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Isolating your recordings with the best microphone isolation shield can eventually enhance the quality of your recorded sound by filtering and blocking those unwanted noises and echoes been picked the mic. While a fully acoustic treated room is very difficult to be attained, thus, the portable vocal booths could become an easy way to add an additional layer of protection and filter for your sound recording projects.
Short of soundproofing the room, which might be costly, using the mic sound isolation shield will be a great alternative. Some might ask, especially those new in the field, if it is really needed. Having a microphone that produces excellent audio quality is not the only requirement when recording because unless you are doing it in a professional recording studio, you will encounter problems with ambient sounds or background noise coming from an electric fan, computer fan, air condition, and the sounds that bounce back from the wall. You will need to put a sound isolation shield behind the microphone in order to absorb or dampen these sounds that will affect your voice recording.
Buyer’s Guide: Things To Consider When Buying Mic Sound Isolation Shield
Will any cheap brand do? Does it have to be expensive? Price is always a consideration when buying things because it will limit your choices depending on what you can afford. With many mic sound isolation shields available, it would not be too hard to find something that meets your budget and, at the same time, give you what you need. A more expensive one might have the feature or accessory that you want but do not overlook the cheaper one because it might do just fine with what it has to offer.
You can either put it on top of the desk, or you can attach it to a microphone stand. It would be best to get something that can be used both ways so that it offers you flexibility. However, if you have to choose then, it would depend on the type of recordings that you do, such as if you have to be sitting down or standing when you sing or do your podcasts or vlogs.
Having an adjustable one would be convenient so that you can adjust it to an ideal position for recording. You can easily adjust its height if you attached the isolation shield tot he mic stand.
The bigger the shield that curves around the microphone, the better because it greatly reduces the ability of the mic to capture unwanted sounds. The bigger and broader shield will give you more fuller sound isolation and noise filtering results.
Materials and Construction
It goes without saying that you should get something durable so that you can use it for a long time. The foam should have the high density or be thick enough to absorb the background noise and better dampen the sound wave more effectively.
If you have to mount it, make sure that the mic stand is durable and heavy enough so that it can carry the weight of the isolation shield; otherwise, it would topple over. An ordinary mic stand might be too light, so look into a boom mic stand.
Storage and Portability
For convenience, consider getting something that is lightweight and foldable or collapsible so that it is easy to store, pack, and bring with you when you want to change the location for your recording.
Best Microphone Isolation Shields
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1) Aston Microphones Halo Portable Microphone Reflection Filter
The Aston Halo vocal booth shield can be considered as one of the best vocal shields in the market right now as it provides fuller sound filtering coverage. Unlike most of the vocal booth shields in the market that only cover the horizontal plane, The Halo does cover both horizontal (wall) and vertical planes (floor & ceiling) that most models neglected.
One of the best benefits of using this halo shield is that it will provide you more isolated and fuller tonality audio quality, which is constituted by its larger covering surface. However, the only downside of this Halo shield is that it is unfordable and it’s quite big that will need bigger space to use and even store it.
2) sE Electronics Reflexion Filter PRO
This reflexion filter PRO from sE Electronics has a patented 6-layer technology that provides balanced absorption and diffusion. It works across the whole frequency spectrum, which simply means that it can help deliver a “drier” sound when you record for vocals or instruments. It is quite durable, so you can expect it to last for years.
It also comes with a versatile mounting hardware that offers stability when you pan or tilt it as you position it at an angle that you prefer during recording. It has an actual weight of 8 pounds, and the filter measures 14.5 x 12 x 8 inches. Its mounting mechanism measures 8 x 16 inches. Microphone and mic stand are not included. Keep in mind that the mic stand that you will get should be able to handle the weight of the filter.
3) AxcessAbles SF-101KIT Recording Studio Microphone Isolation Shield with Tripod Stand
The mic sound isolation shield from AxcessAbles is comprised of five panels of 2-inch thick high-density noise reduction or absorption foam with the outer two panels adjustable as it can be folded on the hinged joints to position it according to your preference. It comes with a pop filter that will reduce, if not eliminate, popping sounds caused by the impact of fast-moving air when speaking or singing.
You can put the shield on your desktop, or you can mount it on the heavy-duty tripod made of a high-grade alloy that comes with it. The height of the stand can be adjusted from 4ft to 6ft. This SF-101 kit weighs 19 pounds and measures 42 x 7.5 x 19 inches. Microphone is not included.
4) Monoprice 602650 Microphone Isolation Shield
This shield is very popular among recording artists for it provides awesome features and it is basically affordable. Its inside part features high-density foam with vented metal external. It is hard to ignore the positive reviews of those who have availed of this product, and gauging the reviews; it is easy to see how this brand is a highly recommended brand. It definitely does the job of isolating unwanted noise and echoes, and for this reason, it gets lots of affirmative reviews from its users.
