The best microphone boom arm isn’t always clear cut – spoiler! So when you come to kit out your music studio, DJ booth or set up for a podcast, you’ve simply got to wrap your head around mic booms. There’s no ‘maybe’ about it. A good quality boom really does make a difference.
In fact, if microphone booms didn’t exist, then the vocals of a Radio DJ, podcaster, rapper – and a whole other bunch of media-related careers – would all take a substantial hit in sound quality. Reason being that while mic booms are labelled as an accessory, they do go a long way towards improving your sound. Plus, they run rings around a classic mic stand for ease of use too.
Then consider that YouTube videos with HQ audio have a far better retention rates and suddenly a mic boom seems like a wise investment. One that’ll boost your brand and (hopefully) pay for itself in the long run. So with that in mind then, what is the best microphone boom arm you can buy? And how much should you spend? All this and more coming up.
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The best microphone boom arms @ a glance…
Here’s 7 of the best microphone boom arms for sale in 2023
Spend so much as 5 minutes shopping for microphone boom arms and you’ll soon realise that you’re spoilt for choice. Now in 2023, there’s so many! And it’s not like they’re all carbon copies either.
Some are focused on being durable, while others pin more emphasis on design. Then there’s boom arms that put performance over price, as well as those that do the complete reverse. Not to mention a wide mix of manufacturers, including many familiar faces, but also some new kids on the block – a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of. So really then, before you start splashing the cash, it’d be wise to get your head around the basics… luckily for you you’re in the right place!
Here’s the best microphone boom arms for sale today according to our editors @ Music Lowdown…
1: Elgato Wave (High Rise)
If you’re after a microphone boom arm that gives you options, then Elgato have you covered. In fact, if the Wave was human, we’d say ‘Versatile’ would be its middle name. You can use the Wave to mount virtually any mic – the arm supports mics up to 1kg in weight, even ones with a top mounted XLR cable!
At 2.23kg it’s sturdy too, and feels premium to touch. And that’s despite the outside of the Wave being mostly plastic, opposed to the metal you’ll find with other booms. However, don’t be fooled into thinking Elgato have ‘cheaped out’ with the Wave. Look closer and you’ll see that underneath the boom is in fact all-metal. So really it’s more of a Rode PSA1 in a posh frock than anything. And on the subject of looks…
Cable management with the Wave is innovative too! There’s no velcro straps or plastic clips here. Instead the cable race is concealed within the stand itself and masked by a long strip of rubber. A small touch, yet it gives the Wave a clean look (compared to its rivals), which if you ask us, looks great on camera.
And in the case the standard Wave doesn’t clear your studio monitors, don’t panic – Elgato has thought of that too. The boom also comes with what’s called ‘rise’ – basically a vertical extension, which bumps it’s height up another 15cm! Yet another useful quirk. No joke, the Wave is hands down, this is one of the best microphone boom arms we’ve ever tested!
What’s so special about this mic boom?
2: Gator Frameworks 3000 Series mic boom arm
If you’re in the market for a microphone boom that’s both robust and heavy duty, then the Gator Frameworks 3000 series simply has to make your shortlist. And that’s because, aside from being made of high-quality aluminium and weighing in at just 2.2kg, the boom arm itself can hold up to 2kg of microphone! In other words, practically any mic you can throw at it.
But not only is this microphone boom strong, it’s also sexy too. Compare it to the vast majority of mic stands and you’ll soon fall for its sleek tubular look. Something that instantly makes your setup appear significantly more ‘profesh’ – brownie points for that! You can also tell that the boffins at Gator are real sticklers for design by the cable race, which is hidden inside the stand itself. So not only do you get a boom arm , but also a built-in XLR cable too.
Then there’s the feel of boom. Move it with a mic attached and it’s practically silent. We heard no spring noise whatsoever! And it’s not like doing so is a chore. Thanks to the huge adjustment knobs, keeping tabs on the tension is a breeze. In fact, the only real downside of this stand is that for a USB mics you’d have to run a cable externally. Apart from that though, we can’t quibble – even the price of the 3000 (while by no means the cheapest) reflects its value. You really do get what you pay for with this microphone boom arm.
