Whether you’re a podcaster, a streamer, or a musician who needs the ability to record at your workstation, a desktop mic stand is likely a key piece of your recording setup.
Whether you’re looking to reconfigure your space, outfit a new space, or simply replace your existing mic stand, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the research for you and weeded out all the junk, so check out our top picks for best mic stand in the desk mic stand category.
What Is a Desktop Mic Stand?
A desktop microphone stand is a conventional-style mic stand with a heavy base and an arm or arm with boom onto which you mount your microphone.
The difference is in the height: a desk mic stand is quite short, designed to sit on top of your desk so you can use a microphone while seated at your desk.
It’s a great option for streamers and podcasters, plus musicians who need or want to record while seated in front of their workstation. A desktop mic stand is far superior to rigging up some kind of floor stand behind the desk with a boom arm hanging out front.
For most seated applications, either a desktop mic stand or a microphone boom arm will be the best mic stand type.
Should I Choose a Desktop Mic Stand or a Microphone Boom Arm?
If you know you’re in this territory of needing to use a microphone while seated at a desk, you have two primary options: a desk mic stand or a microphone boom arm. We’ve already reviewed the best microphone boom arms in a previous post, so if you end up deciding that’s the right type for you, head on over there.
So how do you decide which type to choose? It all comes down to how you want your desk to look and how you want to use your mic.
A desktop mic stand is the simplest option. It’s not complicated: the stand just sits on your desk, right in front of you. If you don’t need lots of flexibility in terms of placement and you’re OK losing a decent chunk of desktop space, this type of stand might be the best mic stand for you.
Some models even offer extendibility or even come with small booms, giving you a greater degree of flexibility in how you position your microphone.
The other option is the microphone boom arm. These are those two-segmented, three-jointed arms that you see podcasters and streamers using all the time. The microphone seems suspended in air, and operators can swing the microphone out of the scene or adjust it to any number of positions and extensions.
If you need the most flexibility or can’t sacrifice desk space, a boom arm is the way to go. The only downsides are that they can be a bit fiddly to get right, and they tend to be more expensive (considerably so in some cases).
Some musicians or on-camera personalities might dislike how the articulating boom arms take up three-dimensional space (especially if they’re getting in the way of an instrument or affecting line of sight). These boom arms can sometimes clog up the camera shot, too.
So the decision between a desktop mic stand and a microphone boom arm comes down to how you want your desktop to look and feel, plus what you need that microphone to do in terms of positioning.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Desktop Mic Stand
Consider these points before you buy a new desktop microphone stand.
Think About Where It Will Go on Your Desk
If you’re already using a desktop mic stand and are just looking to replace or upgrade it, you can skip this first point. But if you’re changing up your desk setup and adding a desk mic stand for the first time, the first thing you need to do is take a good look at your desk as it is.
Desktop mic stands take up space, either directly in front of you or a little ways removed. If you already have gear in the place where a certain stand type would go, you’ll need to strategize a little.
Make sure you have a large enough space cleared out wherever you want your desk mic stand to stay, and then make sure you buy a stand that will actually fit and function in that space.
Think About Your Needs Now and in the Next Few Years
Next, think about your needs, both right now and down the road a bit. If you’re a streamer or podcaster, do you pretty much never change up your setup? Or will you need the ability to quickly reposition for a different angle or for a guest? Will your desk mic stand ever need to play another role, such as recording an instrument or serving as a studio talkback mic?
You might even consider whether there’s any likelihood of upgrading your microphone soon. Future-proof your setup by thinking through all these variables and selecting the best mic stand for all your needs, both now and later.
Don’t Skimp on Quality
Amazon is full of cheap knock-offs in this category, but getting one of those will likely be a mistake. This is an area where you don’t want to skimp on quality, especially if you’re mounting a $300+ microphone. One damaged mic will cost more to fix than whatever you’d save by buying a poorly made stand.
The good news is that even the expensive stands in this category aren’t very expensive. $70 or so isn’t a bank-breaker for most people far enough along to need one of these.
Minimum and Maximum Heights Matter
Last, pay close attention to minimum and maximum heights, and have a clear idea how much your microphone’s placement will add or subtract from these.
The whole point of this purchase is to get the microphone in the right place. You don’t want to end up buying a stand that can’t go low or high enough to fit you, so take the time to measure beforehand.
Best Desk Mic Stand Options for 2021
For whatever reason, there are a lot of cheap, sketchy desktop mic stands on the market. We’re clearing out the clutter and getting you straight to the models you should actually consider. The six options below are among the best desk mic stand options you can get in 2021.
We’ll start with our best budget pick, a basic stand from On-Stage Stands.
On-Stage DS7200B: Best Budget Pick
Desktop mic stands don’t have to be complicated, and this entry from On-Stage certainly isn’t. But it gets the job done, and it’s astoundingly inexpensive at around $20.
On-Stage has even managed to include some height adjustability here. The die-cast steel clutch unscrews to allow you to set this stand anywhere from nine to 13 inches in height.