5) LyxPro VRI-20-Foldable and Affordable Isolation Shielding Vocal Recording Panel
Another good choice is the LyxPro VRI-20 which can enhance room ambiance in order to create awesome recording conditions. It can eliminate echoes and ambient noise and can deliver dry and clear sound. It is also easy to set up and is made of aluminum and foam panels which could be easily positioned behind the microphone. Moreover, it comes with a mounting hardware support equipment for extra safety. Its dimension is 19.1 x 13 x 11.4 inches and is light enough at 3.7 pounds. Lastly, it is quite portable and can be easily disassembled for easy transport.
6) Neewer Tabletop Compact Microphone Isolation Shield with Tripod Stand
The outer shell of the mic sound isolation shield from Neewer is durable as it is made of ABS plastic, and the inner part is a 1.9-inch high-density foam that can absorb noise and ensure clean recording. The shield sits atop a metal mini tripod that offers stable support when you put it on your desk. It comes with an extension tube and a 3/8-5/8 inch adapter. It is lightweight and portable as it weighs about 2.94 pounds and measures 10.6 x 10.1 x 7.4 inches. Microphone and shock mount are not included.
7) Pyle PSIB27 Sound Recording Booth Box
The main advantages of using this product are that it is known for its awesome portability. It is lightweight making it easy for users to carry it anywhere they want to record. It has no metal parts, and it is box-shaped which is ideal for microphone isolation. It definitely has a superb way, for example, of isolating podcast recording. Moreover, it is a good choice when recording instrumentals for its high-density foam can readily isolate unwanted noise. Furthermore, the price of Pyle is quite affordable, and if you are on a tight budget, Pyle can be one of your best choices.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Does the Vocal Isolation Shield Work?
Sounds come from everywhere, and even if you think that your studio is already totally isolated, chances are, some unwanted sounds will still find their way to the microphone. These unwanted sounds may be forgivable if you are performing live, but in recording a musical piece, for example, the inclusion of these unwanted sounds is unforgivable. The use of isolation shields could greatly help performers deliver awesome and studio-quality sound even if they are away or outside of the recording studio’s highly controlled environment. The isolation shield is usually placed just behind the microphone with a mic stand. It readily blocks and shields the mic from unnecessary sounds to produce crispier and sharper vocals.
The makeup of the shield is designed to block noise. It is intrinsically padded and stacked with acoustic foam that assuages the impact of sound. The foam readily absorbs the unwanted noise preventing it from reaching highly sensitive microphones. Many of these isolation shields have outer shells that are hard enough to enable the one who is recording to capture sound while precluding the unwanted echoes and sounds from being captured by the microphone.
The shields are usually fashioned in such a way that it could diminish sound reflections. It is a bit vented which permits the microphone some space for breathing. The shield is slightly vented to ensure that the sound would be good to listen to. Moreover, shields usually have features that permit them to be adjusted according to the necessary angle. Performers can likewise shift the angle of the shields to move them away from the source of the sound.
The sources of ambient noise may be unpredictable, and more often, there is a need for the vent to shift from one angle to another to preclude noise from being captured by the microphone. Lastly, shields usually consist of panels, like a miniature room to ensure that the performer is isolated.
What Are The Benefits of Using Sound Isolation Shield / Portable Vocal Booth?
The recording studio is usually designed by an audio engineer or acoustician to achieve the essential acoustic properties such as acoustic isolation, absorption of echoes or reflected sounds and diffusion of sound. Yet, not all who want to have home recording studio have the benefits of the expertise of an audio engineer. For this reason, those who would like to build their own home recording studios usually avail of some portable equipment like that of the portable vocal booth, which is usually on a stand that surrounds most of the microphones within. This is necessary to prevent echo or reverberation from reaching the microphones.
The use of portable mic isolation shield allows you to dampen sound by preventing frequencies from sounding as if they were wrought inside an echo chamber. For this reason, portable vocal booths are aptly called “isolation shields.” They are designed to isolate a microphone by shielding it from the surrounding area of the room. They are sometimes also called and marketed as “reflection filters” or “reflection shields.”
Without it, for example, thinking that the sound of your home studio is quite good enough for the actual recording, you may find it hard later to remove or isolate sounds caused by echoes. Moreover, you may lose control of your recording because of this initial blunder of not using the sound isolation shield. Hence, it is important, at the onset, to isolate the vocals and filter echoes than regret it later. If you were able to isolate sound, you could still add vocal effects like that of reverbs later.