The best boom arm is increasingly essential for a range of creative people working in audio and video. Whether you're making YouTube videos or commercials, streaming on Twitch, or recording podcasts, boom arms improve the quality of sound you get from the best microphones. So using one really will give you the edge over the competition.
Boom arms are also useful outside of the home studio. They're also used to support mics on stage, and a different type of boom arm can support and position lighting for studio photography and filmmaking. (If you’re looking for the latter, skip ahead to the best boom arms for studio lighting.)
Below, you'll find the best boom arms today, for all these uses and more. And we give you the information you need to choose the right one for you.
Best boom arms for microphones
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Our pick as the best boom arm overall is the RØDE PSA-1. Known throughout the broadcast industry as a go-to, it’s also commonly used by podcasters, voice-over artists, and 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. That 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 a tidy installation. Compatible with most microphones weighing between 700g (1.5lb) and 1.1kg (2.4lbs), this is one well-designed, robust and reliable boom arm.
On a tight budget? The NW-35 Boom Arm is very cheap and designed with home studio use in mind. 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. A good option for YouTubers, podcasters, musicians, voice actors, and video gamers who are just starting out, and have limited funds.
Nestled in between our first and second choices in terms of budget, the Samson MBA38 is the best 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.
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.
If your boom arm is appearing on the screen, you want it to look like the business. And here's on that definitely does.
The MBS750 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. And it offers a high level of flexibility, thanks to the three-axis points, and very quiet operation indeed.
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 sanity, this is the one to choose.
This boom arm came in at $99 at the 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 offer 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.
Looking for a boom arm to support your microphone while on stage? The K&M 252 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 traveling. Overall, this is good quality mic stand that may be a little expensive but does offer excellent value.
Best boom arms for studio lighting
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. Here's our top pick for this purpose.
Manfrotto 420B Combi Boom Stand works as a regular vertical stand and can also be converted with just a flick of a lever. There's a sandbag counterweight, along with a double-braced leg, to keep everything stable. It fits with universal-size screws and comes with a reversible spigot.
Just like studio photographers, filmmakers 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 counterweight, and cable clips, the stand is not included.
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