Originally published on Dec. 2, 2016 and updated by Denise Azucena and Jason Horton on .
This purpose of this guide is to help anyone who wants to get some new full-sized microphone stands either for stage or studio use.
We have thoroughly reviewed this category in December 2017 and have made several changes bringing in a few new stands and removing some of the ones we previously recommended due to changes in their ratings.
- The Best Mic Stands
- Things To Consider When Buying Microphone Stands
The Best Mic Stands
The Best Cheap Mic Stands - Boom
Here we have the highest rated boom mic stands with a street price of $50 or less - these can be used for playing live or recording. If your budget can stretch a bit further then I strongly recommend you take a look at the higher quality but more expensive boom stands in the other section below.
Pyle Pro PMKS56 Heavy-Duty Tripod Mic Stand
The Pyle Pro PMKS56 is a universal microphone stand that has a durable tri-pod design, black glossy finish and lock-tight pivot knobs. It's made with a 5/8 inch adaptor for microphone compatibility.
- Enlarged tubing for structural and durable support
- Height and T-Bar adjustment points
- Can be used without a boom
- Height adjustment from 51.2'' to 78.75''
This microphone stand lives up to its “heavy duty” factor with it’s thick and sturdy construction, and its solid base. A number of owners mentioned it held up their heavy microphones securely without the stand tipping or drooping. Other than its main use for installing microphones, one user was able to mount personal monitors without the boom.
Since it's bigger than an average microphone stand, it's not suitable for small spaces and it doesn't collapse low enough for drum monitors.
This is an affordable and versatile unit in which the value outweighs the price.
On-Stage MS9701TB+ Heavy-Duty Telescoping Boom Mic Stand
As the name suggests this stand is designed to take on a heavier load and set of work requirements than lighter-weight stands with its heavier diecast leg housings and thicker tubing.
The center clutch grip is coupled with an anti-rotating device on the lower shaft which is designed to make single hand adjustments easier.,
Most importantly the Telescoping Boom lets you position the mic wherever you need it - including overhead.
- 19" to 30" telescoping boom and added safety stopper
- Height Adjustment: 36" to 64"
- Base Spread: 24"
- Oversized shock mount locking washer
- Diecast zinc clutch and leg housing
Quite a number of reviewers were more than satisfied with its stable and weighted tripod base, as well as its counterweight that kept their mics from tipping over. Most of them mentioned it was an improvement from the lighter stands they used in the past.
Some gigging musicians complained that it was too heavy to carry around because of its weight. A few of them who owned this stand for more than a year had issues with the small screw that tightens to hold the tripod legs, which starts to loosen up after repeated set up and tear down.
This is quite a durable stand, preferably used for home recording and occasional gigging.
On-Stage MS7701B Tripod Boom Mic Stand
The On-Stage MS7701B comes with rubber feet and a handy cable clip on the main shaft.
- Steel midpoint locking clutch
- Boom Length: 30"
- Height Adjustment: 32"-61.5"
- Base Spread: 23"
Customers continue to mention its ease of use and effortless set up. Even during live events, they were able to quickly reposition the microphone and adjust the knobs with ease. This mic stand offers a great value for money since it’s quite sturdy for a lightweight stand. Some customers, who commonly use it for home recordings, also mentioned it was easily adjustable in any angle when adjusting in tight environments.
There are a number of customers that mentioned it doesn't stay in place when folded up. The clutch tends to wear out with continued use which causes the stand to slide down.
This stand is ideal for mounting lightweight microphones for both home recording and occasional live gigging.
Cheap Mic Stands - Straight
These are the highest rated straight mic stands with a street price of $25 or less. Because straight stands use fewer parts and less material in their construction they cost less than boom stands of similar quality which is why I've set the price limit at $25 here when it was $50 for cheap boom stands. These stands are general purpose meaning you can using them on stage or in the studio.
Musician's Gear Tripod Base Mic Stand
Because it has a tripod base it's lighter than the solid base version (below) and is more stable if you chose to use it with a boom.
- Height adjustable from 39" to 66.5"
- Plastic height-adjustment clamp
- Weight: 3.4 lbs.
Since this stand is made out of plastic, users mentioned it’s very lightweight and easy to transport. Most of them also mentioned that the value was on par with the price. Additionally, it has a great locking mechanism and holds up microphones and even iPads very well.
