exposed to through regular use. It’s a quality piece of machining, and it gives the product a leg up on its competition in this regard.
The base of the stand is also well made, though in our opinion the design is less useful to performing musicians than a tri-leg configuration. The good thing about having a round metal plate as opposed to a tri-leg configuration is that it’s less likely for the stand to be knocked over while you’re singing or playing, but the flip side to this is that it’s also heavier than a tri-leg stand and harder to transport. This makes it a good fit for situations where it’s not going to be moved consistently, but it does somewhat limit its utility for gigging musicians. A plus unique to this stand that it has a padded base, which helps to keep it from absorbing floor noise during a recording.
The vertical expansion range of the stand (how tall it can get and how low it can be set) ranges from 35” to 63”. This is pretty serviceable all things considered, because unless the majority of you are over 6’5” you’re probably going to find a height that works for you. The stand also features the industry standard threading of 5/8”, so it’s going to work with the majority of microphone clamps.
Lastly, this stand comes in two different finishes; chrome and ebony. Both finishes use the same materials and design.
The best thing about this design is that it’s incredibly hard to damage the stand. It’s essentially just a steel tube with a big hunk of metal on the base, so in the majority of cases this stand is going to last for decades. The wear-proof tightening mechanism is also going to help with this, ensuring that you’re most likely never going to have issues with the stand sliding out of the position you place it in.
Its defining feature is that it never loses its setting, regardless of how much is been used. This is really handy, because cheaper stands to have a tendency to wear out. This can be pretty disastrous during a live setting or during a recording, because it’s incredibly distracting and can kill all the momentum of a performance.
The Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base All-Purpose Mic Stand offers a great value to any musician looking for a mic stand that they can depend on. The only thing to keep in mind is that due to its design it is going to be heavier than a stand with a tri-leg configuration.
Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand
Founded in 1980, Samson Technologies was one of the first companies to produce a wireless microphone system. Though the company was launched with the intention of producing wireless microphone systems, in the early 90s they began to expand their reach into other aspects of the audio industry. They developed high quality power amplifiers, mixers, and wired microphones and signal processors. They also launched an innovative bass amplifier which featured an aluminum cone driver, which is said to have a bass tone with an incredibly broad amount of dynamic range and frequency response.
In 2005 Samson also launched the first professional quality USB microphone, which are currently used by musicians, broadcasters, and podcast enthusiasts. Their USB microphones have actually become the industry standard. Because Samson is such an industry giant, it’s not surprising that the Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand is a quality product.
The defining feature of this stand is that its intended to be light enough to be easily transportable. This is a huge plus for musicians, because we need to be able to transport all of our equipment as well as efficiently and quickly set it up and tear it down. While set up and tear down is a skill that can be honed like any other, having a collection of light-weight stands will definitely make the process significantly easier.
The stand itself is made from steel, which while that’s pretty standard for this product it is nice to see in this price range. It also includes a mic clip, which isn’t a huge thing but mic clips are one thing that you really can’t have too many of. The quality of the included mic clip isn’t really discussed in any reviews we’ve found, but we would imagine that it’s going to be serviceable enough.
The stand comes in a sleek black finish, and like any other tri-leg stand it can easily be collapsed. This isn’t really a defining feature of the stand as most tri-leg stands are pretty manageable in this regard, but if you were concerned about this aspect of the stand you can rest assured that it fulfills this task as well as any other similarly priced stand.
The only downside of the stand is that because of its light-weight it may not support a heavier mic as well as a heavier stand would. However, this is the tradeoff with having a light stand.
It’s one of the cheapest options available for a stand that’s going to be useable by most musicians. The stand is regarded as being very stable for its weight, and there’s no flaws with its design or overall quality that we could find.
The Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand is a great option for a musician looking for a stand that will perform well in live settings. It’s light and very easy to set up, and the tri-leg design helps to increase its stability without adding a lot of weight to the design. The only thing to be aware of is that the stand may not be the best choice available for supporting heavier microphones.