The best mic stand isn’t the most expensive: Studio and Stage choices

Which microphone stand is the best?

The answer to that question is always going to depend on what you’re intending to use it for – but when it comes to stands, we’ve got a massive chunk of real-world experience, so let’s dig in and have a look at the best options for stage, studio and beyond.

Avoiding cheap stands

Let’s be totally transparent here. Every single microphone stand on this list will be a K&M stand (Konig & Meyer), because we trust them. Every K&M microphone stand comes with a 5-year warranty against manufacturing or material defect.

There is another reason – but we’ll leave that until the end of this article.

We have compiled our Best Microphone Stand list based on the following considerations:

Straight Stand or Boom Stand?

On stage:

For singers on stage, it can be comfortable using a straight microphone stand. A straight stand also allows you to cuddle up to the stand and pose with the appropriate (or inappropriate!) moves, should your stage aesthetic be that way inclined.

Instrumentalists who sing will almost always find a boom stand easier. For guitarists, it allows you a little extra space for your electric or acoustic guitar.

Special note for backing vocals on stage – if you’re part of the BV crew for the show, a boom stand will allow the extra moves on your podium. Definitely consider!

In the studio:

There is almost no reason to use a straight stand in the studio when you are recording an instrument.

A boom stand in the studio offers flexibility of getting the microphone in the exact sweet spot for recording, without getting in the way of the instrument (or the player).

BIG (heavy) studio microphones for singers, though…

If you’re using a boom stand for the singer in a studio, it’s going to want to be a very, very good stand. A saggy boom is not going to hold your valve microphone in the position you want. Cheap stands are definitely not an option for your “money” microphone.

A straight microphone stand may look like it’s a good option to hold a vocal recording mic – but it may encourage your singer to absent-mindedly touch the stand during a vocal take (which will result in a vibration ruining that take).

*Distraction alert: You can read more about recording vocals at home here

Tripod Base or Round Base?

This question is all about space. Well, more accurately, it’s also about stability and looks.

Round base microphone stands are usually the ‘straight’ variety. This is because a microphone at the end of a boom shifts the balance and centre of gravity for your stand – which can make a round-based stand somewhat topple-some.

Tripod bases tend to fold up and pack away far more easily than a round base, so if you’re transporting between gigs (or packing away the home studio), tripod base can definitely be a benefit.

Telescopic Boom or Fixed Boom?

It seems like a ‘captain obvious’ to us.. but a telescopic boom is not generally used because “I need a longer boom arm”, it is to give you the option of going shorter in a cramped situation.

Think of a crowded stage or studio area, the boom that has the provision to telescope can be shortened to avoid too much ‘overhang’ which would get in the way of other parts of the studio – or the front row of a gig with a very tight stage. That’s if we will ever remember a time before we had heard of social distancing.

Weight of the base?

There are a couple of ways to think about this. A lightweight base is easier to carry around between use. A heaver base helps with stability – especially when you’ve got a heavy (valuable) studio condenser in position.

Don’t forget, if you’re setting up on a big stage or if you’re running a ‘money’ mic in your studio, you can negate the chance of a topple by choosing a long-legged tripod stand, and popping a shotbag on one of the legs

Taller stand for Drum Overheads

We’ll look specifically at instrument microphone stands in the future ‘Part 2’ of this article, but the extra tall boom we have seen employed for drum overheads actually makes a very good stand for your vocal recordings.

This 21021 has a very long boom, extra tall upright, and oversized legs. Put simply, if you want to get the vocalist standing in front of a microphone, and hang the mic down to the right position – this is your stand.

Best Microphone Stand Summary List:

Straight stands:

  • BEST Straight = K&M 260 (heavy round base with rubber anti-vibration ring)
  • VALUE Straight = K&M 260/1(lighter base, same upright as 260)
  • ULTIMATE Straight = K&M 26085 (one-hand adjustable straight stand)
  • BOOM on a Straight = K&M 26145 (extra-wide base helps with stability)

Boom stands:

  • BEST Boom #1 = K&M 210/9 (telescopic boom, T-bar swivel assembly)
  • BEST Boom #2 = K&M 210/6 (straight boom, knob for swivel assembly)
  • VALUE Boom = K&M 21070 (light base, good for lightweight mics only)
  • TALLER Boom = K&M 21021 (extra tall for drum overheads, but great for general studio)
  • ULTIMATE Boom = K&M 21430 (BOOM! for a large studio space)

ALL The stands:

  • There are stacks more K&M microphone stands available. We’ve just the picked BEST ones, based on our experiences. Your needs may differ, so scoot over to our K&M microphone stand page(s) to see even more choices.

Spare Parts for Microphone Stands

Another reason we love our K&M stands, is the huge array of spares available off-the-shelf, should something go astray.

If you’re frequently moving your stands around from gig to gig, you might find a knob disappears. If you’ve got a venue with many different acts appearing, a little bit of misuse can see a boom sagging over time.

With everything from a rubber washer or a telescopic boom knob through to a new clutch assembly, we keep it all – ready for the next gig.

Check here to see our K&M spares listing

So, why ONLY K&M stands?

Many, many years ago (in the 1990s), we had a look at some cheaper alternatives to K&M – to expand our range of offerings. Frankly, they were terrible. Cheap AND nasty.

We learned a very valuable lesson – the stands failed quickly, and they were cheap for a reason. No-one could remember the brand of the stand…they only remember where they got it from.

Needless to say, from that moment forward, we have only been prepared to stock and recommend a product we could stand proudly next to, and use ourselves without hesitation. It was our true “light-bulb moment”

We have never looked back.

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