There are a few people that have issues when it comes to its height. It’s recommended for people with a height 6 feet or less if they are planning to use the stand for vocals. Some reviewers pointed out that it's not ideal for mounting very heavy microphones or other materials.
This is best to use for home recordings, practices or installing lightweight microphones.
Musician's Gear Die-Cast Round Base Mic Stand
Musician's Gear is a discount store brand of the Guitar Center group of companies and can be bought from their outlets as well as from Wallmart.
- Adjustable from 2.8' to 5.1'
- Cast-iron base
- Metal clutch
- Shipping weight: 6.5 lbs.
Recent users were pleased with the value outweighing the price. They were also pleased with that fact it had a small round base that doesn't take up so much space whenever they set up. Even with a small base, it's quite stable and doesn't easily get knocked over due to its rubber feet and cast iron build.
Some users mentioned it is not ideal for travel since it gets worn out over time in transit. There were also a few of them who complained about it not remaining steady at a certain height, which implies you shouldn't excessively tighten its height adjustment knob.
At an affordable price, this stand is recommended to use mainly indoors or in one location.
The Best Boom Mic Stands - All Purpose
These high quality microphone stands with booms can be used for both live performance and for recording. Here we present the highest rated option for each of the 3 main sub-types: Standard Boom, Telescoping Boom and Overhead Boom. For more affordable options see our recommendations for cheap boom stands above.
K&M 210/2 (21020) Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom
At the time of publication, the K&M (Konig & Meyer) 210/2 was the highest mic stand available in the sub-$200 range.
The K&M 210/2 is a heavy duty steel constructed stand.
- Single piece boom
- Boom length: 31.5"
- Stand height adjusts from 35.4" to 63.2"
- Steel tubing
- Zinc die-cast base
- Weight: 6.8 lbs.
Live performers, audio engineers and recording enthusiasts alike were pleased with this robust stand. Quite a few of them mentioned they provided better quality compared to the stands they previously owned. One owner mentioned they were tall and stable enough for securely mounting drum overheads without any drooping. Overall, they had no problem mounting heavier condenser microphones either.
If you are looking for a sturdier stand that's great for road touring and worth the money over cheap boom stands, this is a great investment.
K&M 210/9 Tripod Mic Stand w/ Telescoping Boom
The K&M 210/9 features the same stand as above but with a telescoping boom instead of a single piece boom.
- 2-piece telescopic boom arm
- Boom arm length adjusts from 17.1" to 29.3"
- Stand height adjusts from 35.4" to 63.2"
- Steel tubing
- Zinc die-cast base
- Weight: 6.8 lbs.
A lot of reviewers often mentioned this stand’s solid and heavy build. Even when its telescoping boom is fully extended while the microphones are mounted, it’s quite stable and extends smoothly without drooping. The clutch that keeps the tubing pieces in place requires less force, making it easily adjustable. They are also travel friendly since they are reasonably compact when folded securely without spreading open in transit.
Some reviewers expected its boom to have a bigger counterweight for extra support to prevent heavy microphones from completely tipping over. Adjusting the boom so that it's parallel to one of the legs is usually the solution for this.
This stand a fair investment if you want a more secure telescoping boom that's a step up from cheaper options.
Tama MS205 Standard Series Telescoping Boom Mic Stand
The Tama MS205 is a boom mic stand designed for drum overheads, and for other studio and stage applications.
- Boom tilter clamps that secures the arm of the interior surface of the U-clamp
- Rubber washers for U-clamp longevity, less wear and tear
- Chrome finish
- Height adjustable from 37.81 to 63"
- Boom length is 32.69”
- Weight: 7.1 lbs.
The quality of construction is one of the great features of this mic stand. Its thick tubing and weighted base are the factors that give this stand a solid build. Many users say they've had no problem with its ability to hold up heavy microphones due to its well constructed boom tilter clamp. Even while adjusting the boom clutch, it gives quite a firm grip with effortless twisting.
There were some complaints about the price since it costs a bit more than the average mic stand.
Nevertheless, this mic stand is a great investment for long term use.
