Blue Compass boom mic stand review

blue compass and blackout spark slWhether you’re podcasting, vlogging or live streaming, an important aspect is the audio you are sending out. Blue has been a top choice for computer broadcasting for a while. However, it is only recently that the company has offered a boom mic stand – the Blue Compass.

The Blue Compass Broadcast boom microphone stand could well be the answer to many home broadcaster’s prayers. For a while now, gamers and the like have asked Blue for an official solution to getting their mic off the desk and away from the rattles, shakes and other ambient noises.

So, I have been using the Blue Compass Broadcast Boom Arm for a few weeks. Does it actually answer those prayers and, if so, how well?

Blue Compass design

Blue Compass broadcast mic boom armThe Compass really does look professional dressed in black powder-coated extruded aluminium. It has a reassuring weight and robustness to it without being bulky.

The sleek appearance is aided by having all the necessary springs hidden away inside.

blue compass cable managementFurther tidiness is achieved by the neat hidden cable management channel that runs up its spine.

Three hand-tightened hinges provide adjustability. These friction hinges are also smooth and silent, as you would hope from professional studio gear.

blue compass c-clampAt one end sits a sturdy C-clamp that connects and really holds on to the desk well. It also allows for 360-degree rotation.

blue compass and shockmountWhereas, at the other is fitting for the standard 5/8-inch thread but Blue also adds in a 3/8-inch adapter. This means you can fit a variety of mic mounts to this arm.

The boom has a maximum 32-inches of horizontal reach and can carry up to 2.4lbs of combined mic and mount. It certainly means business.

Blue Compass performance

Right from pulling the Compass out of its packaging, this thing promised quality. It might not have been presented in a wooden box like the Blackout Spark SL, but you could tell that there’s a world of difference between this and a much cheaper alternative.

It’s soooooooo smoooooth. I am loving the matte finish and the tasteful Blue logos.

Setting up

As soon as it was out of its packaging it was attached to my desk. A few moments later and I had threaded my XLR mic cable through the channel and clicked down the small plastic locks. These were perhaps the fiddliest part of the exercise but not a job you should be doing regularly.


Then I dug out a shockmount from my gear bag and a pop shield, just because. I also removed the Blackout Spark SL from its comfy wooden bed and attached it to the rig. Already this set up looks professional. Anyone walking in to this room (ignoring the plethora of boxes strewn about the place) would assume that someone who knows what they’re doing works and broadcasts from here.
 
However, on a slightly more serious note for a moment, it was so easy to arrange the boom over my monitor (even the monster AGON I had for review) and set it at a comfortable height for recording with.
 

In use

I had used the Blackout Spark SL on a standard desk stand and, even though this mic is amazing, there were occasions where it would pick up noise from vibrations through the desk. That’s even with its handy settings. Sitting it in a shockmount did help but then there was the issue of desk space.

You see, you don’t just need the room for the mic, stand and shockmount; you have to arrange the mic cable somehow too. Additionally, I always found the mic to be low down on a desk stand. I do have a regular floorstanding boom stand that I use with my bands, but the feet just take up way too much space.

varideskThanks to the Compass fitting to the desk through a good clamp, desk space is immediately freed up. The tensioned spring system allows for easy maneuverability and adjustment. Ideal as I now go from seated to standing with my Varidesk. That mobility is also a win as you can move it out of the way when the mic is not in use.

I have used the Compass boom for a number of weeks and noticed that I had not needed to re-tighten anything since setting it in position. Having used ‘bargain’ mic stands before, I’ve found that those only need to be looked at wrong for them to start drooping, or generally misbehaving. This has not been my experience with the Blue Designs model.
What you’re really paying for here is quality. The Compass is a boom arm that’s made to be reliable, and to last.

Blue Compass Broadcast Boom review conclusion

This boom mic stand from Blue Designs is everything that you would expect from this company. It is well made, well designed and works exactly as it should.

The thing is, like all professional quality gear, you have to be willing to pay the premium. As I mentioned earlier, there are cheap mic stands out there but if you’re using them regularly they will soon start to show their cheap side. There is no such worry with the Compass.

If I had to suggest one improvement it would be that the final hinge at the mic end was a ball-joint to allow for better mic positioning. But this is by no means a deal breaker.

The Blue Designs Compass is built like a tank dressed in a business suit. If you are serious about your broadcasting or voice-over work, I cannot recommend this boom highly enough.

Price and availability

You can buy the Blue Designs Compass Broadcast Boom mic stand now for £99.99 from Amazon.

It is also available in the Yeticaster bundle which lands you the Compass boom stand, Yeti microphone and Radius III shockmount – all for £179.99.

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