The Best Mic Stands - From $18 to $200

Microphone Stands

This guide is designed to help anyone who wants to get some new full-sized microphone stands either for stage or studio use.

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.

  • Balance

    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 below.

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 38 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 scores for each stand - over 7.000 review sources were used for this process. Finally we produced lists of the highest rated mic stands in each of the 5 categories below. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

You can jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

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.

Samson MK10 Lightweight Tripod Boom Mic Stand

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 800+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$20
Samson MK10 Lightweight Boom Mic Stand

This is Samson's budget tripod stand which has feet that snap-lock into position and has an adjustable height.

Features:

  • Max Height not counting the Boom: 3' 9.5"
  • Max Height with Boom: 5' 6"
  • Collapsible to 25" in height
  • Steel construction
  • Black finish
  • Includes mic clip

Pros

Most customer reviews say this is a sturdy stand for holding a single light weight microphone. The consensus is that it works very well for light duties such as a home recording studio or rehearsal room.

Cons

Quite a number of customers who reviewed it pointed out that it becomes unsteady if you start adding additional weight such as a second mic, heavy pop filter, or a mic with a preamp attached or built in. Some even said their heavy condenser mics got damaged by the stand tipping over.

Overall

Not recommended for regular gigging or holding heavy studio mics, but for light duties it is highly recommended.

On-Stage MS7701B Tripod Boom Mic Stand

84
GEARANK

84 out of 100. Incorporating 1500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$25
On-Stage MS7701B Boom Mic Stand

The On-Stage MS7701B comes with rubber feet and a handy cable clip on the main shaft.

Features:

  • Steel midpoint locking clutch
  • Boom Length: 30"
  • Height Adjustment: 32"-61.5"
  • Base Spread: 23"

Pros

Ease of assembly, ease of use, and value for money all came up frequently in customer reviews. People who use it for home recording also liked the ability to place the mic at just about any angle needed.

Cons

Many customer reviews said it wasn't up to the task of being used in a PA system reporting that the legs flop around when in transit (they don't stay in place when folded up) and the clutch wears out with continued use causing the stand to slide down.

Overall

This is a good stand for light use either occasionally gigging or home recording without using mics that are too heavy or extended too far outside the feet.

On-Stage MS9701TB+ Heavy-Duty Telescoping Boom Mic Stand

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$50
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 the stands above with 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.

Features:

  • 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

Pros

Solid, rugged, well-built are terms that came up frequently in customer reviews. Many people used words to the effect that this stand was definitely a step up from the lighter stands they had previously used. It got good ratings and reviews from both recording and gigging musicians.

Cons

There were a few people that complained that it was too heavy - this seemed mostly to come from those who were using it for gigging. A small number of people said that it started to droop at full extension after some time, but they didn't say how old it was when this started.

Overall

This stand is well suited to gigging and recording and will out-last the lighter options above making it a better choice for consistent use.

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 Die-Cast Round Base Mic Stand

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$18
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 and Amazon.

Features:

  • Adjustable from 2.8' to 5.1'
  • Cast-iron base
  • Metal clutch
  • Shipping weight: 6.5 lbs.

Pros

The most common positive comment in reviews were words to the effect that it's good value considering the very low price.

Cons

There were a number of people who complained about it not staying at the set height even when it was still relatively new.

Overall

If you're going to use it primarily in one location and don't need to adjust it frequently then you can save a few dollars with this stand.

Musician's Gear Tripod Base Mic Stand

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$20
Musician's Gear Tripod Base Mic Stand

Because it has a tripod base it's lighter than the solid base version above and is more stable if you chose to use it with a boom.

Features:

  • Height adjustable from 39" to 66.5"
  • Plastic height-adjustment clamp
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.

Pros

Some people said they had owned these for more than a year and used them without having any problems. Many of the positive reviews stated it was good value for the price.

Cons

One person complained that it wasn't high enough for tall singers - note that it's only 5.5 feet tall. Many people pointed out that these stand are only applicable to light use.

Overall

If you're just using it at home for practice or recording then it should work fine - just don't expect the build quality of more expensive stands.

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.

K&M 210/2 (21020) Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$62
K&M 210/2 (21020) Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

K&M (Konig & Meyer) produce the highest rated boom mic stands available in the sub-$200 range.

The K&M 210/2 is a heavy duty steel constructed stand.

Features:

  • 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.

Pros

Heavy, sturdy, stable and reliable were words that came up frequently in customer reviews. It received positive feedback from live performers, home recorders, and audio engineers. Several people mentioned using it with heavy condenser mics without issue.

Cons

I did not find any consistently reported negatives in customer reviews or forum discussions about this stand.

Overall

If you're tired of your cheap boom stands drooping or wearing out then make the investment and get this one instead.

K&M 210/9 Tripod Mic Stand w/ Telescoping Boom

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$58
K&M 210/9 Tripod Microphone Stand w/ Telescoping Boom (Black)

The K&M 210/9 features the same stand as above but with a telescoping boom instead of a single piece boom.

