Start with a high-quality microphone if you want to launch a podcast or make your recordings sound better. However, your setup will be incomplete without a mic mount.
The ideal option is a top microphone boom arm, like the Rode PSA1, which can be quickly moved for the best recordings and, unlike with a mic stand, avoids any potential disturbance from close objects.
The PSA1, which replaces one of the recent favourites, the PSA, has various upgrades, like a better internal spring construction and enhanced cable loops.
The mount may appear expensive, but it is a necessary piece of equipment for getting the greatest recordings.
This article will review the Rode PSA1 to help you decide whether it is right for your setup and individual needs.
- Flexible, discrete operation
- Vibration is eliminated via a better internal spring design
- Precisely managed cables
- Expensive ($129)
- No lock at the stand’s base or on the arms
Rode PSA1 Design & Build Quality
The PSA1 exudes the professionalism and quality we’ve come to expect from Rode right off the bat. The microphone is packaged well, the mic boom arm is snugly fastened, and a clear Quickstart manual is included in the box.
The 3.4-pound PSA1+ weighs 3.4 pounds and has dimensions of 37.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 inches (HWD). The arm has a 37.0 inch horizontal reach and a 33.8 inch vertical reach.
You can change its position thanks to independent hinges at each of its ends and in the middle. The mount can also be turned on its hinges and locked firmly in position by tightening its knobs.
Using the provided table clamp is the simplest method for mounting the PSA1. It can grip most desktop surfaces with ledges but cannot hold anything with flush edges.
The rubber ends are a straightforward but noticeable enhancement that make the clamp a little more robust and less prone to move than the version that went with the previous model.
Once it is attached, the arm may pivot 360 degrees and settle into the indented top section of the clamp.
Alternatively, you can use the threaded desktop mount insert to install the arm to a desk, although this approach necessitates drilling a big hole through your desktop.
This insert’s titanium base feels incredibly strong in any situation. Additionally, the PSA1+ includes a 3/8-to-5/8-inch adaptor, so you should have no trouble connecting any microphone.
The internal springs of the previous model occasionally rattled in specific areas as a result of keyboard vibrations, which was one of its complaints. Since microphone stands and arms must be silent, this was a difficulty.
Fortunately, the new PSA 1+ has neoprene covers and a completely damped internal spring system, according to Rode, which should greatly lessen these noises.
The tension of the mount can now be adjusted with knobs that are easy to spin, and the mounting hardware has been updated to make it easier to move your microphone.
Similar to the desktop clamp, other points of contact now have rubber contacts that lessen the amount of vibrations and disturbances that your microphone may otherwise pick up.
Additionally, the stand now accommodates a broader variety of microphone weights, especially at the lighter end.
The arm used to accommodate mics that weighed a minimum of 1.5 pounds, but it can now support mics as light as 0.2 pounds. The arm can support microphones that weigh upwards of 2.6 pounds at its highest point.
Finally, there are now built-in cable management connections on the tips of the neoprene panels. These cable loops eliminate the need to hang or wrap your wires from the arm by allowing users to snake their XLR or USB cables along its contour.
This shift from Velcro ties in the earlier iteration of the arm is another straightforward but crucial advancement.
Rode PSA1 Operational Capability
The arm moves fluidly and slightly more gracefully than the previous design. A significant difference is made by the internal spring damping.
As previously reported, the predecessor was prone to producing infrequent but obtrusive sounds as a consequence of vibrations in the area.
Even when you physically tap the new model, none of these sounds are produced. The neoprene sleeves shield the arm from inadvertent touch in common use scenarios (you shouldn’t purposefully tap the arm when a mic is mounted and live).
The arm does not, however, have a locking device like a clamp. This feature is available on high-end, robust microphone stands featuring lengthy booms, such as the $500 model by Latch Lake, which enables you to move its arm around freely before securing it in place once you’ve found the ideal position.
In any event, you don’t need to bother about constantly correcting the PSA1’s position because it does need force to move.
Is The Rode PSA1 Worth It?
The Rode PSA1 is a top-notch recording ally. Over its predecessor, it features a number of changes, including a new internal spring that is damped and engineered to work more quietly and gracefully.
Since not many podcasters are likely to worry about this omission, our only real criticism is that the arms don’t have a locking mechanism.
However, artists and sound engineers who need to mic sitting vocalists might prefer a simple solution to keep the mic secure and locked.
Although, that criticism is primarily a nitpick because the PSA1 isn’t intended for those situations. The mount is a worthwhile complement to any setup for sitting recordings.
We hope that this article has been informative and has helped you to decide whether the Rode PSA1 is the right microphone boom arm choice for your individual setup.
The PSA1 is exceptionally well-built, highly functional, and effectively reduces sounds from vibrations to help you achieve fantastic recordings every time – just as you would expect from a renowned company such as Rode.