Whether you call them monitor risers, desk shelves or display stands, finding the right one for your desk’s size can be a huge boon to your computer setup. Today’s featured Mac mini workstation benefits from a compact Balolo stand sitting toward the back of a small desk.
You can see that choice desk shelf and several other options below, along with all the setup’s gear, including a Studio Display and marvelous high-end headphones.
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Setups with Mac mini and Studio Display benefits from right-sized monitor stand on a small desk
Redditor Zipzag (“Zip”) showcased the tidy setup in a post entitled, “Small Desk w Balolo.” His M2 Mac mini tucks right under the Balolo Setup Cockpit Monitor Stand. It’s the medium-sized option for his small-ish desk, sized at about 24 inches deep and 48 inches wide.
Why add a desk shelf?
His desk shelf is not the stand that came with his Studio Display, or course, it’s a furniture element that sits on top of the desk and enhances it by lifting up the monitor(s) to a comfortable eye level — which is a good thing, ergonomically speaking, for good posture — and providing space for other stuff. Many desk shelves have multiple shelves and/or drawers to store a variety of items.
On Zip’s desk, the Studio Display and its BenQ Halo monitor light and controller perch right on top of the riser, next to an AMG headphones amp and digital-to-analog (DAC) converter for the swanky Sennheiser Consumer Audio SD660S2 Audiophile Stereo Headphones hanging off the end on a special headphone hook.
Plenty of room for peripherals
In front of the desk shelf he’s got plenty of room for a Dawntrees felt desk mat holding a Magic Keyboard, Logitech MX Master 3S wireless mouse and an Elgato Stream Deck. And to the left of the stand sits a LaMetric Digital clock, which we see from time to time in Setups. This one is a LaMetric Time WiFi Clock for Smart Home.
“Displays messages from my home automation system, which is why I have it,” he noted when asked about it.
Desk-shelf options besides Balolo
Zip uses a desk shelf from Balolo, a German company. But there are plenty of other options. We see Grovemade desk shelves in setups all the time, for example. Those and certain others, like Artifox and Oakywood, come in a little steep, price-wise, but others like Aothia and TeamMix are more affordable.
A commenter threw in some suggestions, including Grovemade, and we added others to the list:
Bonus tip: Mod the light bar
Another commenter tossed in a useful bonus tip about keeping the BenQ monitor light bar from blocking the Studio Display’s webcam.
“Not sure if you’ve already done so, but you can easily modify the light bar so it doesn’t block the webcam,” they said. “My method was to use some rubber off the curved monitor adapter they included. Works perfectly.”
Zip wasn’t interested, however.
“Thanks, but I consider the blocked camera a feature. Easy to slide over for occasional camera use.”
Shop these items now:
Display, monitor light and desk shelf/monitor riser:
- Sennheiser Consumer Audio SD660S2 Audiophile Stereo Headphones
- AMG headphone amp/DAC
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.