The Best Mic Stands for Stage and Studio

The Highest Rated Mic Stands

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A studio can get up and running with just a computer, interface, and a microphone. However, it's never truly complete until you've gotten your first (of possibly several) Mic Stands. Having a good mic stand saves you the headache of sagging mics, unexpected drops, and tip-overs.

It's important to know what kind of mic stands you will need and since there are so many in the market today, we have compiled all the information you will need to get the best one for your studio.

For this 2020 update, we have 4 sections dedicated to different types of mic stands and price points.

For our budget option section, we opted to choose only boom mics since they are multi-purpose so you can't go wrong with these. The other sections are devoted to boom mic stands, straight mic stands, and stands that are more suitable for the studio. Our studio stand selections are more for heavier duty products that can support larger microphones like condensers and tube mics. To fit into this category, we looked at mic stands that have longer boom length and other useful features for the studio like a counterweight for heavier microphones or casters for easy positioning.

Towards the end of the guide, you can find what you need to know when selecting mic stands as well as how we came up with our top picks.

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

90
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$36
Pyle Pro PMKS56 Heavy-Duty Tripod Mic Stand

The Pyle Pro PMKS56 is a heavy-duty microphone stand that has a durable tripod design, black glossy finish, and lock-tight pivot knobs.

It includes a universal, 5/8'' mic adapter for use with different clamping and attachment mechanisms.

Features:

  • 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''
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs

Pros

This microphone stand lives up to its “heavy-duty” factor with its thick and sturdy construction and its solid tripod-style base. Some owners mentioned it held up their heavier condenser microphones securely without the stand tipping or drooping making it particularly useful in the studio. Other than its main use with microphones, one user was able to mount personal monitors without the boom.

Cons

Since it's bigger than the average microphone stand, it's not suitable for small spaces where the base might take too much real estate as noted by a few users. Also, its heavy-duty look may tend to get in the way of performers on stage visually. The heaviest of mics may need a counterweight despite the stand's design. Some users report weakness in the joint area but most problems may have come from over-tightening clutches. The size may also limit positioning options in the studio.

Overall

The PMKS56 is a good pick for those looking for a heavy-duty stand that won't break the bank. Heavy-duty stands tend to be expensive but the PMKS56 sits well with the big boys at a fraction of the cost. Because of its size however, it may not be the best for cramped live stages or for studio sessions where a lot of mobility and positioning are required.

Hola! Music HPS-101TB Mic Stand

96
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$37
Hola! Music HPS-101TB Mic Stand

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Boom Mic Stand Under $50.

Hola! Music is a family-owned music equipment company that focuses on making value-oriented products.

The HPS-101TB is a telescoping boom mic stand with multiple points of adjustment and locking to provide better angles of use when miking up instruments, amplifiers, or vocals.

Features:

  • Telescopic boom
  • Large Ergonomic Height Clutch
  • 3 angle and length clutches
  • Locking leg housing
  • Height Adjustment from 40" - 63"
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 4" - 27"
  • Weight: 5.35 lbs

Pros

People who bought the stand were surprised to see it was sturdier than they expected given the price. The mechanism and materials used were of good quality as noted by some users.

Cons

Some found that the stand lacked the mass needed for use with larger microphones. Others note that the stand may tip over if the legs are not properly aligned with the boom arm because of the lighter weight.

Overall

If you're looking to buy an affordable mic stand and need some cash left over to spare, the Hola! Music HPS-101TB is a great buy.

The Best Boom Mic Stands

These high-quality microphone stands with booms can be used for both live performances and recordings. Here we present the highest rated options available. For more affordable options see our recommendations for cheap boom stands above.

DR Pro Tripod Mic Stand

96
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$70

The DR Pro Tripod is a basic tripod mic stand that features a telescopic boom.

It has a height adjustment up to 69" and a boom length adjustment up to 31".

Features:

  • Telescopic boom
  • Powder-coated finish
  • Height Adjustment from 40" - 69"
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 19" - 31"
  • Weight: 5.35 lbs

Pros

Users like how the DR Pro Tripod feels heavy duty and is "built like a tank". Most reviewers have bought them in bulk because they strike a balance between price and value especially when they report having them for several years.

Cons

Despite being lauded for durability, some units may develop some issues like clamps not locking tight enough or the adjustment/locking screw's plastic parts breaking off.

Overall

The DR Pro Tripod Mic stand is a basic but rugged unit that a lot of users have had long term use from. Some part failures here and there due to wear and tear or over-tightening doesn't stop it from being one of the more popular mic stands in this guide.

