Which Is Better, a $589 'Proper' Boom Pole or a $10 Broom Handle?

Boom poles are an indispensable tool for both filmmaker and photographers. They can hold microphones, lights, bounces, and even props. This video by the recently-resurrected Indy Mogul compares a $10 broom handle to a $589 K-Tek K-102CCR to see which one is better for audio.

For those of you who don't know, Indy Mogul (along with Film Riot) was the place to learn about filmmaking techniques on YouTube in the late 2000s. The channel was dead for over two years after YouTube bought the channel and then shut it down. But now Aputure has come along and revived the channel, bringing back the final host Griffin Hammond. While the channel generally skews a bit younger and concentrates more on the video side of things, most of the content is applicable to photography as well. 

In this newest video we see Hammond comparing two boom poles, the expensive K-Tek K-102CCR versus the cheap broom pole. The results are very interesting. I was not expecting the K-Tek to have such bad shock absorption, but I suspect that it is because the way the broom pole is put together. It's simply screwed through and putting the shock mount on a different plane adds another level of dampening.

While I wish they had attempted to put something a bit heavier, like a light, on the two competing items to see how they took the weight, I can understand why they didn't (they are primarily a filmmaking channel after all). Overall it was a great video, especially at the end talking about being worried regarding people's reactions. I wouldn't take a broom pole onto a big commercial set but it definitely seems just right for two man teams on smaller projects.

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6 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

Excellent video. I don't need a pole for mics but it is great for holding speedlights or strobes. I have an auto-locking painting extension pole that extend from 3-6 feet.I paid $25 CDN for it. It's strong and sturdy and looks quite professional with its yellow paint job.

Ariel Martini's picture

$589 and you can't even swipe the floor

Spy Black's picture

Painter's poles have been the go-to ADJUSTABLE mic boom option for low budget productions for ages now. A broom pole is when you've forgotten the painter's pole, but remembered the gaffer's tape... ;-)

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Paint-Paint-Tools-Supplies-Paint-Rollers-Pai...

Hahaha. Funny you tested one of those weird K-Tek booms. I‘m a production sound mixer for decades (and a former boom operator for film and TV) and I always found the K-Teks almost unusable exactly because of this.

Check out the Ambient Recording boom poles. Those are really good (but even more expensive):
https://ambient.de/en/product_custom_cat/quickpole-en/

Lee Christiansen's picture

Yes the Ambient products are probably the best, (well I've had one for 15 years and loved it).

For a working pro, there is no alternative to a smooth operation and sturdy pole. For a recordist it is a crucial bit of kit and nothing less than great will do.

Rod Kestel's picture

LOL, can't argue with a good broom handle.

A lot of my gear is skunkworks, re-purposed bits of junk. It's cheap and fun to make. Bought a softbox then realised I could make my own by gluing bits of plastic. Works fine.

Here's my light stand made from an old music stand creatively modified with bits of aluminium. Good enough for a single speedlight on a quiet day. Pardon the pun but doesn't look flash but it is light (oh, that's TWO puns...).

Yesterday I was interviewing prominent climate scientists and we just dragged a desk over and sat the mics on that. Job done.

Astute viewers will notice my backdrop is a bed sheet. Oh crap...now it's dirty so must wash it before my CEO gets home. [WTF why is this image rotated??]