InnoGear Microphone Boom Arm Review
Considering buying the InnoGear boom arm? Here is a review of the one I purchased for personal use three years ago.
Table of Contents
My History With the Innogear Boom Arm
- The InnoGear boom arm works great for lighter microphones
- It is quite inexpensive compared to similar boom arms
- It clamps securely to the desk. Once tightened down, it ain’t moving.
- It may fail with heavier microphones and come crashing down to the desk after a few years of daily use, potentially damaging both the desk and the microphone.
- Glass desk users, use caution with EVERY boom arm you use. Gear only lasts so long.
- Only a problem if you lower the shoulder and wrist joint too low and If you have to extend it as far as it can go
- Minor sagging when extended to extreme angles.
- It has 360 Degrees of rotation at the shoulder.
I purchased the InnoGear microphone boom arm on the 18th of May, 2020. Initially, it served as a replacement for the very cheap boom arm that came with my Tonor BM-700 condenser microphone kit. The difference between the two arms was night and day – a ten-fold improvement over the floppy, sagging, and bent scrap metal that was the old arm after merely two years of use.
The Innogear arm is a joy to use, and I am very happy with my purchase three years later. In fact, it is so good that I daresay it was one of the best purchases I had ever made for content creation up until that point.
For the entire lifetime of having that lightweight and cheap condenser microphone mounted on the InnoGear arm, I never once had a problem with the arm in any way. It felt as rigid and effective as the day I started using it.
However, that was not to last.
InnoGear Boom Arm Overview
|InnoGear Microphone Arm Stand (Medium)
Screw Adapter Size: 5/8 in | Here is an adapter kit for 3/8 and 1/4 if you need it for your particular microphone mount.
Cable Management Features: Cable Channels
- 3.5 Lb Maximum Capacity (Claimed, unverified)
- No External Springs for animals to mess with
- Virtually silent manipulation
- Arm durability is solid, with no bends in the steel bars, even after three years of daily use.
- It fails to hold a 1.21-pound microphone if the shoulder joint is too low. (Crashed to the desk – see picture below for failure point)
- It isn’t quite as long as I need to reach from the edge of a large L-Shaped glass desk that I have (I can’t link it here, I bought it used and don’t know who makes it).
- The microphone mounting screw design makes it a little challenging to make fine adjustments to the microphone angle.
- Because of the weight of the mic, rotation up or down is very finicky on the mounting screw
- Minor sagging with the heavier mic – might be due to wear and tear from daily use. Don’t have a new stand to compare to.
- The cable channels don’t hold onto my particular cable with enough friction. It just pops out from the weight of the cable. Never worked properly.
Where the Problems Began
A while back, I was contacted by Maono to review one of their microphones – the PD400X. I accepted, and it arrived a few weeks later. Excited to start my review, I started to disassemble my rather janky setup. (An oversized shock mount and a piece of paper to make it grip the body)
Upon screwing the PD400X onto the InnoGear boom arm, I turned around for a second, only to hear a crash of metal against the glass.
“What the hell just happened?!” I thought to myself in panic as my head whipped around to the source of the noise. It turns out the mic just crashed into my glass-top desk.
Yes, my microphone crashed into my glass-top desk. If that statement isn’t enough to send shivers down your spine, you have nerves of steel. I had three monitors on top of there, an audio interface, and a few other breakable sentimental decorations. All in all, about $1000 worth of gear were at risk with a shot of panic-infused adrenaline now coursing through my veins.
Investigating the Cause of the Failure
So now that my heart was going 10 miles a minute the sudden clang of metal against glass catching me off guard, my mind racing to catch up to what just happened.
I hadn’t even had a chance to use the microphone provided by Maono yet, let alone review it, and imagine my panic; it had *already* fallen more times than my five-year-old microphone had during its entire lifetime. I rushed over to check the damage. Thankfully, the desk and the microphone were fine, but I quickly had to go into troubleshooting mode.
Why had the microphone just fallen to my desk?
