Guide to Microphone Stands for Stage and Studio

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It doesn’t take long for anyone to realize…

Good microphone stands don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve.

Because while novices think they’re all the same…experienced musicians know better.

If you’ve ever owned a crappy mic stand…then you know how scary it is to dive after your $1000 condenser mic just before it hits the floor..

The truth is…quality mic stands are one of the best investments you can make for any studio or live rig.

So for today’s post, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you find the best possible stands to fit your needs.

Let’s begin.  First up…

The 6 Categories of Mic Stands

microphone stand typesThe 6 basic categories of microphone stands are as follows:

  1. Tripod Stands – which are the most common and designed for general-purpose use.
  2. Tripod Boom Stands – which offer a longer reach than standard tripod stands.
  3. Round Base Stands – which are ideal for singers on stage, because they use less floor space and are harder to trip-over than tripod stands.
  4. Low-Profile Stands – which are commonly used for kick drums, guitar cabs.
  5. Desktop Stands – which can look similar to low-profile stands, but are intended more for podcasting and bedroom recording.
  6. Overhead Stands – which are the largest and most expensive of all stands, and are used when extreme heights and angles are required, such as with drum overheads.

Once you know which of these you want, the next step is…

Choosing the Best Stand in your Price Range

One thing you’ve probably noticed about mic stands is…their cost can vary from $10 to $500 or more.  And within each price range, there are both good options, and bad ones.

The problems is…you can’t just go to your local music store and “try-out” a stand to see how good it is.

Because really…you need to use it for several weeks before you really “get-a-feel” for its quality.  And only in that time-frame, will you discover whether it’s your best friend, or worst nightmare.

But since you obviously can’t do that with every stand you buy, the best way to find a good stand is to simply read the reviews from users who already own them.

Luckily for you, I’ve already done this research.  And in these next 3 sections, I’ll show you my list of the most well-reviewed microphone stands at every price range.

Starting with…

The Best Budget Mic Stands (under $50)

On Stage Stands MS7701B

While most musicians on a budget won’t spend any more than the absolute minimum necessary for a semi-decent stand…

The problem is, that many cheaper stands claim to do a good job…and then simply don’t.

So to spare you this pain, here’s a list of the best cheap mic stands that actually deliver on their promises:

  1. Tripod:
  2. Tripod Boom:
  3. Round Base:
  4. Low Profile:
  5. Desktop:
  6. Overhead:
    • (none)

Up next…

The Best Mid-Range Mic Stands ($50-$100)

K&M Microphone Stand

For bedroom studios, any of the previous stands we’ve covered should serve their purpose well…

But when you use those stands, day-in and day-out, sometimes holding multi-thousand dollar microphones…

It makes sense to spend a little more for some added securityand durability.

One common problem with cheaper stands is that they gradually sag when positioned at extreme angles.  And that can be frustrating, especially after you’ve worked so hard to find the exact perfect mic position.

Which is why most people believe it’s well-worth-it to spend a few extra dollars on a stand that will actually stay-put once positioned.  And usually, stands which are thatreliable cost around $50-$100.

Among stands in this price range, here are the ones with the best overall reviews:

  1. Tripod:
  2. Tripod Boom:
  3. Round Base:
  4. Low Profile:
  5. Desktop:
  6. Overhead:
    • (none)

Up next…

The Best High-End Mic Stands ($100+)

While you might call them overkill for a typical home studio…

The fact is that pro studios are more than happy to pay top-dollar for premium mic stands…because if you can afford them, they’re worth every penny.

Among the small selection of stands in this price range, here are some of the top options I recommend:

  1. Tripod:
    • Ultimate Support TOUR T TALL – (Amazon)
  2. Tripod Boom:
  3. Round Base:
  4. Low Profile:
    • (none)
  5. Desktop:
    • (none)
  6. Overhead:

And that’s it.  Now up next…

How to Supercharge Your Mic Stand

In a cramped home studio, where floor-space is scarce…it’s frustrating to see how much area one stand can occupy, when its only job is to hold the microphone.

The good news is…with a few clever additions, you can easily transform your single-purpose mic stand into a multi-purpose recording station.

All it take is these 6 super-useful accessories:

1. The IK Multimedia iKlip

IK multimedia iKlip Xpand

As “solo recording” setups become increasingly common…

These new “DAW remote apps,” controlled from your smart phone or tablet, are now more of a necessity than luxury…

Because they’re the only good way to control your transport functions of your DAW from behind the mic at any location in the room.

Of course, to use this tool efficiently, you need to mount it on your stand…and the easiest way to do so is with the iKlip Expand, which comes in two versions:

Up next…

2. On-Stage Posi-Lok Sidemount Boom

posi lock sidemount boomA common question singer/songwriters ask is:

How do I record both my guitar and vocals together?

Well to mike-up both simultaneously, you could use two separate stands, or…

To save yourself some space, you could simply attach the On-Stage Posi-Lok Sidemount Boom to one stand, and use this configuration to record both.

Up next…

3. Stedman Headphone Hanger

stedman-headphone-hangerDoesn’t it suck to have to roll-up and put away your headphones each day…

Only to immediately unpack them again the next day?

Well with the Stedman Headphone Hanger, you can forget about all that nonsense…

Because with this simple attachment, you just hang them on your stand…and they will be right there waiting for you at your next session.

Up next…

4. K&M Drink Holder

KM drink holderSome may think it’s frivolous, but the truth is…

You gotta put your water (or beer) somewhere

So it can either be right in front of you, safe and secure in your K&M drink holder

Or it can be elsewhere in a less convenient location, where it might get knocked over, such as on your desk or guitar amp.

So for the few measly dollars it costs, it’s a pretty good investment.

Up next…

5. Primacoustic Tripod Mic Stand Isolator

primacoustic tripadWhile they might be the standard solution for excessive foot noise…

The problem with shockmounts is…they’re only designed to work with a single model of microphone.

And if you don’t have a shockmount for the mic you’re using…you’re screwed.

But with the Primacoustic Tripod Mic Stand Isolator, which works by decoupling the stand from the floor so vibration transfer is minimized…

You now have a single solution to this problem, that will work with any mic.

And finally…

6. Audix CabGrabber

Audix CabGrab1

While the Audix Cabgrabber isn’t technically a “mic stand accessory“…

It is however…a mic stand replacement, which is specifically designed for miking guitar cabs.

In cramped studios, where floor space is precious, the Cabgrabber is a great way to avoid using an extra stand.

On-stage it’s even better, because it eliminates the possibility of accidentally kicking over your stand during a performance.

And since it’s compatible with any cabinet, and any mic, it’s a great tool to have in any recording arsenal.