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If you want to track a drum kit or amplify it for live gigs, it’s important to have one or two overhead microphones. These mics pick up the overall sound of the shells and cymbals, and they’re essential to have.
Some setups have one overhead mic, while most have two. To keep these overheads in place, you need overhead microphone stands.
Having good stands is vital, as you want to keep the overheads as secure as possible. Here’s a list of some good overhead mic stand options.
K&M 210/9 Telescoping Boom Microphone Stand – Best Overall
The K&M 210/9 Telescoping Boom Microphone Stand (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most reliable microphone stands on the market. If you’re looking for something simple, high-quality, and relatively affordable, you can’t go wrong with this one.
K&M designed this stand so that it offers a great bend of balance, performance, and stability. You can get two of these to place overheads on, and they’ll sit tightly for an entire gig with no issues.
All the construction components are solid, feeling very well-made. As you unpack the stand, it feels sturdy right from the get-go. However, you’ll get a better feel for the design once you play around with all the adjustments.
The T-bar locking screw is impressively strong, ensuring that a heavy microphone won’t weigh the boom arm down. The clutch is just as strong, ensuring that the set height of the stand remains the same for hours on end.
With that being said, the locking mechanisms aren’t as strong as some higher-end mic stands, so you’ll notice that if you’re already used to higher-quality ones.
With thin tripod legs at the base, you can easily place the stand anywhere around your drum kit.
Overall, this is an excellent stand that you can take with to gigs and use comfortably at home. It won’t set you back by much to get two of them to set up your overhead microphones.
It just may not be the best option if you’re looking for something that is rock-solid and immovable. You’ll need to spend a bit more to get something like that.
Color: Matte black
Height: 35” – 63”
Weight: 6.85 lbs.
Boom Length: 18.1” – 30.1”
Triad-Orbit Drum Overhead System Microphone Stand Package – Premium Option
The Triad-Orbit Drum Overhead System Microphone Stand Package is one of the most innovative microphone stands on the market right now. Triad-Orbit designed this stand to be heavily customizable, meaning you can add to it at a later stage to get even more use out of it if needed.
The idea behind this stand is that you only have one base that leads up to two boom arms at the top. You can place the base anywhere around the kit, and then you can position the arms to point directly above your set.
The stand weighs a total of around 20 lbs, making it more than heavy enough to comfortably support both boom arms with microphones attached to them.
The boom arms at the top are controlled with ball-and-socket joints. This makes it incredibly easy to angle them in almost any position. You may be wondering if these joints are stable, but you’d be surprised at how rigid they are once you’ve tightened the arm.
The big downside of this microphone stand is that it’s seriously expensive. You could buy an intermediate drum kit shell pack for the same size.
However, it’s so customizable that you can get extended use out of it, making the money worth it. Triad-Orbit has designed it so that you can buy add-on pieces to mic the rest of your kit, and you can do it all with one stand and base.
Height: 31 – 78.5”
Weight: 20.5 lbs.
Boom Length: 20.5” – 29.25”
On-Stage MS7801W Tripod Boom Microphone Stand – Best Budget Option
Firstly, it has a white finish, setting it apart from most other microphone stands. Many drummers may not enjoy the white color due to it standing out, but I think it’s quite quirky. There are black accents at the base and on the edges, and On-Stage refers to it as a “tuxedo” finish.
The second reason I love this stand is that it has metal legs. With solid material at the base, it’s more stable than you’d think. The metal keeps it quite sturdy, allowing you to place medium-weight microphones at the top.
The downside of having metal legs is that they tend to corrode and rust over time. You can avoid that by keeping the stand in a suitable temperature environment.
With the stand being light and relatively durable, it’s an excellent option to take on stage. The white coloring also makes it ideal for stages where you want to add a bit to your overall band aesthetic.
If you have large-diaphragm microphones that are quite bulky, you may need to skip this particular microphone stand and get something a bit stronger.
Height: 32” to 62”
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Boom Length: 31”
On-Stage SB96+ Studio Boom Mic Stand
The On-Stage SB96+ Studio Boom Mic Stand (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a great high-end option to consider. This stand has special design features that add to its usability and versatility. It’s a stand that works for a wide variety of instrument mics, but I really appreciate how well it works for drum overheads.
Starting at the base, this stand has four legs to keep it seriously sturdy. Each leg has its own wheel, allowing you to easily move the stand around. That’s not an incredibly important feature for the sake of drum mics, but it’s useful for the setup process.
Once you have the stand in place, you can push all the levers down so that those wheels are clamped, and the stand can’t move.
The stand has an incredibly high maximum height of 79”. This allows you to get the perfect positioning on the largest of drum kit setups. The boom arm is quite long, which allows for the high max height.
