Audio / Hands-on Review

Confidently Mount iPads and Orchestral Scores with R.A.T. Stands


Imagine you have to give a presentation in front of a large audience, and you need to have an iPad mounted on a floor stand for your presentation. Before you go on stage, you make sure that your hair isn’t messed up, and that your clothing looks presentable. But even if you look good, your presentation may not come off as professionally as you hoped. If you have an iPad that’s clamped to a random stand with a cobbled-together adapter, you simply will not give off an air of sophistication. You can do better.

A unique British company called R.A.T. Stands manufactures an innovative product called the Z3 iPad Stand, and it’s the most elegantly designed iPad holder of its kind. However, this company does a lot more than just produce iPad accessories. Whether you aspire to be the next Leonard Bernstein and conduct full symphony orchestras, or you need a sleek floor stand to hold an iPad for an on-camera presentation, it’s likely that R.A.T. Stands makes a product that’s perfect for you.

When you walk into an above-average theater or music hall, you don’t see a rag-tag assemblage of beat-up music stands or low-budget instrument holders and lights for the musicians. In their place you will find an assemblage of carefully crafted accessories, and whether you realize it or not, the visual presence of this gear will raise your overall impression of the venue. The designers at R.A.T. Stands have been busy perfecting this kind of equipment for the professional theater market since the mid 1970s, and now they’re bringing their expertise to everyone with the innovative Z3 iPad Stand.

If you appreciate the thoughtful design that’s found in Apple’s products, you will like the form factor of the Z3 iPad Stand. The letter “Z” in its model name is a reflection of the shape of the product itself. The base of the Z acts as the feet of the stand, the diagonal line in the center is the supporting bar, and the top of the Z is the iPad. If you squish a Z down, it collapses from a four-and-a-half foot tall (1.37 meter) adjustable iPad stand to a flat item that you can tuck under an arm and walk away with conveniently.

All of the materials used in the Z3 iPad Stand are lightweight, and its center stem is telescopic. You simply pull it out to the size that you need, and you’re finished. The sections of the stem are smooth enough to make it easy to adjust and collapse, yet firm enough to allow the stand to stay perfectly in place without slipping. The integrated iPad cradle can be swiveled 360 degrees, so if you need to view in portrait or landscape mode, you can switch effortlessly. And unlike other iPad holders that need adapters for different versions of the tablet, the Z3 is universally compatible with the original iPad, iPad 2 and the new iPad.

When you’re not giving major presentations, the Z3 is still a really sweet item to have around the house. Prop your iPad right where you want it beside your bed or sofa, and watch movies or surf the 'net. You can even position the iPad so it’s above you when you lay flat on your back. Since the Z3 folds down flat, it’s easy to store away when not needed. It’s also designed to stack, so if you have several of them, they will nestle together for total efficiency.

The same design applied in the Z3 iPad Stand is found in the Jazz Stand. This is essentially the same stand, but instead of having an iPad mount at the top, it features a sheet-music tray (complete with an integrated pencil shelf). When space is tight, you can reverse the direction of its feet, so you can tuck the Jazz Stand right up against a chair. The various heights that are easily achieved make it a perfect stand for a tall trumpet player, or a young, seated cellist. Like the Z3 iPad Stand, the Jazz Stand folds down flat, and can be piled on top of one another and interlocked, so they’re great for schools, organizations and performance spaces that need a large number of music stands that can be packed up and stored.

R.A.T. Stands also offers a range of non-collapsible, high-quality music stand solutions. The Concert Stand, the Opera Stand and the Performer Stand are all best-in-their-class products that feature contemporary yet classic looks, steel construction, the ability to nest together to save space, rubber feet that keep them in place and reduce clatter when accidentally bumped, and a large selection of compatible, separately available lights and accessories. The accessories range from everything from instrument shelves, trumpet holders, violin holders, and even a dedicated holder for a musical triangle.

How many stores can you walk into and ask the salesperson if they sell platforms for orchestra conductors? B&H is famous for vending hard-to-find creative production equipment, so it makes perfect sense that we would also sell conductor stands. The Conductor’s Rostrum is a 3.3’ (1 m) square platform with an equal-sized handrail on one side. The handrail can easily be removed if not needed, and the height of the platform can be changed by using different-sized legs. There are also non-platform style conductor stands available, which are essentially extra wide music stands capable of comfortably holding oversized operatic scores. These are available with either wooden or metallic slat trays, and feature integrated lamps (which can be removed).

Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth article. If you have any more questions about equipment used to mount iPads, or platforms used to mount aspiring Wagners, we encourage you to submit a Comment below.

  Z3 iPad Stand  Jazz Stand Opera Music Stand Performer Music Stand Opera Conductor's Stand
Height Range 16 - 54"
(40 - 137 cm)
16 - 47"
(40 - 120 cm)
24 - 50"
(62 - 127 cm)
28.5 - 52"
(73 - 133 cm)
32 - 53"
(81 - 135 cm)
Tray Size No Tray 20 x 12.5"
(51 x 32 cm)
17.5 x 14.5"
(44 x 37 cm)
20 x 12.5"
(51 x 32 cm)
35 x 19.5"
(90 x 50 cm)
Size When Folded 20 x 15 x 2"
(51 x 38 x
5 cm)
20 x 15 x 2"
(51 x 38 x
5 cm)
Does not fold Does not fold Does not fold
Weight 4.6 lb (2.1 kg) 6.1 lb (2.8 kg) 13 lb (5.9 kg)
 without lamp
6.4 lb (2.9 kg) 35 lb (16 kg)
with lamp