K&M 25950

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$74
K&M 25950 Tripod Base Boom Mic Stand

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Boom Mic Stand.

While other mic stands listed in this guide offer great adjustments in terms of length and height, the utility of having a smaller mic stand is often overlooked.

The K&M 25950 is a low-profile mic stand designed to help place mics near sound sources like kick drums, guitar cabinets, and other sound sources that require a lower mic position.

Features:

  • One-piece pole / cast iron base. /li>
  • 2-piece telescopic boom design
  • T-bar locking screws
  • Height Adjustment fixed at 15"
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 16" to 28.5"
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs.

Pros

Users like its small footprint for live miking situations like bass drums or guitar cabinets from the floor. For recording, users preferred using the small mic stand for smaller rooms as it isn't as easily knocked over while placing a bottom mic for snare. The biggest contributor to its stability is its weight: the K&M 25950 is heavier than most regular-sized stands.

Cons

One user had trouble using a Dynamount (a type of robotic mic placement system) with the stand. It was 3lbs so it may have been too heavy for the stand.

Overall

Aside from being a space-saver, the 25950 mic stand is a stable and reliable unit for miking up low-positioned sound sources. It doesn't try to fill in the need for a main mic stand but leaves your other stands available for other uses all while being compact enough to not get in the way of positioning.

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

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 1550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$85
K&M 210/2 (21020) Tripod Mic Stand w/ Boom

The 210/2 is K&M's longest-running product and has been in production for over 30 years.

Compared to the K&M 210/9 the boom arm clamp is a sturdier T-bar design.

It features industry-standard height and boom arm adjustment and a solid base with foldable legs.

Features:

  • Single piece boom
  • Steel tubing
  • Zinc die-cast base
  • Boom length: 31.5"
  • Height Adjustment from 35.4" to 63.2"
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs.

Pros

Live performers, audio engineers, and recording enthusiasts have praised this stand for its simple but durable construction. 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. Some heavier microphones can be mounted without a counterbalance as reported by one reviewer.

Cons

One reviewer noted that the newer ones aren't as robust as older models.

Overall

For touring on the road or setting up at the studio, the 210/2 is a reliable pick for everyday use if you need more mass for stability.

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

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 1650+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$90
K&M 210/9 Tripod Microphone Stand w/ Telescoping Boom (Black)

The K&M 210/9 features a similar design as the 21070 and the 210/2 but with a telescoping boom instead of a single piece boom.

The boom T-bar adjustment clamp is also an upgrade over the 21070's wing nut design

Features:

  • Steel tubing
  • Zinc die-cast base
  • 2-piece telescopic boom arm
  • Boom arm length adjusts from 17.1" to 29.3"
  • Height Adjustment from 35.4" to 63.2"
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs.

Pros

A lot of reviewers note the build quality being solid. They appreciate the stability of the stand even when the telescoping boom is fully extended and even with slightly heavier microphones. The clutch also requires less torque to keep the tubing in place. This prevents early wear from over-tightening. The stand folds up into a compact size which helps with portability.

Cons

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 the usual solution.

Overall

The 210/9 makes for a good long term investment for the studio or venue because of its durability. The telescopic boom arm is useful for getting the stand out of the way of cymbals when positioning them around the drums.

The Best Straight Mic Stands

These are high-quality, straight stands used for vocals in both live and studio settings. Please note that straight mics stands are generally only suited to vocalists who will not be playing an instrument as they can only be adjusted vertically.

Atlas Sound MS20E

94
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$102
Atlas Sound MS20E Round Base Mic Stand

The Atlas Sound MS20E is a round-base, straight mic stand designed for stability.

It features a large round base with weight distribution towards the edges and an integral air suspension system to prevent damage to mics when accidental height adjustment drops occur.

Features:

  • Oversized base with edge-concentrated weight distribution
  • 3-Piece clutch
  • Integral air suspension system
  • 7/8" and 1 1/8" dia. cold rolled steel tubing
  • Height Adjustment from 37" to 66"
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 4" - 27"
  • Weight: 14.00 lbs (Manufacturer spec), 12.25lb (User-checked weight. See Cons below))

Pros

"Heavy". "Stable", "Built like a tank" are just some of the words reviewers used to describe the Atlas Sound MS20E. The heavy-duty clutch system also gets praise for its stability and long-term durability.

Cons

One user noted that the actual weight of the stand is 12.25lb. While not exactly a negative with regards to function as a mic stand, it might be important to take note of this when using it to support other things like studio monitors as having the setup top-heavy might result in instability.

