When we built Yorkshire podcast studios there were many discussions that were had about size, shape, mics, desks, streaming, internet.. So many discussions about so many things, too many to mention here. One though was particularly lively. Microphone arms…
When you’re a podcast studio mic arms are probably the item you interact with most. So the question is which is the best and more so, what is the best at the best value? Plus one thing missing from product reviews.. The worst! Cos I think we found them! Here are the ones we tried and bought!
RODE microphone stands.
Solid microphone stands built from decent gauge metal which have some weight to them. We bought six for one of our studios as they’re great value as we have capacity for six guests. They came in at a great price. Adjustable height which will allow even the tallest guests not to be hunched over the microphone. The only negative we found was the main pole that screws through the centre of the base was slightly too long which meant the base wobbled slightly. This is clearly a pretty major design fail. Although a very quick fix using the amazing Sugro meant we could extend the feet of the base for just a few £££. Making the stands very solid and level. Arguably a job you shouldn’t have to do with a RODE product. None the less the fix meant they’re great mic stands. 3.5 out of 5
Studio mic arm from Gear for Music
Sometime a bargain basement product can be the best find ever. We’ve all been there, buy something cheap and then you’re amazed at the quality. This is certainly NOT the case with these microphone stands. An amazingly cheap product, however so bad you feel bad even spending the small amount you spent on it.
To start with, they can barely hold the weight of a decent microphone. The clamping mechanism to hold it to your desk is woefully insufficient to hold the unit securely, meaning it wobbles the entire time it’s in use. You would be better off building a microphone arm out of cardboard and hoping for the best -1 out of 5
Mika Mic arms
Of all the microphone arms on the market there is one that stands out as an industry leader. Fitted into a large proportion of professional radio and podcast studios. Mika from Yellowtech have created a range of microphone arms that deliver the highest quality in manufacturing and design. Depending on what you’re after an ‘up and over microphone arm’ or a low slung mic arm for visual studios. Mika offers a unique solution. Using a modular design that stems from the desk mounted pole, you can can even add screens and cameras for a full integrated look. Installation is a dream. Only complicated slightly by the relays required to make the ‘mic live’ lights work in conjunction with broadcast desks.
The only negative with Mika is the cost. At £300 odd pounds per microphone arm, they are not cheap, then add in the poles, relays and extra fittings, before you know it, you’ve spent thousands on these. Are they worth it? Yes. I love them. I’d have them everywhere if I could. Sadly with some of our studios with 6 microphones, these would be slightly too expensive. If you have the cash… Go Mika. You’ll love them! 4.5 out of 5.
Elgato Wave Microphone Arm
You hear the word ‘disruptor’ a lot at the moment. The concept being an idea or product that comes into the market and creates a ‘wow’ moment. Frankly Elgato have done it here. The Wave microphone arm is a fantastically engineered piece of equipment. Designed with the low slung visual podcast / radio in mind, with a smooth and well engineered movement it stands up against its far more expensive counterpart… Mika. When using it, you can get it into all sorts of positions that work best for the presenter making it extremely flexible. Plus it hides the mic cable in the articulating arms. I really like it. Is it perfect? Sadly not, the mic only comes with an edge desk fitting. Which makes it not ideal for all setups. I really don’t like edge mounted microphone arms, I find them messy and get in the way of a clean looking setup. However the internet can be a wonderful place and some guy who happens to be a bit of a 3D printing expert has designed a ‘through desk’ grommet system that allows you to 3D print the required bit and install the mic arm in the desk. Genius!
Details here (how seriously cool is this!) >>> https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5275772
With this addition, the Elgato Wave microphone arm really becomes unbeatable for quality and price. It’s 5 out of 5 for me!