Ask most people what musicians ‘look’ like, and you’ll get a similar response.
It’s either sheets of slightly-yellowing music combined with a classical evening dress, stages littered with beer bottles and amp leads, or a guy in a studio surrounded by layer upon layer of specialist tech.
The Tablet and iPad?
In my experience, very few outside the industry equate these everyday items with the distant landscape of music.
Those of us in the industry know better.
Tablets and iPads are transforming the way that musicians work.
And as such we need a good solid mic stand with tablet mount.
We looked at lots on the market and narrowed it down to our top 5 below.
The Best Tablet Mic Stand And Mounts
1# ChargerCity Music Mic Microphone Stand
This stand sells itself on being able to cater for a wide range of devices and brands, from iPads to Sony, to Samsung and many other brands.
And what’s not to love about that?
After all, the way that music works these days, (and yes, Vaporwave and Synthwave artists, I’m looking straight at you), not everyone wants to be hemmed into products that only cater for the iPad.
For me, it also ticks the vital but rare box of catering for tablets and iPads inside their cases.
This means that if gravity should play its hand, there’s a decent chance of your tech surviving the ordeal.
What’s more, it achieves this without any of the clunky aesthetic intrusion that some brands offer.
The strength is in the back-plate and discrete spring-loaded lock-in.
This means that your device looks like it’s on nothing more exotic than a delicate music stand.
Another thing I love about this piece of kit is that it gives you the freedom to do what you want with it.
Do you need 3 Way adjustment and 360 angling?
The ChargerCity Music Mic Microphone Stand Tablet Mount might be reasonably poor at coming up with efficient product names, but they’re leading the efficiency stakes when it comes to offering flexible, adaptable brackets with 360 rotation and portrait/landscape options.
It may sound like a small detail, but landscape options can be vital.
If all you want to do is glance at the screen, the landscape position is ideal for allowing you to view multiple pages simultaneously.
If you want to shift between sitting and standing, the ChargerCity also has this in hand.
It’s high levels of adjustability mean that it’s easy to reposition and angle.
I also like the twist-to-lock C clamp, which makes assembly a no-brainer and which keeps those movable parts in place.
Perhaps, more importantly, the twist lock makes taking the thing apart at the end of a long night effortless.
Altogether, I rate this as being a sturdy piece of kit that is well prepared for the long nights of hard graft it’s likely to be put through.
#2 Hola! Music HM-MTH mount
Verdict: Four Stars
The Hola! Music HM-MTH mount wasn’t designed by a non-musical entrepreneur with their eye on the digital transformation of the industry.
This was clearly designed by someone who spends hours on the stage, and who had reached the end of their tether with mounts sliding down poles.
Not only does this mount have adjuster sets that fit devices from 6 inches to 15, it fits virtually any tube.
The secret of this is in the combination of a foam bed and rubber-tipped screw, which enables a tight fit for almost any sized pole.
This is a major selling point for me. Tubes come in all shapes and sizes, and so having a mount that I can trust with a range of diameters is a must.
The Hola! Mount is made from very durable plastic and brass so that it can withstand the battering of life on the road.
It’s sturdy, versatile, and fits most tablets and smartphones.
Plus, it has tilt adjustment.
So, where does the Hola! Music HM-MTH mount lose the vital fifth star?
When it all comes crashing down
The reason this mount did not take our number one spot was because you’ll almost certainly have to take your device out of any protective case in order to use the HM-MTH.
Having your tablet in the case give you extra protection should your stand go tumbling.
It’s a shame because almost everything else about this stand works.
#3 Kasonic Microphone and Tablet Tripod Boom Stand
Unlike some other models, Kasonic stands come ready-made for different sized tablets, leaving you to pick the size you need.
This little feature is a neat bonus, which enables the pressure points to be accurately organised to provide a study, anti-vibration support.
This support is extended down the shock-mount holder and into the anti-vibration tripod base.
You’ll need a different frame for your iPad and iPhone.
This means that planning is required, and that’s not something that artists are always associated with.
It’s also not ideal if you’re working in a genre that’s prone to tech upgrades.
Despite this downside, the Kasonic is clearly a piece of kit that has been designed with both live audiences and home studios in mind.
I was particularly taken with the alignment of this stand, which enables you to position the music or lyrics exactly in front of you.
This may seem like a simple detail, but there’s a reason that musicians practice and perform with their music in front of them rather than off to the side and out of direct sight.
Kit for many occasions
Combined with a high level of adjustability, this is an ideal piece of kit for a range of different needs.
The boom element lends itself well to voice artists, whilst the adjustable poles mean that it can be easily extended to reach over other equipment.
Watch out for the wobble
What this stand lacks is the stability that some of the other stands had.
