The humble microphone stand is often overlooked as a vital piece of equipment – that is, until you see your £1000 mic fall to the ground as you scramble in slow motion to stop it. Shortly after this, you’ll realise that having a standing mic is one of the best investments you can make for gigging on stage, the studio or even just streaming.
So, with that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the perfect one for your situation. We’ll be looking at the subtleties that separate different stands and share our favourites to buy from Amazon, eBay and Gear4music. Whether you've got a Rode, Blue Yeti or Shure mic, our selection includes heavy-duty, adjustable and desktop stands for everyone.
Before we dive into the various mic stands available, it’s worth considering what you want it for. Is it for taking on tour with your band? Producing podcasts in a home studio? Each style will benefit different needs. Therefore, understanding your own is vital.
If you’ve already been searching online for microphone stands, chances are you’ll already be somewhat aware of the various options available. But what are they best for? Below, we highlight the most popular types and outline what you can expect from each one and what situations they’re best suited to.
Tripod and round-base stands are the most common as they are designed for general use and fit as comfortably into a studio as they do on stage. They're usually best for singers rather than recording instruments, but if you’re stuck, they could manage at a push.
The reason they’re different is the base. The tripod has a three-legged base, making it a tad lighter and easier to fold away. Therefore, if you’re carrying three or four so the whole band can sing, these might be the better choice.
There is also a type of tripod stand called a tripod boom. These differ because instead of having a single pole, there are two. Consequently, these allow you to angle the microphone in different directions, so they're good for both instruments as well as singing.
Lastly, there are round bases. These look just as the name suggests and are often the heaviest option. However, owing to their extra surface area and weight, they are also slightly sturdier, so if your band are known for stomping and causing a ruckus on stage, these can be a wise choice.
Overheads or 'boom' stands are the largest of all mic stands. Their draw is that they can reach heights and angles that others can’t, meaning you don’t have to worry about your expensive, heavy condenser mic when it’s hanging two metres high. These are often used in a studio setting for instruments like drums, although they can also be helpful when bigger bands play to larger crowds.
There are a couple of things to consider, though. Firstly, they’re the most expensive, so you’ll want to contemplate that. Secondly, even when you’ve committed to purchasing an overhead, it can be hard to find the ideal one due to its size and the size of the room or studio you’re working in.
If you’re looking for a microphone stand for radio, podcasts or bedroom recording, then you’ll need to pivot from the traditional options. One of the popular styles is a tabletop. These are essentially miniature versions of the other stands; however, you’ll sometimes find them with some unusual bases as they’re all made to attach to desks.
The tabletop microphone stand is on the rise as many people now engage with podcasting, live streaming and other forms of recording. This is because they’re more compact and better for home use. However, it also means that they’re not as strong or stable, so you might want to be careful what you place on them.
The last in our chosen range of styles is the adjustable arm microphone stand. This stand is another desk/bedroom recording type and has been popular for radio broadcasters since the dawn of time.
The design has two arm sections that can bend or swivel – and it’s this that allows for quick repositioning of the mic. So, if you need to quickly spin on your chair to record another instrument or do some live sound effects for your broadcast, then these are ideal.
Like tabletop mics, these also attach to desks, but they often have internal shock dispersion, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about any sounds from the desk getting picked up. They can be confusing when you’ve got many wires wrapped around and tangled up, but you can look for those with cable management systems to avoid this.
The next feature you want to consider is the height adjustment range, which will change depending on the style of the stand. A tabletop designed for talking into won't offer the same coverage as an overhead constructed to reach extreme lengths when recording large drum sets. So, set your expectations accordingly.
When it comes to regular, singing microphones, you can expect the range to be around 100-160 cm. For the larger overheads, it'll be 120-200 cm, and for smaller tabletops, 10-20 cm. The only time the range is different is when you have adjustable arms or tripod boom stands, and this is because the company may list the maximum length due to their two-arm construction.
Another consideration is the type of clutch. Now, you might be thinking, what is a clutch? Well, this is the part that connects the mic to the stand. The most popular option is a twist, where you will screw your mic on, ensuring that you’ve tightened it properly with your hand.
However, sometimes this can be difficult, for example, in a live setting with a singer who also plays the guitar. In that case, you might prefer a grip clutch, which grips the mic like a bulldog clip and is easier to use with one hand. While these are helpful, they are also less common, so you might need to look harder to find the perfect stand with this clutch.
Finally, if you’re planning on transporting the stand regularly, you’ll want to think about its weight. Stands designed for gigging usually weigh between 2 and 5 kg, so even the top end shouldn't add too much to the loading process – and finally, the singer will have to carry something. But, again, if you plan on owning multiple stands, this can quickly add up.
If you’re purchasing microphones for recording at the desk or in a bedroom, then as you’d expect, these are not only smaller but lighter as well. So light, in fact, that pretty much everyone will have no trouble manoeuvring them around their recording space.
Finally, overhead microphones. These can be heavy – think 10 kg plus. Thankfully, you often only need to get these into the studio, and then they don't need moving much once they’re in. You can, however, look for overheads with casters, which are even more straightforward when trying different positions.
Now that you’re more clued up on the various styles of mic stands and what scenarios they complement, let’s take a look at some of our favourites that are available to purchase online right away. We’ve selected a range of different options with regards to style and budget, so there should be something for everybody.
|Height Range||Up to 66 cm|
|Height Range||86.1 - 154 cm|
|Height Range||15 - 20 cm|
|Height Range||112 - 201 cm|
|Height Range||104.5 - 168 cm|
|Height Range||Up to 90 cm|
|Height Range||108 - 175 cm|
|Height Range||130.8 - 210.2 cm|
|Height Range||90 - 160.5 cm|
210/9 Microphone Stand
A114 Tabletop Mic Stand
Round Base Microphone Stand
Heavy Duty Studio Arm Mic Stand
Tripod Boom Microphone Stand
Overhead Microphone Stand
Small Table Top Microphone Tripod Stand
JamStands Mic Stand
Form and Function at a Decent Price
An Investment but One That Pays for Itself
With a Cast Iron Base to Keep It in Place
Get the Best of Both (Clutch) Worlds
Professional-Grade Gear for Beginner Prices
Versatile and Ready for Any Recording Situation
A Competitive Price for This Style of Stand
Does Its One Job Very Well
Withstands Rigorous Gigging and Heavy-Handed Band Mates
Easily Attached to the Table
|Style||Tripod boom||Overhead||Tabletop||Round base||Adjustable arm||Tripod boom||Overhead||Tabletop||Round base||Adjustable arm|
|Height Range||90 - 160.5 cm||130.8 - 210.2 cm||Unknown||108 - 175 cm||Up to 90 cm||104.5 - 168 cm||112 - 201 cm||15 - 20 cm||86.1 - 154 cm||Up to 66 cm|
|Weight||3.1 kg||15.8 kg||2.5 kg||4.4 kg||1.8 kg||2.6 kg||5.8 kg||0.2 kg||Unknown||0.8 kg|
Choosing a mic stand might be a touch more complicated than you thought, but choosing the microphone itself is even trickier! Not to worry, all you have to do is click through to the articles below for more advice and recommendations.
Whether you're planning on buying a microphone stand for the stage or the studio, hopefully, you now feel a little more confident when it comes time to hit that purchase button. Here's to finding the perfect sound with your new stand.
Author: Lewis Clark
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