The Best Straight Mic Stands - All Purpose
These are high quality general purpose straight stands used in both live and studio settings. If you would like to see what the budget options are then go to the Cheap Mic Stands section above.
Atlas Sound MS20E Solid Round Base Mic Stand
The Atlas Sound MS20E is a heavy-duty stand for indoor and outdoor use. Its tubing is designed with cold rolled steel built to withstand extreme conditions. It also comes with a non-reflective ebony epoxy finish.
- Available in mirrored chrome finish
- Triangular and Oversized Bases with Edge-Concentrated Weight Distribution
- Wearproof, 3-Piece Clutch Offers Secure, Fast, & Noise-Free Height Adjustment
- Integral Air Suspension
This stand embodies the professional quality many users were looking for in a mic stand. There were some users noticed it's twice as thick as the regular mic stands they've owned. Some of them also mentioned that it has enough weight to support a boom arm with a microphone.
If you are looking for a stand that's higher quality and is built to last, then this is a good option.
Atlas Sound MS25 Heavy Duty Solid Triangular Base Mic Stand w/ Air Suspension
The Atlas Sound MS25 is a heavy duty stand that comes with a chrome tube finish. Its triangular cast base is designed with sculptured sides, ebony finish, and chrome covering and is built for maximum balance and stability. It also features an integrated air suspension system that is designed for protecting sensitive microphones.
- Available in mirrored chrome or non-reflective ebony epoxy
- Wear resistant 3-Piece Clutch for secured height Adjustment
- Height adjustment: 38" to 67"
Several owners mentioned this has a rock solid build and provides exceptional stability. Most of them said it stays in place at a preferred height when adjusted. They were also pleased that they were able to add a boom arm and doesn't easily tip over when moving the boom arm.
Because of its weight and heavy build, one issue mentioned is it heavy to carry around.
This is an ideal mic stand to use mostly for home recording or in-house venues where it can be easily stored.
The Best Studio Mic Stands
These stands are ideal for use with condenser microphones and other heavy studio mics.
K&M 21021 Overhead Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom
The K&M 21021 is perfect for drum overheads both live and in the studio.
- Single piece boom
- Boom length: 41.9"
- Stand height adjusts from 44" to 79.1"
- Steel tubing
- Zinc die-cast base
- Weight: 12.96 lbs.
This stand continues to meet with the expectations of the majority of users who own at least two of these. Most of the positive feedback came from studio owners who praised its stability and height. It’s quite durable and balances very well, even with a full boom extended while mounting condenser microphones. This makes it exceptional when micing overheads for drums, or choirs, for both live and studio applications.
If you need durable stands for micing overheads at an elevated height, this is a great choice.
Hercules Stands MS540B Low-Profile Tripod Mic Stand
The MS540B is a tripod stand made for mounting drum microphones and miking amps.
- Folding tripod base
- Quick-N-EZ Boom Retainer that tilts and locks to the floor stand./li>
- Durable Die Cast Aluminum Tripod Base that's foldable
- EZ Adaptor Flip Clip for secured attachment of the mic to the stand that fits any standard size mic stands.
- Height: 25.8".
- Base Radius: 12.8").
- Boom Length adjustable: 30.7" - 48".
- Weight: 4.7 lbs.
This stand is small and lightweight enough to carry around. Most musicians found it easy and straightforward to assemble and de-assemble - a handy trait for some who also use it in their live performances. It’s also quite well constructed, very stable and rugged.
One reviewer pointed out adjusting the tilt mechanism on the boom arm takes a bit more effort than expected, though the upside of that is that it doesn't droop easily.
This is an exceptional choice if you are looking for a portable mid-height/mid-level boom mic stand for miking amplifiers and live instruments.
On-Stage SB9600 Tripod Studio Boom Mic Stand
The tripod base on the SB9600 can be adjusted for additional height or spread further apart for greater stability when projecting the boom further from the base.
It's can also be extended high enough to use with overhead mics - in fact some people use it in a live setting for overheads even though it's primarily designed for studio use.
- 2 Straight boom shafts totaling 82" in length
- 7" boom extension
- 7 lbs. boom counterweight
- Height adjusts from 44" to 80"
- Base spread adjusts from 32" to 48"
- Steel tubing
- Rubber feet
This stand is very useful for overhead miking with its tall height and long boom. It's mentioned by a number of reviewers that it's used often for miking choirs both on stage and in studios. Its counterweight has a lot of mass to support and balance heavy microphones. Reviewers were impressed by its sturdiness and well-made build.
