Written by StreamYard
The Best Boom Arms For Live Streaming
Boom arms for live streaming have multiple duties. The key responsibility is to hold the microphone -- at just the proper distance and in an appropriate position on the desk. The best boom arms for live streaming help hoist your microphone in place -- far away (but not too much) to allow for the best audio quality for live streams.
You could be asking: Why bother?
Audio quality is everything. It's the primary "unspoken" need for your live streams to do better. Your live streaming quality is judged by the audio first, followed by the video quality, the content, and then the host(s) – in that order.
If you think of it, Hollywood's entire "horror" genre depends on just "sounds" to send chills down your spine. It's also why movies have soundtracks, background scores, and different music effects.
Audio quickly adds depth to your story. It's the "human" element that forms the very first audience touchpoint in your live streams. Remember, most live stream viewers are just listening, not watching.
Thus, the audio quality -- along with the emotions embedded in the sound, pitch, modulation, quality of the voice, and various other factors --- impacts how your audience connects with you.
Further, audio is the only thing you can't fix in editing. You can also get away with just "audio" and no picture (if it ever comes down to it).
What Is A Boom Arm?
A boom arm is an adjustable arm for hands-free mic mounting.
Quite different from a conventional mic stand that comes with a heavy base and a pole to mount the mic, a boom arm is a scissor arm that clamps onto a table or reaches out from the top of a mic stand. Thanks to its clever make, it allows the mic stand to not come in the way of the subject and the screen and still delivers free movement of the mic. Keep in mind, you can choose to show or hide your mic in your live streams. The decision is up to you.
Most boom arms feature a foldable and extendable design. So, you can move it up and down and swivel it from side to side for better maneuverability of your microphone.
Why Do You Need Boom Arms For Live Streaming?
Boom arms are beneficial for several reasons:
To use some equipment/instrument: For starters, a boom arm helps you keep the microphone stand at bay if you want to reach around a device or a musical instrument like a piano. You can easily access the piece of kit you want without worrying about the mic coming in between.
To avoid shock noise: When live streaming for a longer duration (say over 30 minutes), staying in the same position gets a bit uncomfortable. However, a slight move can pick up back and side noises. You can use a boom arm to avoid that lingering fear of shock noise due to the rustling of your clothes or body.
To offer you comfort: The fact that a boom arm doesn't take up space means you can use it for reading your scripts, taking a look at your run-of-show, demonstrating products for live selling, or simply using the free space for resting your arms.
To have a clutter-free setup: A boom arm is especially useful to create a clutter-free, ergonomic, and professional setup. For example, it can help you clear the space on your desk (give you more room), keep cables hidden (most boom arms come with cable management). It can also allow you to use a microphone only when you need it. Otherwise, you can stow it away and enjoy its compact footprint.
Choosing The Best Boom Arms For Live Streaming: Things To Consider
We know finding the right boom arms can get tricky. So here are a few points you must consider to make your search easy:
Compatibility – Check your mic's model and ensure your chosen boom arm is compatible with the mic. You should also consider the studio ergonomics while picking a boom arm. After all, live streams can go on for hours, and the last thing you'd want is neck pain from postural strain following a successful broadcast.
Mic Weight – Your microphone's weight directly impacts your choice of the boom arm. Thus, go for a heavy-duty product that holds your microphone securely and doesn't induce sagging. If you buy a cheap boom arm, chances are, it won't last, and will eventually begin to sag, so be sure to make the right investment to hold your mic.
Portability – Look for a boom arm that serves you well when tagging along to different places. Even if you reserve your live broadcasts for in-house production, ensuring that your boom arm is portable can lower the footprint. So, get a product that can be collapsed and folded for easier portability.
Extendibility & Durability – Make sure your chosen microphone boom arm is extendable and offers you a good reach without toppling over. A durable, weighty product can also stand regular wear and is a good companion for live streaming on the go. When purchasing a boom arm, don't forget about the desk it will be clamped to. If your desk is made of wood, you should be ok, but if your desk is made of glass, tightening a boom arm too much can cause your glass desk to shatter.
