If you have a favorite streamer, chances are you've seen Rode's PSA1 hanging out in the corner of the frame. Or perhaps you are that streamer? Rode's boom arm has become a go-to for YouTubers, Twitch channels and podcasters alike. As handy as the PSA1 is, it isn't so good for lighter cameras and microphones — at least not without some DIY adjustments.
Enter the PSA1+ ($129). Unveiled today, it's a revised version of the ubiquitous mic arm that will handle devices as light as 94g / 3.3oz. That might not sound like much, but the original needed a lot more weight to keep its balance, effectively ruling out any microphone or camera under 700g / 24.7 oz. That excludes most webcams, all GoPros (which can now work as webcams) and a bevy of other more affordable mics. Sure, you can tighten the screws or meddle with counterweights, but that isn't always ideal or guaranteed to work.
Functionally, the PSA1+ feels a lot closer to something like Blue's Compass which holds itself in place even without weight thanks to a combination of hand-tightened friction hinges and its internal spring mechanism. Blue's offering might be better for lighter microphones and cameras but it doesn't adjust its position as accurately or smoothly as the PSA1 (although its cable management is better).
The extended device support on the PSA1+ isn't the only new feature. Rode claims the new arm is completely silent so you won't suffer errant squeaks or spring noises during your stream or recording. The company also states that part of this is thanks to a revised spring design along with the jazzy new neoprene cover (that kinda makes the PSA1+ look like it's headed to the gym). The cover makes for a more appealing design over the original's standard "desk lamp" aesthetic though. That said, there's some pretty strong branding printed on the side that'll likely catch your eye during videos. Sadly it doesn't seem like you can do much about that as the neoprene appears to be physically connected to the cable clips.
Those clips are a good thing though. As mentioned, cable management, which was functional but not pretty on the PSA1 (essentially it was velcro cable ties) now uses neater, sturdier plastic clasps which should be more reassuring. Now at least either your USB or XLR lead will mostly be out of sight.
The PSA1+ goes on sale tomorrow for $129.