Skip to main content

The best boom arms for your microphone when vlogging, podcasting or filmmaking

Best boom arm - Blue Microphones
(Image credit: Blue Microphones )

The best boom arm is something more and more of us are looking for right now, as the explosion in podcasting, live streaming, YouTube, and other emerging media open up exciting possibilities to generate a second income. 

Used by everyone from Twitchers and vloggers to professional voice artists and broadcasters, boom arms are becoming cheaper and better by the day. So if you want to improve the audio quality you get from the best microphones, it’s a great time to update your setup.

That said, boom arms aren’t just for home use. They’re also used to support mics on stage, plus there’s a different type of boom arm, that's used to support and position lighting for studio photography and filmmaking. If you’re looking for one of these options, then skip down to numbers 8, 9 and 10 on our list.

In this article, we’ve uncovered the best boom arms today, available for a variety of purposes, and a range of budgets. We explain how each one differs, and give you the technical details you need to choose between them.

Best boom arms for microphones

Editor's Choice

(Image credit: Rode)

1. Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm

The best boom arm overall

Specifications
Reach: 84cm (33 inches)
Weight: 1.74kg (3.8 lbs)
Maximum load: 1.1kg (2.4lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Well constructed +360-degree movement +Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

The RØDE PSA-1 is known throughout the broadcast industry as a go-to boom arm, and it’s also commonly used by podcasters, voice-over studios and online streamers too. This two-section, spring-loaded broadcast microphone arm rotates 360 degrees and features a maximum reach of 32in (820mm) horizontally and 33in (840mm) vertically. 

The PSA-1 allows you to position and re-position your mic both flexibly and quietly, keeping on-air noise at a minimum. It comes with both a desk clamp and desk insert mounting attachments, a 3/8 to 5/8-inch microphone thread adaptor, and cable wraps for tidy installation. Compatible with most microphones weighing between 700g (1.5lb) and 1.1kg (2.4lbs), its robustness, reliability and high quality construction makes it our clear pick as best boom arm overall.

Recommended

(Image credit: Samson)

2. Samson MBA38 38in Microphone Boom Arm for Podcasting and Streaming

The best mid-price boom arm

Specifications
Reach: 96.5cm (38 inches)
Weight: 1.81kg (4 lbs)
Maximum load: 2.3kg (5lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Supports 5kg +Generous reach +Reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

Watching the pennies? The Samson MBA38 is the boom arm in the mid-price range available today. Designed for radio, podcasting, broadcast and streaming, its internal springs and durable steel body are very robust, as well as being easy to adjust quietly. You can quickly fix this boom arm to your desk with the C-clamp mount, or use the flange mount for a more permanent installation. It provides a generous 38 inches of horizontal/vertical arm reach, and will support microphones up to an impressive 2.3kg (5kg), making it the best boom arm for heavy mics, too. 

(Image credit: On-Stage)

3. On-Stage MBS5000 Broadcast/Webcast Microphone Boom Arm with XLR Cable

The best compact boom arm

Specifications
Reach: 49.5cm (19.5 inches)
Weight: 1.72kg (38.8lbs)
Maximum load: 1.6kg (3.5lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Compact +Well constructed +Reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
-Limited reach

Short of space, and need something a little more compact for your home studio setup? Then we recommend the On-Stage MBS5000. This professional articulating mic boom is nicely robust, thanks to its square-tubing construction, and comes with a 10-ft XLR cable pre-installed inside for a clean and professional look. Again, you get two mounting options, in the form of a C-Style clamp, which grasps surfaces up to two inches thick, and a screw-in flange mount for permanent desktop or overhead installations. All this, at a nicely affordable price that represents excellent value.

(Image credit: On-Stage)

4. On-Stage MBS7500 Professional Studio Microphone Boom Arm

The best boom arm for on-screen looks

Specifications
Reach: 50.8cm (20 inches)
Weight: 1.72kg (3.8lbs)
Maximum load : 1.6kg (3.5lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Sleek looks +Quiet +Quality materials
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Another boom arm from On-Stage, the MBS750 is almost twice the price of the MBS5000 (above). In return you get a high level of flexibility, thanks to the three axis points, and very quiet operation indeed. Also, this boom arm has a polished and super-streamlined look, with a total lack of protruding parts or springs, and hollow arms allowing you to run your cable through the middle. 

In short, if you want to impress your YouTube or Twitch audience with the professionalism of your desk set-up, not to mention keep everything nice and tidy for your own enjoyment, this is an excellent choice.

