RODE sent over the RODE PSA1 Studio Mic Arm and I feel compelled to start this review with a bit of a Public Service Announcement (or a PSA if you’d prefer). If you are a streamer, podcaster, or any kind of content creator, you need to have your microphone on a mic arm. Sure, most microphones come with a stand for your desk, but the distance from your mouth to the mic, the real estate on your desk (which can increase the distance between you and the mic), and the risk of hitting it on the desk are all reasons to get it up close to you.
Now that we’ve settled that, we need to get a mic arm and there are a lot to choose from. Search through Amazon and you will see arms as cheap as $20 ranging up to quite pricey. Be warned though, you get what you pay for. Cheaper arms are fine for small mics, but for the beefy microphones with that big sound that 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 immaculate. It is built 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, though, is how you are able to move the mic arm after it has been set up. Cheaper arms have those wingnut-style screws at each joint, which you need to lock off to keep your microphone in place. This limits your movement after it has been locked, so any adjustments mid-broadcast require unlocking joints and re-locking them. The PSA1 has tension controls at the joints that you adjust with an Allen key that, essentially, loosens the springs just enough that your microphone won’t rise up to its highest height, but not so loose that it falls to the desk either. The advantage of this setup is that you are adjusting, so it essentially floats in place, meaning that you can freely move it however you please, and it will just stay where you leave it, no matter how heavy the mic is.
The RODE PSA1 also comes with a threaded desk mount as well as a clamp, so whether your setup is permanent or you want to be able to move it around freely, you are all set without needing to buy additional gear.
The price of $99 USD for a studio quality mic arm is beyond worth it. Simply hold this arm in your hands side by side with a $20 arm from Amazon and you will get immediately where the extra cost comes from and why you should make the investment, particularly if you have a bulky microphone.