So, you’ve purchased an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone. Now you want to get the most out of it, right? Well, the first thing you’re going to need is a place to put that fancy new mic, and there are more than a few options out there.
I’m going to take you through a few of the most common mic stand types, give you a great example of each, and help you out with a few pointers to boot.
Before we show you the best mic stands for the AT2020, there are three things that I want to bring to your attention, and you’ll want to bear these in mind no matter what kind of stand you choose.
A shock mount is a piece of equipment that goes in between your mic and your stand. They typically look like a circle filled with black rubber bands, and that, more or less, is what they are. Designed to provide isolation from vibrations, a shock mount is a great investment regardless of the mic stand you decide to go with.
The AT2020 fits beautifully into a nice shock mount and can mean the difference between a silky-smooth vocal track, and one that sounds like it was recorded from a freight train.
You’ve probably seen these, in fact, I’m sure you have. A pop filter (usually) is that little circular black filter between a singer and the microphone. A pop filter on an Audio-Technica AT2020 can help bring the plosives (‘f’ and ‘p’ sounds) and sibilance (the ‘sss’ sounds) under control in your audio. Adding a pop filter to your set up is a great idea, and if you’re going to be singing or speaking into your mic from a relatively close distance, it’s basically a must.
If you’re interested in getting one, we have buyers guide covering the best pop filters for the AT2020.
An isolation shield is very similar to a pop filter, but on the opposite side of the mic. Where a pop filter is designed to help maintain the proper airflow and resistance to the inner workings of the mic, an isolation shield goes behind the mic and helps to block out unwanted sound from the back and sides.
Now, since you’re using an Audio-Technica AT2020, you’re already using a mic with a cardioid pattern – that makes an isolation shield really more of a luxury item than a necessity. The AT2020 does a good job of reducing sounds from the rear and sides on its own but keep an isolation shield in mind if you’re still getting unwanted noise from other parts of the room.
Finally, onto the mic stands!
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Here are the top 7 best mic stands for the AT2020:
1. On Stage DS7200B – Round Desk Stand
This is the bare bones of mic stands, but it is also the workhorse of the group. A small stand with a sturdy round base, the DS7200B is little more than a stick on a circle, and that’s a good thing. This mic stand is rugged, durable and can be used on your desk as well as on the floor if you need to mic an amp cabinet for example. Adjustable to 13”, the DS7200B also has rubberized feet to reduce vibrations and a clutch to keep your mic, or shock mount, firmly locked in place.
- Durable and inexpensive
- Lack of flexibility
If you need something that you’re going to have for years, something sturdy with longevity, this stand is what you’re looking for. This stand isn’t going to turn heads, but like a great roadie, it blends into the background while doing exactly what you need it to.
2. Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 – Desk Boom
The Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 takes the DS7200B and adds a boom arm into the mix. While the DS7200B is a ‘stick on a circle’ design, the GFW-MIC-0821 takes that feel and gives the added flexibility of a joint. The boom arm allows you to position the AT2020 in a much greater range of locations, and the weighted rectangular base makes sure that it stays where you put it. This is another stand that can be used both on your desk or on the floor, and the included U-shape cable manager even keeps your mic cord stowed along the shaft of the stand.
- Flexible and sturdy.
- Might be a bit big for a small desk
The Gator Frameworks GFW-MIC-0821 and similar stands can be seen on stages all over the world. If you’re looking for something with a nice solid base that has the flexibility of a boom, this stand answers the call. If you’ve got the room for it, this is a versatile choice.
3. Heil SB-2 – Boom Arm
The Heil SB-2 is another iteration of the boom mic stand, much like the GFW-MIC-0821, but instead of a heavy base to keep it in place, the SB-2 uses a clamp. Whether or not this is desirable is most likely dependent on the desk that you use and the location that you want to use your microphone, but the clamp base offers a much smaller footprint than its heavily weighted cousin. The clamp and boom arm are easily separated, which allows you to remove it from your desk when not in use and easily put it right back where it belongs when you need it.
- Small desktop footprint
- A little on the expensive side
If you bought the AT2020 because you’re starting a new podcast, or doing voice over work, a small boom arm with a little clamp can be a life saver. Keep this stand in mind if you want to have the ability to quickly set up or remove the stand from your desk and free up some space.