Best Boom Arms For Live Streaming: 11 Recommendations
Reach: 740 mm | Maximum Load: 2 kg | Price: $99.99
Elgato has a terrific portfolio of live streaming products -- ranging from their popular Stream Deck to capture cards and more. The Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP is a premium boom arm featuring 360-degree rotation for all the flexibility you need while live streaming.
This product can take on most microphones and associated accessories with a maximum payload of 2 kg (4.4 lbs). It also comes with cable channels for better cable management, a ball head to set your microphone in the right position, and an extendable padded clamp.
What's great about the Elgato Low Profile boom arm, is that it sits just a few inches up on your desk, and can easily stow away underneath a monitor if you need extra space.
2. RØDE PSA1
Reach: 820 mm | Maximum Load: 1100 g | Price: $99.00
The RØDE PSA1 is one of the best boom arms that benefits from top-notch build quality and prides itself on its intuitive and clever parallelogram design. The smart design keeps your microphone position constant and unflinching, making this product ideal for your live streaming.
Internal springs mean you can enjoy a quiet operation, while threaded desk insert and desk mount clamp ensure enhanced stability.
This RØDE boom arm works great with compatible products such as the NT-USB mini, NT1-A, Procaster, PodMic, etc. You can, however, use it with most mics available on the market today.
Reach: 740 mm | Maximum Load: 7 kg | Price: $186.00
You may like it for its stunning black chrome paint, but there's more to the Avenger D600CB Mini Boom than aesthetics. With its USP being excellent flexibility, it makes a perfect pick for live streamers. You can use this arm to extend or boom over and around your subject.
The built-in grip head gives enough control over the up and down movements while ensuring incredible locking power. It also lets you mount the boom arm to any baby stand. Then, the welded baby spigot or stud provides a secure mount for any fixture with a 5/8 in/16 mm receiver.
Load-wise, this product can support up to 7 kgs (at the maximum extension of 212 cm/83.5 in) and 30 kgs (at the minimum extension of 117 cm/46.6 in).
Reach: 940 mm | Maximum Load: 2 kg | Price: $129.99
Gator Frameworks brings a fantastic array of products for professional live streamers, content creators, and marketing professionals, and the Deluxe boom arm is one of them. From a full 360-degrees rotation to multiple knobs for easy securing of the mic, there's a lot that comes with this product.
In addition, the black powder-coated steel body with metal coil springs helps reduce any inherent noise while giving you the strength and longevity that you expect. This one is also spring-articulated and can be used with a range of mics, including the Shure SM7B, Shure MV7, etc.
5. Blue Compass
Reach: 32 in | Maximum Load: 2.4 lbs | Price: $99.99
Compass is your friend if you are looking for a solid, sleek, and professional boom arm for your live streaming setup.
For cleanliness fanatics, its hidden-channel cable management is a boon. And for durability seekers, there are enclosed aluminum construction and internal springs. There's also full 360-degree rotation that makes this boom arm pretty versatile.
While the Compass is designed keeping Yeti in mind, it could work with most professional broadcast mics. It's also compatible with all standard shockmounts, offering you complete peace of mind for hassle-free use.
Reach: 38 in | Maximum Load: 3.5 lbs | Price: $100.95
If you are lacking space, the On-stage MBS7500 is a great pick. Springs and cables inside the tubing allow you to easily mount the mic while maintaining a professional look for your microphone setup.
Meanwhile, you have mounting options aplenty -- a C-Clamp (for tables up to 2 inches thick) and a screw-type flange mount for a permanent desktop setup for your boom arm. You also get three hinges and a rotating base, making on the fly repositioning a breeze.
Reach: 28 in | Maximum Load: 3.3 lbs | Price: $32.99
The Neewer Microphone Arm is an adjustable and foldable product, offering incredible flexibility with its 360-degrees rotation angle and a 135-degree tilt. Plus, it also provides a 180-degrees adjustable angle between the two arms.
The desk mounting clamp also features a rubber padding for protection from scratches and can fit most desks (with a thickness of up to 2 inches).
