Best mic stands 2024: Our pick of microphone holders you can rely on

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1. Product guide
2. Buying advice
3. How we choose products

Microphone stands are the unsung heroes of both the studio and stage. Often relegated to the dusty end of the shopping list when you're wishlisting new music gear, they are every bit as essential as the gear their designed to hold – after all, a mic that's not held securely in position can lead to disastrous results. With that in mind, here we're taking a look at the very best mic stands for every use and budget.

In this guide, you'll find products from all the major players in this particular field, including Ultimate Support, RØDE, and K&M. And we've also included mic stands at every price point to ensure that musician is catered for, no matter what you have to spend. 

To find out more about what to look for when buying a microphone stand, read our buying advice at the foot of the page, or keep scrolling to get straight into our top picks.

Dave Clews author bio
Dave Clews

Dave has been making music with computers since 1988 and his engineering, programming and keyboard-playing has featured on recordings by artists including George Michael, Kylie and Gary Barlow. A music technology writer since 2007, he’s Computer Music’s long-serving songwriting and music theory columnist, iCreate magazine’s resident Logic Pro expert and a regular contributor to MusicRadar and Attack Magazine. 

Best mic stands: Product guide

Best mic stands: Buying advice

Shure SM58 mounted to a microphone stand on a yellow background

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What types of mic stand are there?

There are various types of mic stand, each of which comes with its own set of benefits: 

Round base mic stand. The most basic type of microphone stand features a weighted circular base with a single pole rising from its centre, onto which the microphone can be attached via a threaded clip or shockmount. The base is usually made of die-cast steel, giving it the necessary weight to hold the central pole steady. This type of stand is good for stage singers, since the small footprint of the base enables you to get up close to the stand without fear of tripping over a leg.

Tripod boom mic stand. The most common type, tripod boom mic stands have three legs at the base and an extendable boom arm sticking out sideways that holds the microphone. Though these stands can be adjusted to almost any position you might need in a live or studio environment, care should be taken not to over-extend the centre of gravity so that the stand topples over with the weight of the mic. To combat this, some models include counterweights on the rear section of the boom arm to balance the weight of the microphone attached to the other end. Another potential pitfall with tripod boom mic stands is the trip hazard they can present on stage, which is why round-based stands are often preferable for gigging.

Scissor arm boom mic stand. Similar in design to an anglepoise lamp, scissor arm mic stands are designed to be mounted to a desk or wall, and allow flexible positioning of a mic when seated. Originating in broadcast studios and increasingly popular with podcasters, scissor arm boom mic stands are articulated with a central hinged elbow joint and springs to allow quick and easy repositioning. They also usually swivel at the base so that you can swing the mic out of the way when not in use.

Desktop mic stand. As the name suggests, desktop mic stands are designed to hold a microphone securely in place while on a desktop or similar flat surface, and as such are mostly used for podcasting, voiceovers, videoconferencing or singing while sitting down at a desk. 

Anatomy of a microphone stand 

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  • Base: Mic stands usually come with either a round, heavy metal base or a set of three folding tripod-style legs (very occasionally they’ll come with both). Often, the base will feature rubber feet to help dampen vibrations, while tripod legs will be fitted with rubber or plastic end caps.
  • Pole: The main part of the stand that rises up from the base, the pole is usually height-adjustable by way of the clutch. Loosening the clutch will allow you to raise an internal pole of a smaller diameter to increase the stand’s height.
  • Clutch: The clutch is the part of the stand that allows you to adjust the height. The most common type is the single-axis twist clutch, where you unlock by twisting, make the adjustment and then twist back again to lock the stand in its new position. Some stands feature one-handed trigger grip clutches for a quick release, making for speedier and more hassle-free adjustments. Clutches can also be used to adjust the boom arm extension and the position of any counterweights attached to the rear of the boom arm to offset the weight of a mic attached to the business end.
  • Clamp: Located at the top of the pole on a boom arm stand, the clamp is the joint that allows you to adjust the angle and extension of the boom arm. Having a solid, lockable clamp is essential to prevent the boom arm sagging under the weight of the mic while in use.
  • Clip: The clip is the part of the stand that actually grasps the microphone, attaching to the boom arm by way of a threaded adaptor. The most common sizes for these are ⅜” / 9.5mm and ⅝” / 15.8mm, and converters are available to switch between the two sizes if required – although you’ll often have to purchase these separately. Standard clips usually take the form of a sprung clamp or a static, tube-like holder made of flexible plastic designed to accommodate handheld, SM58-style microphones. These work well on stage as the mic can be removed and replaced quickly with one hand.
  • Shockmount: A shockmount is an alternative solution to a clip for holding your microphone, and is usually designed to hold heavier, large-diaphragm microphones. Typically formed from two concentric rings linked by a cat’s-cradle-type arrangement of elasticated bungees, they are designed to isolate the mic from any vibrations transmitted through the body of the stand. Many large-diaphragm mics have their own compatible shockmount, but all of them will be equipped with a standard-sized thread adaptor for connecting to a stand’s boom arm. 