Features:

  • 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.

Pros

Customer reviews consistently say this stand is not only solid but also handles heavy microphones without drooping or slipping. Several reviewers said that it easily handles the weight of a condenser mic and pop filter without sagging.

Cons

A couple of people complained that it didn't have as many adjustable parts as they wanted, but I think they were unfairly comparing it to more expensive studio mic stands. One person mentioned that the rubber feet slide on hardwood floors.

Overall

The general consensus is that you won't regret buying this as a step-up from cheaper telescoping boom stands.

K&M 21021 Overhead Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$119
K&M Overhead Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

The K&M 21021 is perfect for drum overheads both live and in the studio.

Features:

  • 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.

Pros

The vast majority of people who reviewed this stand only had positive things to say about it's reliability and stability, even when carrying heavy loads like 2 mics at the same time. One person who gave it a perfect 5 star rating even said he'd been using these stands for 13 years. 98.5% of customer reviews gave it 4 or 5 stars.

Cons

There were no consistently reported negatives.

Overall

If you need the height of overheads then this is the one to get.

Straight Mic Stands - All Purpose

These are high quality general purpose straight stands used in both live and studio settings.

Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base Mic Stand

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$48
Atlas Sound MS-10C Round Base Mic Stand

The Atlas Sound MS-10C sports chrome plating and a weather proof clutch. The die cast base has an edge-concentrated weight distribution and has rubber pads underneath.

Features:

Pros

Sturdy and attractive were words that came up in positive reviews. Several people said they had been using the MS-10C for many years and continue to buy more of them. The clutch / height adjustment mechanism was mentioned positively by many reviewers.

Cons

One person said they transmitted vibrations when recording. Other than that the small number of complaints were mainly retailer specific about shipping issues.

Overall

If it's time for you to move on from cheap stands then put this at the top of your shopping list.

K&M 201A/2 Tripod Mic Stand

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$55
K&M 201A/2 Tripod Mic Stand

There were a number of people who said in their customer reviews that they bought the K&M 201A/2 to use with booms they already owned, but of course it can be used as a regular straight stand.

Features:

  • Height adjusts from 35.4" to 63.2"
  • Folding legs with sockets
  • Steel tubing
  • Zinc die-cast base
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs.

Pros

Strong and sturdy is how most reviewers describe this stand - one person even said they were mounting speakers on it successfully. According to one reviewer this has the thickest tubing of all the comparable stands.

Cons

There were no consistently reported negatives.

Overall

This is the highest rated straight stand with a tripod base under $200.

The Best Studio Mic Stands

These stands are ideal for use with condenser microphones and other heavy studio mics.

On-Stage SB9600 Tripod Studio Boom Mic Stand

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$120
On-Stage Stands 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.

Features:

  • 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

Pros

Several people reported using it for overhead miking with heavy mics and that it worked very well in that role. Most reviewers were very impressed with the stand's build quality. Many positive reviews said they used heavy mics with it.

Cons

One person said the threads connecting the boom can be stripped if you're not careful. Almost all of the negative reviews related to shipping issues with specific retailers.

Overall

If you want precise control over positioning your heavy studio mics then start by considering this stand.

On-Stage SMS7650 Hex-Base Studio Telescoping Mic Boom Stand

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$170
On-Stage SMS7650 Hex-Base Studio Telescoping Mic Boom Stand

The SMS7650 is long enough to be used for overheads and comes with casters for moving around easily even with heavy microphones mounted.

It's often used for holding 2 mics at a time and also as a vocal mic stand for drummers.

Features:

  • 3-section vertical shaft
  • Height adjusts from 40" to 82"
  • Boom: 82" with counterweight
  • 7" mini-boom adapter
  • 17 lb. Base w/ removable casters
  • Base Spread: 24" with casters or 18" without casters

Pros

Reviewers report that this stand will hold the heaviest microphones in position without problem. Sturdy and stable are words that come up frequently in customer reviews.

Cons

A few people said that although it works well in a studio setting that it's not built for regularly taking to gigs or taking on the road. One person said the casters can get a bit squeaky if not lubricated. There were a small number of people who said it wasn't stable for them, but they were very much in the minority.

Overall

Better suited to studio use although some report using it live for overheads on drums and choirs.

Ultimate Support MC-125 Studio Telescoping Boom Mic Stand w/ Adjustable Counterweight

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
Ultimate Support MC-125 Studio Boom Mic Stand

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.

Features:

  • 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"

Pros

Many people compared this to more expensive studio stands and said this one provides great value at this price. Its build quality and sturdiness came in for consistent praise in customer reviews. Many people rely on it to hold heavy mics with pop filters and shields.

Cons

A couple of reviewers said the clutch wore out but didn't say how long they'd been using it when this happened. One experienced audio engineer said the cast iron base shattered when he dropped it. There were a couple of people who said it didn't hold their heavy mics but they were most definitely in the minority.

Overall

If you're looking for a highly versatile studio microphone stand for no more than $200 then this is worth putting at the top of your list.

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