RODE sent the RODE PSA1 Studio Microphone Arm and I feel compelled to start this review with a bit of a public service announcement (or public service announcement if you prefer). If you’re a streamer, podcaster, or any other type of content creator, you need to have your microphone on a mic boom. Sure, most microphones come with a stand for your desk, but the distance between your mouth and the mic, the space on your desk (which can increase the distance between you and the mic), and the risk of it bumping into the desk are all reasons to get closer to you.
Now that we’ve sorted that out, we need to get a mic arm and there’s plenty to choose from. Do a search on Amazon and you’ll see guns as cheap as $20 all the way up to quite expensive. Be warned though, you get what you pay for. Cheaper arms are fine for smaller mics, but for beefy microphones with that big sound you love so much, an arm like the RODE PSA1 is in order.
The RODE PSA1 is a professional-grade studio arm, and you can tell the second you take it out of the box. The build quality is impeccable. It is constructed with internal springs to minimize the amount of noise when adjusting your microphone. Multiple velcro ties are attached for cable control.
“The RODE PSA1 is a professional-grade studio arm, and you can tell the second you take it out of the box.”
The biggest difference between the RODE PSA1 and those cheap arms, however, is how you can move the mic arm once it’s been installed. Cheaper arms have these wing nut style screws at each joint, which you need to lock down to hold your microphone in place. This limits your movement after it’s been locked, so any adjustments while streaming require unlocking the joints and re-locking them. The PSA1 has tension controls at the knuckles that you adjust with an Allen wrench which basically loosens the springs just enough that your microphone doesn’t rise to its highest pitch, but not so loose that it falls over neither does the office. The advantage of this setup is that you adjust, so it essentially floats in place, meaning you can move it freely as you see fit, and it will stay where you leave it, no matter how heavy the mic is.
The RODE PSA1 also comes with a threaded desktop stand as well as a clamp, so whether your setup is permanent or you want to be able to move it around freely, you’re set without the need to purchase additional hardware.
The price of $99 for a studio-grade mic arm is beyond worth. Just hold this arm in your hands side-by-side with a $20 arm from Amazon and you’ll immediately know where the extra cost is coming from and why you should make the investment, especially if you have a bulky microphone.