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A mechanical means of supporting a microphone above a sound source. Many microphone stands are supplied with a ‘boom arm’ affixed to the top of the stand’s main vertical mast. The term may also be applied to larger, remotely controlled microphone supports used in film and TV studios, or even to the handheld ‘fishpoles’ used by film and TV sound recordists.

Ideally, the boom should be balanced around its mounting or pivot point to reduce the strain on the locking mechanism. To that end, most booms have a counterweight at the opposite end to the microphone, although in the case of most typical stage mic stands the counterbalance is often far too light to be effective. Additional bolt-on counterweights are available, and large boom stands often come with much heavier and movable weights to enable perfect balancing.