You can then place a very heavy microphone at the end of the boom arm. There’s a counterweight on the other side that keeps the stand balanced.
There are simple knobs that you can turn to tighten and loosen different parts of the stand, and they all work very reliably.
I’ve heard a few people mention durability issues. While the stand is heavy, it’s not incredibly well protected at every point. So, it may be a better option as a practice room or studio stand rather than a gigging one.
Height: 43” to 79”
Weight: 19.25 lbs.
Boom Length: 43” to 79”
Ultimate Support MC-125 Professional Studio Boom Microphone Stand
The Ultimate Support MC-125 Professional Studio Boom Microphone Stand (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a good option for drummers looking for something that is seriously strong and durable.
This microphone feels like a tank. It weighs 35 lbs, and it feels so rigid once it’s set up that you won’t need to worry about it ever moving unnecessarily. This is the kind of microphone stand that I recommend getting if you use high-end large-diaphragm condenser mics that are heavier than usual.
For that reason, you’ll often see this mic stand being used in professional studio environments. It falls under Ultimate Support’s “Studio Series” of products, so that’s the most appropriate setting. It will work just as well at gigs, though.
The stand has a Heavy Cast Base with large skate-like wheels. The base is very solid, and it feels like a rock once you lock those wheels in.
The boom arm has a counterweight on the tail end, which further supports how this microphone stand can handle heavier microphones. The design is essentially the same as the previous On-Stage stand that we looked at, but this one is far superior in almost every way.
The drawback is the hefty price tag. Getting just one of these stands will set you back a few hundred dollars. You’ll most likely need two of them for your overheads, so that will end up costing quite a bit. They’re well worth the price if you can comfortably afford it, though!
Height: 51.5” to 82.75”
Weight: 35 lbs.
Boom Length: 35” to 61”
Gator Frameworks GFW-ID-MIC Tripod Microphone Stand
It has quite a light design, making it ideal for gigs. It’s also relatively inexpensive, making it possible to get two of these without emptying your bank account.
The tripod legs have quite a unique design. They’re wider and flatter than the pole legs that most drummers are used to seeing. This makes the stand slightly more stable when it’s set up.
Another selling point for this stand is that it folds up very nicely. You can easily fit it into your drum hardware bag without having any space issues. That’s not something that can be said about all microphone stands.
The end part of the boom collapses into the middle in the same way that you can collapse drum hardware. That’s a clever design that I appreciate, but it also means that the boom isn’t as strong as solid pole ones.
Finally, I love that the standard height without the boom is already 62.5”. That’s very high for not having the boom set up. Once you pull the boom arm out, the stand can go even higher.
This is a better option for gigging than it is for studio work. The portable nature just makes it lovely to travel with.
Weight: 8 lbs.
Boom Length: 26”
On-Stage SMS7650 Hex Base Studio Boom Microphone Stand
Most of the stability comes from the base, which weighs 17 lbs on its own. The stand also has the longest boom arm out of all of them, measuring a total of 82”.
This means that this microphone stand can get the highest positioning of every option that we’ve looked at. If you have a seriously large drum kit and like to sit high, this may be the exact microphone stand that you’ve been looking for.
While the base is large, heavy, and durable, it also gets in the way of your positioning. It’s too bulky to comfortably fit under drums and hardware stands.
So, you need to position it further away from everything that you do with other mic stands. However, the boom arm is so long that this doesn’t lead to any placement issues.
The stand is pricey, but it’s another high-end option that I think is well worth the cost.
Height: 40” to 82”
Weight: 40 lbs.
Boom Length: 82” with 7” extension
What To Look For In an Overhead Mic Stand
There are two different aspects to consider when looking at the weight of a microphone stand. Firstly, the stand needs to be heavy enough to comfortably support any microphone that you place on it. Some overhead mics are a lot heavier than others, so keep that in mind and consider what mics you own.
The stand should also be heavy enough so that it stays secure when you extend the arm very far out. With a large drum kit, you may need to extend the arm quite far to get it in the right position. A light stand will topple over, while heavy stands will stay perfectly seated.
The other side to this is that heavy stands are hard to travel with. Some microphone stands are incredibly heavy, and they wouldn’t be great for frequent gigging.
If you just need stands for your practice or studio space, heavier ones are better. If you’re going to use the overhead stands to play gigs, look for ones that are heavy enough to feel solid but light enough not to weigh you down when traveling.
Height is another factor to consider. Some drummers will also refer to this as the length of the stand. When it comes to overhead microphones, you need to have a fairly long stand to hold them.
However, it depends on how large your drum kit setup is. If you’re just using a 3-piece kit with one or two cymbals, your overhead mic stands won’t need to be that long to get in the right position.