My Testing Sequence
Naturally, the next step to figuring this situation out was to do some experimentation. I took the microphone in hand and began manipulating it in various ways. I immediately noticed that pushing the arm downwards took significantly less force than it did with the lighter microphone on the arm. It wobbled a LOT before it settled into position when I so much as let it go.
Not only that, but when the shoulder section of the arm was pushed too far directly out, I noticed that it began to fall with gravity, slowly at first, then accelerating as it got lower.
The mystery of the crashing microphone was solved. What had happened was the shoulder joint gave out, and the arm simply fell. Essentially, gravity is too strong for the aging arm to handle the heavier load at the extreme angle I was trying to make it hold. The end result is I can’t even use a third of its maximum capacity at the full range of movement of the InnoGear arm.
So that’s it; the case is closed. The boom arm had experienced a catastrophic failure at an extreme angle.
Don’t buy it…
Don’t be Too Quick to Sign Off
Remember, I have been using this microphone arm with a lighter microphone as my daily driver. Years of gaming with my buddies in Discord and talking with my girlfriend for dozens of hours every week for the last three years. With no issue whatsoever until I switch the microphone to the heavier PD400X.
I can’t draw any concrete conclusions without testing a brand-new InnoGear arm side-by-side in an apples-to-apples comparison, but I can probably chalk it up to the three years of wear and tear taking its toll, weakening the arm.
Everything considered, even considering the partial failure, getting three years out of the arm is quite good, considering it cost less than $60 when I purchased it and how much use it saw just about every day. And it’s still totally usable for everyday use. It just has some limitations in what it can do at extreme angles.
Now, before I conclude this review, I want to go over some of the marketing material that InnoGear included that ultimately convinced me to buy this boom arm.
InnoGear Claims the Microphone Arm Can Handle Three Blue Yeti Microphones Simultaneously
In the marketing material, there was one particular section that convinced me to go forward with the purchase. It was the one that depicted the stand holding three Blue Yeti Microphones at once. Next to it, the text, in large bold lettering, Max 3.5 lb capacity.
That is one of the most effective marketing tactics I have seen for something like a boom arm. Granted, a Blue Yeti weighs in at 1.2 pounds, according to this article by Talkin music, so three of them suspended like that is 3.6 pounds. And that isn’t even counting the weight of the xlr cables needed to connect them. That adds some weight for the arm to handle too, and a lot of people forget that. XLR cables are not an insignificant amount of added weight due to their design.
Now, that claim is significantly higher than what the PD400X clocks in at, which weighs a paltry 548.5 grams, or 1.21 pounds (according to the manufacturer). And yet, the arm was not able to hold the mic over a certain angle. Again, wear and tear probably has something to do with it.
It didn’t help that it was also extended as far as it would go horizontally because the arm is actually too short to position it exactly where I’d want it. I’m stretching it as far as it will go, and naturally, the capability will decline the more it is angled. Those are the two factors that, when combined together, were able to overcome the capability of the InnoGear microphone boom arm.
It’s not a bad mic stand. I would gladly buy another one if this one ever failed completely.
Conclusion for the Innogear Boom Arm Review
Now, it isn’t like the InnoGear boom arm is falling all the time – it does hold the microphone quite securely when it is positioned further away from where I want it, and the elbow is closer to a better load bearing position. It’s when it goes too far down is when things start to fail. Put on the lighter microphone, shock mount and all, and the problem disappears entirely.
So really, the arm is too short for my needs, and I’m asking too much of it. However, I’m working with limitations, given my desk only has two viable spots to mount it due to it being a glass top. If I could be closer to it, it would be a non-issue – I could use the arm in a more optimal load-bearing position, without the risk of failure.
I don’t have a new stand to compare apples to apples and give a truly complete review, but this should be a good point of reference for how it holds up with heavier microphones in the long run.
I recommend the InnoGear Microphone Boom Arm for any creators looking for a high-quality scissor-mount microphone boom.