Since it's quite big, some owners suggested it's not suitable to use for a small home studio since it takes up so much space.
If you want a mic stand for installing heavy microphones to mainly use in big venues, or in the studio, this is a good choice.
Ultimate Support MC-125 Studio Telescoping Boom Mic Stand w/ Adjustable Counterweight
The Ultimate Support MC-125 has an adjustable counterweight - that means you can position it along the end of the boom to perfectly balance the stand with any mics or other attachments such as pop filters without having to adjust the boom itself. If you haven't used an adjustable counterweight before then trust me it's a really handy feature!
The roller-blade style casters can be locked to prevent it moving once in position.
- Height with casters is adjustable from 51.5" to 82.75"
- Boom adjusts from 35" to 61"
- Counterweight Weight: 5.75 lbs.
- Steel tubing
- Caster Diameter: 3.75"
- Cast iron base - 35 lbs.
- Base Diameter: 22.5"
Customers were more than satisfied with its durable and excellent build due to its heavy base and clean casting. Since it’s a very heavy duty mic stand, they were pleased with its secured wheel locks, and wheels that made it convenient for them to move around. The stand is well-balanced allowing for precise mic placement.
A minor defect mentioned by a few customers is that its boom clutch wears off over time since it's made out of plastic, though it happens when tightening it too much. Only a few mentioned that they had to add thread adhesive to its threads in order to keep the stand from slipping.
This is a considerable choice if you are looking for a versatile mic stand for drum overheads, vocals, room, or orchestral recordings in the studio.
Things To Consider When Buying Microphone Stands
What is the Best Type of Mic Stand For Performing Live?
When it comes to live performance you're usually going to be setting up and tearing down your stands much more frequently than you would in a studio setting so getting robust solid stands is very important. Another important, yet sometimes overlooked factor, is how much space they take up when packed away, and this leads to the next point...
Tripod Mic Stand Vs Solid Base Stands
Tripod stands are more versatile because you can use them with or without a boom and they fold-up to take much less space than solid base or round base stands. Generally the only time I would use solid base stands live is where a boom isn't necessary such as with singers who don't play an instrument. For musicians that sing while playing an instrument a tripod stand with a boom is almost always necessary so that the stand can be placed in such a way that it won't get in the way of playing the instrument.
What Makes the Best Studio Mic Stand?
You can effectively use just about any type of mic stand for recording so long as it allows you to position the microphone exactly where you need it to best capture the source you are recording. Some stands help facilitate this by providing booms with a counterweight allowing the mic to be positioned a long way from the base - this can be particularly helpful positioning overhead mics and with miking drum kits. Some contain shock absorbers to minimize floor vibrations that might reach the microphone. Some studio mic stands also come with casters/wheels so you can move them around the studio easily - this can be helpful when you have a heavey microphone attached and you don't want to disturb the stand setup.
Clutch & Clamp Strength
When you put a microphone into a position you need it to say there. Some of the cheaper stands may allow the mic to sag or drop in position which can ruin a great take when recording or require someone to run up on stage and make adjustments during a performance. This doesn't usually happen when they're brand new but it can happen after extended use. You can avoid this problem by purchasing high quality stands.
When using boom stands with heavy condenser mics and other attachments you'll find basic boom stands are fine so long as you don't extend the boom too far beyond the feet otherwise the center of gravity will be outside the base and it will tip over. If you want more control over the placement and extension of the boom then you'll need one that provides a counterweight - an adjustable counterweight can be particularly useful when miking large drum/percussion setups. You will find these in the Studio Mic Stand section above..
Best Mic Stand Selection Methodology
We looked at the full-sized stand top seller lists of the major online retailers in the USA and came up with a short-list of 48 microphone stands. We then collected ratings and feedback from customer reviews and forum discussions and fed that data into the Gearank Algorithm to produce the Gearank ratings out of 100 for each stand - over 9,800 sources were used for this process. Finally we produced lists of the highest rated mic stands in each of the 5 categories above. For more information about our processes see How Gearank Works.