If you’re rocking a 10-piece kit with just as many cymbals, it’ll be very important to have seriously long stands. If they’re too short, you won’t be able to get the overhead mics to sit in the right place, and that will lower the quality of the sound coming through the microphones.
This can also be affected by how high or low you sit at the drums. The lower your throne and drum kit are, the shorter the stand needs to be, and vice versa.
There are two main types of base designs when it comes to overhead microphone stands. These are stands with legs and stands with solid bases.
Most drummers like to use stands with legs. Most of them have three legs, but many have four. The benefit of using stands with legs is that you get more room to place them.
Drum kits already have a lot of hardware stands placed around for the drums and cymbals, so fitting microphone stands in the setup can be tricky. With legged stands, you can slide the legs underneath tight spaces to get them to sit in just the right spots.
The downside of stands with legs is that they’re often not as stable as ones with solid bases.
Stands with solid bases are typically weighted at the base, and that’s what makes them feel so stable. You could kick them, and they still wouldn’t fall over. The downside is that solid bases are large and bulky, and placing them in a drum kit setup will make you feel quite limited.
Both have pros and cons, so you should pick a design based on what you prefer.
Also, you’ll get stands of both types that have wheels to move them around easier. Some drummers love to use those, but it’s safe to say that most drummers prefer not to use them.
Different microphone stands have various adjustment designs. The main one I’d suggest looking at is the locking adjustment that holds the mic in place when you’ve raised its height.
On cheaper microphones, this is always the part that fails eventually, causing the height of the stand to lower unintentionally. Sometimes, the stand will lower slowly without you noticing. Other times, it lowers hard and fast, and that can be dangerous for the microphone that you have mounted.
So, having a solid locking mechanism is essential.
The other part to look at is the boom arm adjustment. This part will control how the boom arm angle gets locked in place. Every overhead microphone stand will have an adjustment here. It will just look slightly different depending on what stand you get.
From all the overhead stands I’ve used, I’ve found that most of these boom arm adjustments work the same.
Some microphone stands have weights on the boom arm to counter the weight of the mic placed on the end. You may only need something with that if your overhead microphones are very heavy.
Build quality is mostly determined by the materials used to make the stand, along with the adjustment mechanisms added to it.
Some stands are purely made from plastic, and those ones tend to be the flimsiest and least durable. However, pure plastic stands still have their place, as some drummers only need inexpensive stands to use in their small practice spaces.
Stands that have more metal in their construction tend to last longer and be far more durable. These stands feel a lot better to use, as they give you a greater sense of reliability.
Overhead microphone stands range from around $20 to $1000. You’ll find all sorts of design differences within that price range.
However, you should realistically be ready to spend between $20 and $300. A $300 stand would still be considered expensive, but it’s nowhere near as pricey as some of the higher tier stands with hectic design features.
Microphone stands are just tools to support your microphones, so I don’t think drummers should be spending a lot on them. It’s better to put more money into getting high-quality microphones.
Just make sure that the stands you get are decent enough to strongly support those microphones.
Best Mic Stand Brands
There are a few good mic stand brands that are known to be very reliable. Some of them offer wide ranges of audio products, while others specialize in creating hardware that supports microphones.
If you get stands from any of these brands, you’re more than likely to be happy with what you get.
On-Stage is one of the most loved brands when it comes to microphone stands. Most of their stands are very affordable, making them easy options for musicians to get when they walk into music stores.
Many of their stands have simplistic designs, but they’re all highly functional and reliable. If you just need simple stands that don’t offer too much in terms of features, I highly recommend getting On-Stage ones.
The brand has a few high-tech stands as well, which are also fantastic.
Gator Frameworks is another popular mic stand company. The main company is actually called Gator Co, and they offer mounting tools, racks, and cases. You’ll find all the mic stands under the Gator Frameworks name.
They offer a great range of tripod and flat-base stands. Some of them are very affordable, while others are pricier with more features.
Ultimate Support is a brand that has been around for several decades. The main thing about this brand is that many of their products are highly innovative.
I’ll often see Ultimate Support mic stands being advertised and think how unique and useful their designs are.
Most of them are on the pricier side, but they’re well worth everything you pay for them.
Konig & Meyer is another stand brand that has been around for ages. They’re pushing 70 years at this point, and professional musicians and producers have been faithfully using their stands since the company started.
If you’re looking for any type of stand design, there will undoubtedly be a K&M option available. The brand is based in Germany, but their products have a wide reach around the whole world.
Top Mic Stands, Final Thoughts
At first, you may have thought that all mic stands are the same. You would have seen from this list that their designs are actually quite diverse.
Look through all those options and decide which stands would suit you best. Remember, you’ll probably own these mic stands for the rest of your life, so getting a high-quality pair will ensure that they last that long.
Also, make sure to get stands that fit the kind of drum kit setup you own.