If you’ve ever watched a stream, spent time recording or been in a studio yourself, chances are you’ll have come across the RODE PSA1.
It’s not directly responsible for making you or a streamer sound better, and it doesn’t improve the quality of the image you see on your monitor, TV or phone. But good boom arms are essential to making a stream a lot less painful for everyone watching. They elevate the microphone off the table, minimising a lot of the taps, clicks and clacks that would normally reverberate through the desk and go straight through to the microphone.
And while lots of streamers use all kinds of mics — either because of sponsorships, the amount of money spent on their current setup or just personal preference with audio gear — there’s a bit of a monopoly when it comes to boom arms. The PSA1 from Australian makers RODE has been one of the most popular peripherals for years. And this week, it’s finally gotten an upgrade.
There’s a ton of changes with the newer PSA1+, which is retailing for $199 locally, about $60 more than the existing PSA1. The new model has integrated cable management for both USB and XLR-type microphones, allowing for a much cleaner setup especially for those on camera. All the internal springs have now been fully dampened, and it’ll support all microphones up to 1.2kg that are compatible with a standard thread. There’s an adapter, though, in case you need it for your particular mic or shock mount. The PSA1+ now supports parallel movement as well, letting you move the entire arm without having to adjust the actual angle of your microphone.
As before, the PSA1+ will have a deskmount clamp and a threaded desk mount. A nice bonus here is that the new threaded desk mount has been designed to work with the little white port holders that you’ll find on most office desks, saving you the need to bust out the power drill. The PSA1+ also has more rubber contact points to improve isolation, which better absorbs those knocks and bumps that transfer through your keyboard or mouse swipes.
RODE also made a big deal about how the new PSA1+ supports a wider range of microphones, particularly lighter ones. The original PSA1 supported mics from 700 grams to 1.1kg, whereas the new model can support a mic as light as 94 grams. Interestingly, the PSA1+ is also a couple of hundred grams lighter than the previous model, but it still has greater reach (the PSA1+ can reach 940mm x 860mm horizontally and vertically, compared to the PSA1’s 820mm x 840mm reach).
For more info, you can head to the official RODE site, or respective Australian retailers. The PSA1+ will become available later this month, although exact shipping will depend on the individual retailer.