The one that I tried wobbled and the boom had a tendency to pitch the whole thing over unless the angles were perfect.
That’s not a problem in itself, as with a bit of careful tweaking I was able to get there in the end, but means that I didn’t feel entirely confident that my iPad was safe.
For that reason, this stand gets the number 3 spot.
#4 AccessoryBasics EasyAdjust cymbal Microphone Mic Stand Tablet
When Accessory Basics launched this stand, they were looking to innovate.
These guys listened to complaints about other brands, and went straight back to the workshop.
The main developments have been in the 360o Swivel Adjustment Ball and quick release Cardan shaft.
Roughly translated, this means that you can position your tablet precisely as you want it, and rapidly unhook it when it’s time to pack up.
What’s the catch?
The plastic dilemma
This stand is made of plastic. Bulky plastic, yes. But plastic nonetheless.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to risk the combination of a rowdy audience, my iPad, my kit, and a plastic mic stand.
There’s a reason that music kit is built out of sturdy, hard-wearing materials.
This isn’t to say that this product didn’t do well when it was put through its paces.
But I’m hesitant about introducing plastic to the relentless wear-and-tear of live music.
Keeping a mic stand permanently stood to attention in a studio is one thing, but dismantling and reassembling plastic is just asking for warping and fatigue, especially when levers and clips are involved.
5# Mic Stand, ANKO
This tripod mount offers the full package. From tablet holder to mic stand, it’s got you covered. Made from solid steel, it’s also sturdy enough for some stage use but is ideal for home studios.
Why is it more at home in the studio than on the stage?
Because it’s prone to toppling over.
There’s a definite downside to purchasing a tablet holder that comes as part of a whole mic stand package.
Design and creative input has to be spread across multiple specialities, from the mic bracket down to the tripod legs.
In my opinion, the design effort of the ANKO has been poured into the mic holder rather than the tablet holder.
This makes this an ideal option if you’re starting out from scratch, and need to organise a complete set-up.
Unfortunately, it means that other specialities can be neglected.
These overlooked specialities include the all-important tripod and the tablet holder.
A bit flimsy
I found the tablet clamps too flimsy for my liking, and couldn’t quite get the tripod legs to stay in the angle that I wanted them.
Furthermore, as this mic stand comes as a complete set, you need to make sure that it fits both the tablet and the mic that you have in mind.
This means that If you’re already well-equipped for mic stands, and just need to add an additional mount, the ANKO may be overkill, and you may find that the stand itself isn’t up to your specs.
Social media has caused a boom in home recordings, and this is a great piece of kit for a newbie.
Tablets and iPads in the music industry
I’ve used mine to download sheet music for last-minute gigs. I’ve used it to mount an online metronome, to give online coaching, and to keep myself organised.
I use my device to share my phrasings and markings with students and colleagues.
I can turn pages of my manuscripts at the touch of a pedal.
When I’m playing live, the whole band is synced not only by the music but by the iPads.
And that can be a lifesaver when going live with “that” member of the group who always manages to misplace the song list somewhere between tunes three and four.
My device has become such a crucial part of my life that I can’t remember life before it.
And I’m not alone.
A growing trend
From classical musicians to digital artists, iPads and Tablets are taking our world by storm.
But there’s a problem.
Expensive pieces of tech for reading sheet music versus even more expensive instruments and kit?
Yup. It’s not just an accident waiting to happen, it’s multiple accidents.
Let’s avoid that.
Stands need to be sturdy, reliable, adaptable, versatile, and secure.
The Final Verdict
For professional musicians, it’s tempting to view tablet mounts as a new idea trying to work with old equipment.
The physics of the mic stand means that it’s designed to counterweight a microphone and to transfer the forces down the shaft, through the tripod, and into solid ground.
Adding an extra weight is always going to be problematic.
This is perhaps why so many musicians complain about ‘wobbles’ and ‘flimsiness’.
This is a problem that engineers are going to have to completely re-think if they are going to achieve the perfect tablet mount for professional and stage musicians.
But there are some good products out there
I found that I bonded with the ChargerCity Music Mic Microphone Stand Tablet Mount, and that’s partly because it removes the problem of having to work with a poorly-weighted stand
By dealing with the mount by itself, you’re free to select your stand and make sure it’s up to the quality that you need.
The fact that ChargerCity’s spring-mounted adjustable grips cater for all sorts of sizes and shapes of phone, tablet, and case is also a point that I can’t overlook, and which edges it ahead of the otherwise brilliant Hola! Music HM-MTH.
Whichever tablet mount you go for, I’m here as an evangelist for the overall cause.
Music has always pushed technological boundaries, and it’s excellent that tablets and iPads are giving so much back.
Fire up your device, and go create.