Overall

The Atlas Sound MS20E is a prime example of a stable mic stand with excellent long-term durability and safety features like the air suspension system for peace of mind. There's no reason not to get it!

Atlas Sound MS25 Heavy Duty Solid Triangular Base Mic Stand with Air Suspension

96
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$153
Atlas Sound MS25 Heavy Duty Triangular Base Mic Stand

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Straight Mic Stand.

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 from sudden vertical adjustment drops.

Features:

  • Available in mirrored chrome or non-reflective ebony epoxy
  • Wear-resistant 3-Piece Clutch for secured height Adjustment
  • Height Adjustment from 38" - 67"
  • Weight: 23 lbs

Pros

Several owners mentioned this has great build quality and provides exceptional stability. Most of them said it stays in place at a preferred height when adjusted. Even when attaching a boom arm, many found that the base was solid enough to support long extensions.

Cons

Because of its weight and heavy build, one issue mentioned is it heavy to carry around and may not be the best bet for portability.

Overall

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. They also offer extended height and boom adjustment for additional positioning options.

K&M 252

94
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$115

K&M is known for their simple but well-built products.

Featuring a 3 piece telescoping design, the K&M 252 is a tall, tripod stand designed for higher mic elevation and placement.

Features:

  • Standard Boom
  • 3-piece telescoping design
  • T-bar locking screw
  • Durable metal construction
  • Height Adjustment from 24.409 to 57.874"
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 19.291" to 31.299"
  • Weight: 6.25 lbs.

Pros

Not all tall studio stands are made the same. Users liked that the height adjustment is in three segments, making storage easier when it folds up. This compact storage size coupled with a weighty, robust build quality is what motivated users to get the stand.

Cons

One user noted that despite it being compact, it was still heavy compared to other stands. The same user also noted it might be too pricey for some.

Overall

K&M focuses on great build quality and long term durability. The 252 is no exception. With it's compact folding size to contrast with its tall elevation, it's a great pick for the stage or studio.

K&M 21430

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$420
K&M 21430 Mobile Overhead Mic Stand

The K&M 21430 is a super heavy-duty, caster-mounted mic stand with a tall extension range and 6.6lb counterweight.

It also comes with a mini boom for more vertical placement options.

Features:

  • Extendable boom arm and mini boom with a 6.6lb counter-weight
  • 3 lockable caster wheels with 2-pound cast metal base
  • T-bar locking screw
  • Height Adjustment from 4.4' to 7.2'
  • Boom Length Adjustment: 6.5'
  • Weight: 38.5 lbs.

Pros

Users bought the stand for use with overheads. They note that it handles heavier condenser microphones with no problem. The adjustment height enables them to get overhead mics up higher to capture a more roomy sound. The casters are a great addition since the stand itself is heavy and might not be as easily positioned if it were a tripod or solid base stand.

Cons

The number one con would be its weight. It's a necessary tradeoff for the height and adjustability of the stand.

Overall

The 21430 is one of, if not, the best mic stand for overheads in the market today. With its stable but mobile base, great height adjustment, multiple boom and attachment options, and counterweight, the 21430 was designed for larger studios.

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. Having a stand that can fold small is a great plus, especially if you're carrying multiple to a venue setup.

  • Boom vs Straight

    Boom designs offer more versatility with mic positioning and adjustment at the expense of portability and stability. They can be used for most situations except for vocalists that prefer to hold on to the microphone while performing. For singers, straight stands are generally preferable unless they also play an instrument at the same time.

  • Tripod vs Solid Base

    Tripod stands are versatile and can fold up to take much less space than solid base or round base stands. Oftentimes the only time you 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 heavy microphone attached and you don't want to disturb the stand setup.

  • Clutch & Clamp Strength

    The clutch is the mechanism that keeps the mic stand's vertical adjustment in place. For boom mics, adjustments are locked using a screw clamp. When you put a microphone into a position, it needs to be fastened securely. Some of the cheaper stands may cause 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 may occur after extended use. You can avoid this problem by purchasing high-quality stands.

  • Balance & Weight

    The overall weight of the stand, especially around the base, determines how stable it is. Higher stability then is a tradeoff of portability since heavier stands are more tedious to travel with. 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

The first edition was published in December 2016 written by Jason Horton and the latest edition was published on September 2, 2020 written by Raphael Pulgar with contributions from Denise Azucena and Jason Horton.

First, we looked at all eligible mic stands from major online retailers in the USA and came up with a shortlist of 59 mic 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 18,000 sources were used for this process. Finally, we recommended the highest-rated mic stands in each of the 4 categories above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

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