Four-piece band performing live

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What should I look for when buying a mic stand?

  • Solidity: Especially when recording, it’s important that your microphone will be held securely and not move around during use – some heavier mics can induce sagging when attached to extended boom arms on some lower-priced stands. 
  • Versatility: Some stands are supplied with multiple clips and adaptors for optional shockmounts, but not all of them include these, so check whether or not you’ll need to purchase additional accessories in order to use your chosen stand with a particular microphone. Thread adaptors can be useful to convert between the two standard thread sizes – ⅜” / 9.5mm and ⅝” / 15.8mm – found on the ends of boom arms.
  • Extendability: Make sure that the stand you’re looking at is sufficiently extendable for  your requirements. A short tripod boom stand will be fine for kick drums and guitar combos, for example, but no good for miking up drum overheads as it won’t go anywhere near high enough.

Many boom stands are telescopic, meaning they have smaller tubes housed within them that can be pulled out to increase the range. This makes them useful for trickier scenarios such as miking up a grand piano or placing spot mics on specific areas of a drum kit. As always, care should be taken not to over-extend to the point where the weight of the mic is making things unstable by being outside the stand’s centre of gravity. This can either cause the boom arm to sag over time, or destabilise the stand so that the whole thing topples over. 

  • Stability: Centre of gravity while in use is an important factor, which is why round-base stands don’t tend to feature boom arms. With a heavy mic attached to the end of a boom, the centre of gravity is shifted upwards and outwards, making the stand more likely to topple over. For this reason, most boom stands tend to have tripod bases, so that the boom arm can be extended in line with one of the three legs for improved stability. On the other hand, tripod stands can present more of a trip hazard for unwary vocalists on a darkened stage, making round-base stands a more practical choice for this use case.
  • Durability: If you envisage doing regular setups and packdowns in the studio or on stage, be sure to pick a mic stand that’s durable and whose moving parts can stand up to a lot of punishment. All of the stands on this list are constructed from metal tubing, and quite a few stands feature replaceable components, removing the need to shell out for a whole new stand if just one part wears out. 
  • Foldability: If you don’t have much storage space where you’re working, a stand that folds up into a compact footprint should be high on your list of requirements. Most tripod stands have folding legs and a base that can slide up the main pole for storage, while the boom arm can usually be collapsed and folded down parallel to the main stand. Most round-base stands only reduce down to their minimum height for storage, although it’s possible to find some with stackable bases that don’t compromise too much on stability.

How we choose the best mic stands

Here at MusicRadar, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing, creating and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music gear related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best mic stands available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are musicians, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best mic stands on the market right now.

Find out more about how we test music gear and services at MusicRadar.

Dave Clews

Dave has been making music with computers since 1988 and his engineering, programming and keyboard-playing has featured on recordings by artists including George Michael, Kylie and Gary Barlow. A music technology writer since 2007, he’s Computer Music’s long-serving songwriting and music theory columnist, iCreate magazine’s resident Logic Pro expert and a regular contributor to MusicRadar and Attack Magazine. He also lectures on synthesis at Leeds Conservatoire of Music and is the author of Avid Pro Tools Basics.