(Image credit: Blue Microphones)

5. Blue Microphones 989-000899 Compass Premium Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm

The best boom arm for mid-weight microphones

Specifications
Reach: 81cm (32 inches)
Weight: 1.35kg (3lbs)
Maximum load: 1.1kg (2.4lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Streamlined design +360-degree rotation +Sturdy
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

This boom arm came in at around $100 at time of writing, so it’s certainly not a budget option. But its enclosed aluminum construction is well designed and sturdy, and its internal springs offering very smooth and quiet operation. The 989-000899 also boasts hidden-channel cable management, friction hinges with full 360-degree rotation, and support for mics weighing up to 1.1 kg (2.4 lb), including the popular Yeti and Blackout Spark SL.

best boom arms – Neewer NW-35 boom arm

(Image credit: Neewer)

6. Neewer NW-35 Microphone Boom Arm Kit

The best budget boom arm

Specifications
Reach: 70cm (27.6 inches)
Weight: 769g (1.7lbs)
Maximum load: 1.5kg (3.3lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Cheap +360 degree rotation +Pop filter included
Reasons to avoid
-Springs not the quietest

The NW-35 Boom Arm is very cheap, and designed with home studio use in mind. So it’s a good option for YouTubers, podcasters, musicians, voice actors, and video gamers who are on a tight budget.

This steel-constructed boom arm can be mounted on desks up to 1.7 inches (4.5cm) thick with the supplied C-clamp, and supports microphones weighing up to 3.3lb (1.5kg), including the Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball. 

It can be fully rotated throughout 360°, with a 270°-pivotable spigot for adjusting the angle of your microphone. You also get a snap-on mic clip, which fits microphones of 35mm in diameter, and a double-layer pop filter with a bendable goose-neck, making this a real bargain.

(Image credit: Heil)

7. Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom

The best boom arm for easy setup.

Specifications
Reach: 91.4cm (36 inches)
Weight: 1.68kg (3.7lbs)
Maximum load: 1.1kg (2.5lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up +Impressive reach +Quiet operation
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The Heil Sound PL-2T overhead boom boasts a beautifully streamlined design based on a system of balanced internal springs. It’s able to support microphones up to 3.5lbs in weight, plus there’s also a counterweight to accommodate lighter microphones. Another nice touch is being able to remove the top and back plates to thread the mic cable inside it, which makes setup nice and easy.

(Image credit: K&M)

8. K&M 252 Microphone Stand

The best boom arm for stage use

Specifications
Reach: 2.1m (7 feet)
Weight: 3.7kg (8.1lbs)
Maximum load: 7kg (15.4lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Quality construction +Collapses for travel +Rubber feet
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Looking for a boom arm to support your microphone while on stage? The microphone stand offers exactly that, extending to a maximum height of 2.1m (7 feet), including the 80cm boom arm. Made from steel and benefiting from noise reducing rubber feet, it also collapses easily into a small length for travelling. Overall, this is good quality mic stand that may be a little expensive, but does offer excellent value. 

Best boom arms for studio lighting

(Image credit: Avenger)

9. Avenger D600 Mini Boom

Best boom arm for studio photographers

Specifications
Reach: 2.12m (6 feet 1.5 inches)
Weight: 3.7kg (8.1lbs)
Maximum load: 7kg (15.4lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Long reach +Solid and sturdy +Flexible in use
Reasons to avoid
-Can take a while to ship

Boom arms aren’t just for microphones: studio photographers also use them to support their lighting rigs and position them in a variety of places and at angles quickly and easily. Our top pick for this purpose is the Avenger D600 Mini Boom. This heavy-duty chrome-plated steel boom arm telescopes from 117cm (46 inches) to a maximum of 212 cm (83 inches). It supports up to 7kg (15.4lbs) at its maximum extension, when mounted to an optional light stand. Solid, flexible and reliable in use, this is a great buy for any studio photographer.

best boom arms – On-Stage boom arm

(Image credit: On-Stage)

10. Manfrotto SuperBoom

The best boom arm for filmmakers

Specifications
Reach: 2.7m (8 foot 8 inches)
Weight: 10.8 kg (23.8lbs)
Maximum load: 5kg (11lbs)
Reasons to buy
+Long reach +Supports 5kg +180 degree movement
Reasons to avoid
-Stand not included

Just like studio photographers, film-makers need a boom arm to support their lighting rigs, and we recommend the Manfrotto 8.8' Super Boom. It’s not cheap, but with a huge reach of 2.7m and support for loads up to 5kg, it’s very robust and does the job well. It features coaxial geared controls at the end of the boom, which permits movement a full 180° and extends to 2.7m (8 feet 8 inches). Note that while it comes complete with a pivoting clamp, a counter weight and cable clips, the stand is not included. 

Other guides
Best microphones for vlogging and filmmaking
Best camera for streaming
Best camera for vlogging
Best PTZ camera
Best ring lights
Best LED light panels
Best headphones for editing
Best headsets in 2021

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.