4. Neewer NW-35 – Scissor Arm
Maybe you’re starting to notice a trend here, as each stand adds just a little bit to the last one on the list, and this is a no different. The Neewer NW-35 is a scissor arm stand that uses a clamp base, just like the SB-2, but where that stand just offers a single point of articulation, the NW-35 gives two. Not only does a scissor stand allow you to move the mic as you’re using it, it also allows you to move it out of the way when you’re not using it.
This stand also pops right out of the clamp to remove it completely from your setup, and the swiveling action of the joints and neck allow for a massive amount of freedom when trying to find the perfect place to accentuate that sultry voice of yours for the whole world to hear.
- Small desktop footprint / Price
- Doesn’t feel as sturdy as other stands
Not only do I have this exact stand, but I also have two of them. While it doesn’t feel quite as durable as other stands, it is perfect for what I need it for – keeping a mic in place when I’m recording and keeping it out of the way when I’m not. Don’t be scared off by the low-price tag, if you treat it right this little mic stand can run with the big dogs.
5. K&M 21090 – Tripod Boom
Finally, we break from the desk stands and move into something a little more substantial. The K&M 21090 is a full-sized mic stand with a tripod base and a boom arm. This is going to take up a much bigger area of your room than a desk mounted stand, obviously, but it will also offer much more opportunity for flexibility in your set up. While at first it might seem a bit much to have a mic stand this large, it really is the only stand on this list that will allow you to record while standing up.
This is another industry-standard mic stand, one that you will see all over the place and for good reason. Sturdy, adjustable, and easy to move, the 21090 will hold up for years to come.
- Largest range of placement options
- Largest floor footprint / size
While you might be thinking of sitting in your comfy computer chair and using that shiny, new Audio-Technica AT2020, don’t take for granted the idea of standing up. Opening your diaphragm while speaking or singing is going to give you a deeper, fuller sound and having the option to record while standing away from the desk is something to strongly consider.
6. Pyle PMKS8 – Gooseneck
From the largest stand, to one of the smallest; the Pyle PMKS8 is a small, desk mounted gooseneck stand. A large U-shaped base is connected to a flexible gooseneck that offers silent adjustments to your mic. Much like the scissor stands and desk booms, the PMKS8 is perfect for sitting on your desk and holding your AT2020 exactly where you want it. Because the gooseneck design is flexible from top to bottom, it allows for much more freedom than a simple joint or two in the neck of the stand. Rubberized feet also help with vibration isolation.
- Freedom in mic movement/angle
- Large base could limit placement
While the PMKS8 offers a unique take on the desk stand market, the large base inhibits the very benefit that it touts. Because the U-shape is almost the entire size of the neck, I would have to recommend that you look elsewhere for your AT2020 stand needs.
7. Ammoon MS-12 – Tabletop Tripod
Last on our list is the Ammoon MS-12. This little guy is almost a pocket-sized microphone stand and offers the ease of portability that you’d expect from something this small. The tripod design makes it easy to fold up to put in a bag and go, and the non-slip rubber feet help keep it in place once you get there. There is not a lot going on here, and that’s a good thing – as this stand isn’t something fancy, it’s something to keep your mic in place wherever you happen to be. Great for travel or just sitting on your desk, the MS-12 delivers in a big way while keeping the size, and dent to your pocketbook, small.
- Stable, robust and cheap.
- None really
Do you record from a laptop? Do you take your AT2020 with you wherever you go? Looking for a way to pull your mic out quickly and capture that song idea before it floats away into the ether? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those, the MS-12 might just be the answer to your prayers. A stand that offers stability and portability for a suitably tiny price tag, the MS-12 shouldn’t be overlooked because of its diminutive size.
So, while there are a plethora of mic stands out there, the real question that you need to ask yourself is “What do I really need from my mic stand?” If you’re looking for something that you can take with you and go, the MS-12 has you covered. If you’re going to be recording vocals for a singer, you probably want to consider the K&M 21090. Of course, if you’re going to be using the AT2020 on your desk, you might be better served with one of the clamping options. No matter which way you go, you can’t go wrong!