Why could the Gator be the best microphone boom arm?
3: Blue Compass microphone boom arm
Blue are known for their excellence with audio, but you don’t very often see them have a crack at a mic stand. Saying that though, it does seem like with the Compass, they’ve certainly gone in the right direction… ba dum tss! In fact, rumour has it that the Compass even has 1up on what is arguably ‘the’ most popular boom arm in production, the Rode PSA1 (below).
You can’t fault the Compass on build quality – it’s built like a tank. What’s more, that all-aluminium construction is lightweight too (just 1.35kg), as well as practical. Anyone who’s a YouTuber will vouch for that. Reason being that while from the above the Compass isn’t the slimmest, from the side it’s a size zero. So, unlike a lot of other boom arms, the Compass doesn’t cut too harshly into your shot. And if you want it out of shot, you’ll also be pleased to know that the Compass ain’t no dwarf. At 82cm, it’s got the legs on most of its rivals.
At each join you’ll also find thumb screws to adjust the tension of each part of the boom. The arm itself is no slouch either. The Compass can hold mics of up to 1kg and requires very little desk space to do a full rotation. A lot less than some of its more bulky rivals. Safe to say then, we’re big fans of the Compass – it’s certainly not bad for a first attempt – well done Blue!
Reasons to side with Blue’s adjustable mic boom…
4: Elgato Wave (Low Profile)
Not a fan of the traditional style of mic arm? Check out the Elgato Wave Low Profile – the mic arm that totally reimagines what a boom could actually be. You could it comes at the idea from a slightly different angle… which it does.
Because unlike a traditional mic arm, the LP isn’t tall by any means. It’s squat and sits low to you desk. So much so that it almost hovers over its surface, opposed to having the mic dropping in from above. Ideal for Podcasters, recording studios, but most particularly Gamers, who don’t want any screen obstructions.
And yet despite its compact size, the Elgato LP doesn’t feel cheap. It’s metal build feels really solid and it’s still a fair weight at 1.69kg. We’re particularly fans of the cable race, which is concealed below two metal plates that are held in place by magnets. Classy!
And what’s more, the Elgato LP mic arm is strong. Very strong! So strong in fact that it can support more than its bodyweight in microphone. The LP can hold mics of up to 2kg in weight! So, to say it’s the first low profile boom ever produced, we think that’s pretty darn impressive!
Reasons why the Wave LP is the best mic arm…
5: Rode PSA1+ swivel mount boom arm
You probably know Rode for their reputation at making kick-ass microphones, so the fact they’re also the brains behind some of the best mic booms comes as no surprise. The PSA1 being proof in point.
This isn’t no budget boom arm! Made entirely out of metal and clocking in at just under 2kg, this mic boom feels solid. Really solid. And that’s because, like virtually all Rode products, the PSA1 is made in Australia, opposed a lot of its rivals which are (pardon the cliche) made in China. Just one of the reasons why the PSA1 is often labelled as the best microphone boom arm you can buy!
Build quality aside though, the PSA1 is also strong! It can suspend mics of up to 1kg and when doing so manages to move and flex without a single creak, rattle or vibration from its springs. All things that make the PSA1 the ideal boom for the music industry, as let’s face it, singers and radio DJs have a fetish for constantly adjusting their mic. The only real flaw we see with the PSA1 is the cable management, which we feel is now a bit outdated – c’mon guys, velcro straps belong on shoes, not a boom arm.
With that though, as a product the Rode PSA1 has all the makings of a great boom arm and has ruled the roost for years on end. But is it the best microphone boom arm out there, today? We’re not so sure
What makes the Rode a good desk boom mic stand?
Don’t believe that the PSA1 can be used for more than to just suspend mics? Jump into the video below where the PSA1 boom arm is actually used to suspend an entire DSLR camera…
6: Inno Gear Large microphone boom arm
Not all great mic booms have to be super expensive to function well. Take the Inno Gear Large for instance. Despite being quite a bit cheaper than its rivals, you can’t escape the fact that this mic boom offers a decent level of build quality for the price.