Strong springs and positioning screws can help you hoist the boom arm in any position you desire. And the base connector offers excellent stability for shake-free use.
Reach: 38 in | Maximum Load: 5 lbs | Price: $50.99
Samson has several microphone boom arms on offers, such as MBA18 and MBA26. We are swinging for the fences here and have the Samson MBA38 on this list of the best boom arms for live streaming.
With a reach of up to 38", this boom arm from Samson is flexible and accommodates most of the needs for live streaming, video production, and podcasting. You can use the C-clamp mount for a temporary fix (clamped to the table) or a more permanent fix with the flange mount.
Samson MBA38 can support up to 5 lbs or 2.2 kgs. Plus, the durable steel construction provides you with the strength and longevity you expect from a heavy-duty boom arm.
Reach: 960 mm | Maximum Load: 1.5 kg | Price: $279.99
The K&M line of products is intended for music production, and they have been around for a while. The brand's 23860 Microphone desk arm is perfect for various uses – whether you need a boom arm for a full-fledged multimedia workstation or your live streaming setup.
The K&M 23860 microphone desk arm also comes with a 6 m long internally guided microphone cable with a 3 pin XLR plug connector, and an innovative table clamp (use it to fix the boom arm to your desk, any smooth surface, or a round-shaped tube).
As a side bonus, you get stable metal construction with quality plastic inserts for greater stability.
10. Heil PL2T
Reach: 40 in | Maximum Load: 2.5 lbs | Price: $115.00
The Heil PL2T is a good one for those looking for professional-quality microphone boom arms.
Its internal spring tension is factory pre-set (so you don't have to do a thing) and offers silent movement as you live stream. While it comes with a quality C-Clamp, you can explore Heil's line of mounting hardware to enjoy additional mounting options for the PL2T.
Plus, it gives a break from cable clutter and those unappealing velcro straps, thanks to the covered cable channels. Sold!
Reach: 38 in | Maximum Load: 5 lbs | Price: $39.99
Looking for a versatile microphone boom arm or studio stand that's easy on the budget? Take a look at the Knox Gear 38". It allows for a smooth and quick start to allow you to start live streaming right away -- no fancy setup needed.
The boom arm is built with high-grade steel tubing that ensures trouble-free, long-term use. You also get Velcro straps to avoid those cable management woes. But the best feature of this fantastic boom arm is its full 360 degrees rotation for easier adjustability during your broadcasts.
Choosing the right boom arms for mounting microphones is never an easy task. To make it easier, here are some quick answers to some of the frequently asked questions about microphone boom arms:
What Do These Inches Like 38" Or 26" Signify?
When you see boom arm technical specs, you'll often find "extensible up to.." (or not) and a number like 38" -- this is the maximum length the boom arm can be extended to.
How Do You Fix Boom Arms?
You could temporarily fix microphone boom arms and microphone stands to a corner of your desk. Some professional live streamers also mount boom arms onto a slightly elevated position.
You can also fix boom arms more permanently by using flange mounts. In some cases, you can use the extended boom arm to mount microphones in a way that the arm extends from behind your desk (or from anywhere else).
What Are The Different Types Of Boom Arms Available?
There are several different types of microphone boom arms available. Most of them are categorized as follows:
- Fishing rod type boom arms
- Extensible boom arms (telescopic boom arm)
- Tripod boom arm
- Regular boom arms based on mount type (desk mount or flange mount)
The new breed of boom arms offers more than just a way to connect your microphone as you go live. You also get a wealth of benefits like better stability, the ability to adjust the mic to your desired angle, etc.
Remember, if you go with an inexpensive boom arm, you'll likely notice it's noisy and will eventually begin to sag, so make sure you purchase a quality arm to support your microphone.
We hope the products mentioned on the list check all your boxes for the best boom. So pick one of these to extend your mic's reach and enjoy the ultimate comfort and ergonomics with features like height, swivel, pivot, and tilt adjustments.
Looking for more ways to make live streaming easier with actionable tips? Jump straight to our live streaming tips category and explore to bring more viewers to your broadcasts.