The base is circular and sturdy, weighing in at two pounds with a six-inch diameter. It also has five rubber feet so your mic stand stays in place on your desk and doesn’t slide around.
This stand is fully vertical and should support just about any microphone just fine. The only consideration as far as fit is how your shock mount will or won’t fit. You don’t want the microphone protruding out a great ways over the center of gravity. This will be a persistent concern for all desktop mic stands, though, so it’s nothing personal against this model.
Samson MD5: For the Lowest Profiles
The Samson MD5 doesn’t have a lot going for it. It’s not adjustable in any way, and there’s nothing remarkable about it at all, to be honest.
But we’ve included it here for just one reason: it’s short. This mic stand is only five inches tall. That’s not a lot of height.
While this short stature is a drawback for many, it’s a top selling point for some. If you’re a smaller person or you sit particularly low at your desk, a taller option might not feel right. If you need something a little shorter, the Samson MD5 might be the way to go.
Heil Sound CB-1 PTT: Perfect If You Need Push to Talk or Push to Mute
The Heil Sound CB1 PTT is definitely a bit different-looking, with a long, narrowish base and a surprisingly short rise. And at $79, it’s far more expensive than some options. But there’s good reason for the jump in price: added functionality.
This microphone stand includes a soft-touch button that can be configured to do push to talk or push to mute. A two-foot jumper cable is included for connecting the PTT button to your equipment — just be sure you have that ability in your existing setup.
This PTT function could be perfect if you need talkback functionality (if you have an isolation booth and frequently record others). It’s also helpful in podcasting and streaming when you need to briefly mute your mic (say, to cough).
This is a hefty stand that weighs in at over three pounds. It’s built with Heil microphones in mind, but it can handle just about anything you throw at it.
The height might be a drawback, especially if you’re on the taller side.
K&M 23325 Table/Floor Microphone Stand: Pro-Grade Desktop Mic Stand
IF you’re looking for a pro-grade adjustable vertical desk mic stand, the K&M 23325 is our top recommendation.
This heavy-duty stand is made of steel, with a heavy round cast-iron base. It feels more premium and professional than some others — because it is. The base includes an anti-vibration rubber insert as well, which should further tamp down impact noises on your desktop.
The base is just over seven inches in diameter, so it leaves quite a footprint. And it’s quite heavy, too. If you’re using a hefty microphone that’s large and hangs considerably forward, you won’t need to worry with this one.
According to the K&M website, this stand adjusts from 217mm to 347mm, which translates to about 8.5 to 13.7 inches. Note that at the time of publishing, Amazon’s listing incorrectly shows a 22-inch maximum (and some reviewers have complained that this doesn’t match their real-world product).
There’s not much more to say here. The product is still pretty straightforward; it’s just better made than the competition, and made out of higher quality materials.
Gator Frameworks MIC-0822 Deluxe: Great Option with a Boom
Sometimes a straight vertical desktop microphone stand isn’t quite enough, yet a fully articulating boom arm is too much. One option that might serve as a happy medium is a desktop mic stand with a single boom arm. This kind of setup could allow you to use a desktop stand but still reserve the desk space right in front of you for papers, notes, an iPad, a MIDI keyboard, or whatever else you need.
In this category, we really like the Gator Frameworks MIC-0822. There are a few versions out there, and the deluxe weighted base version is the best.
This Gator stand gives you a whopping 10-pound rectangular base and an adjustable vertical tube support that raises as high as 14.25 inches. The base includes a vibration-reducing gasket on the underside as well.
Then there’s the boom arm. It’s counterbalanced with a 2.5-pound weight on one end, so it can support some pretty heavy microphones. Even at its full 27-inch extension, the stand can support a 1.5-pound microphone. And you can choose the appropriate angle, of course.
One plus of choosing this style of stand is that it gives you flexibility. It’s equally functional on a desk and on the floor, recording a low instrument, kick drum, or guitar cabinet. If you do a lot of different types of recording, it could be nice to have something so flexible on hand.
The Gator Frameworks MIC-0822 Deluxe usually sells for around $70. While that’s more expensive than most on this list, you’re getting a lot for the money.
InnoGear Desktop Microphone Stand with Boom Arm: A Budget Boom Arm Model
If you like the idea of a desktop microphone stand with a counterweighted boom arm but you feel like the Gator option is overkill, you might be happier with this option from InnoGear. It’s much lighter weight and doesn’t have the premium build quality, but it has a lower price to match and offers at least one feature the Gator can’t match.
With this InnoGear model, it’s possible to fully remove the boom and use the microphone stand in vertical mode. This is a really nice touch, especially considering the low price (usually at or under $25).
As far as dimensions, the vertical arm adjusts from 11 to 16 inches. The boom arm is 17 inches in length, but because of the counterbalanced design, you’ll only get something like 13 inches of usable extension.
The manufacturer claims support for five pounds when the boom is centered and three pounds when fully extended. That said, these claims are only valid if you keep the boom lined up with the base plate. Try spinning to the side, and your microphone will likely fall over.
Given the price, this InnoGear desktop mic stand offers quite a lot. We think it’s worth a look.