At 1.87kg it’s sturdy, and can hold a respectful 1.9kg of microphone, but trust us when we say this, it’s no Compass or Gator. Nevertheless, its smooth to move too, and from what we were able to tell in testing, doesn’t squeak or rattle, even with a mic in situ. Speaking of mics, it also holds the majority of even the best vocal microphones with ease, including the Rode NT1-A, Blue Yeti and AT2020. However, that’s pretty much it. And that’s because unlike the majority of its competition, the Inno Gear isn’t designed to be revolutionary or look super gorgeous on camera.
It’s a mic arm that’s built purely to be functional, and that’s that. So while it does function great – arguably better than a handful of its rivals – don’t expect it to feature integrated cable races, magnetic panels or any other fancy gadgets. The Inno Gear Large is simply a boom arm that’s built to be a boom arm – nothing else. Now, whether that’s a good thing or not though, is for you to decide.
Why the Inno Gear could be the best microphone boom arm…
Here’s the best budget boom arm…
7: Neewer microphone boom arm
Although we’d never encourage you to ‘cheap out’ on a boom arm, if we were given a budget of around £20 and couldn’t get a more expensive arm on interest free, then we’d opt for the adjustable boom arm made by Neewer.
Now, we’ll be blunt, the Neewer isn’t by any means the best microphone boom arm that you can buy. The PSA1, Compass, Gator Frameworks – in fact all of the boom arms above – would run rings around it in terms of performance. However if you’re on a strict budget, it’s the best option you have.
Really though, the only reason we’d see for buying a cheap microphone boom arm like this is if you’re a bit on the fence about a boom and just wanting to get a feel for how they work + try one out with your setup. In which case, the Neewer would be a wise purchase. But if you’re after a long-lasting versatile boom arm, we’d suggest eyeing up the Neewer’s premium rivals.
What boom arm is the best in 2023? Our editor’s choice…
We’d say the title for the best microphone boom arm is a 3 horse race. One between the Gator Frameworks 3000 Series, Elgato Wave and potentially even the Blue Compass. Sorry Rode…
The way we see it, it all boils down to what you look for in a microphone boom arm. That’s the only way of you really determining which is best for you. So, if you’re after a mic arm that looks super slender on camera, get the…
Blue Compass Microphone Boom Arm = Best For Video
It’s design is by far the most camera-friendly, especially if the majority of your shots are going to be side on. Plus, it’s built like a tank, so even if you wanted to suspend your camera or a Go Pro from this boom arm, we’re pretty sure it could take the weight. All versatility that for any keen videographer or YouTuber is nice to have. But if sheer strength is what you’re after, then you may be better opting for the…
Gator Frameworks 3000 Series Mic Arm = Strongest Boom Arm
That’s simply because this mic arm can hold close to its own bodyweight in microphone! Plus, not only is a super hench in comparison to its rivals, but it’s also robust too. So if you’re thinking of using a boom in a work environment or while touring then stop here and buy the Gator. However, if strength isn’t your mina priority, and instead you’re after the ultimate in terms of flexibility, then we’d say that you can’t go far wrong with the…
Elgato Wave High Rise Microphone Boom Arm = Most Flexible Boom Arm
Reason being that both the Elgato boom arms do a stellar job of allowing you to have ultimate flexibility when it comes to where you position your mic. So while the Low Profile isn by no means bad, the High Rise does offer you the most flexibility out of the two. That extra height is really useful for when mounting cameras + other gadgets too.
What’s more, if you have a mic like the Shure SM7B, the High Rise shouldn’t restrict you in terms of the XLR port. And even for those with lightweight mics, the Elgato comes with an included counterweight. All of which means that not only is it the most flexible in terms of position, but it also allows you to mount arguably the largest amount of mics too!
So if we had a gun to our head and were told to crown one of these king, we’d say the Elgato Wave High Rise is the best microphone boom arm for sale (now) in 2023.
Enjoy this Best Boom Arm review and eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Advice On Recording Vocals, as well as the lowdown on all things Music Production & Studio Essentials. Recently we’ve also done a full in-depth guide to the Best Vocal Mics Under 500, as well as another on the Good Rap Microphones, which may also worth checking out!
Or if your heart’s set on a mic boom arm, keep reading to discover even more about why booms are such a good production gadget…