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5 Best Portable Isolation Booths That Actually Work

In Buyer's Guide, Guides for Musicians, Guides for Singers, Home Recording Studioby Jake LLeave a Comment

Nowadays, anyone has the opportunity to set up a home recording studio right inside their bedroom. It’s very convenient, allowing more musicians, singers, and artists to record/produce their own music. But if you’re like me and many others, you will find that a room that wasn’t designed for recording (our bedrooms)  tend to affect what is recorded. Noise reflecting off of reflectable surfaces and the ambient sound of the room is picked up by our microphones. While setting up acoustic padding would be the solution to this issue, it’s very expensive, however, there is another option. Portable Isolation Booths, one of the most useful tools for anyone’s home recording studio.

What are Portable Isolation Booths?

A singer recording vocals while using a portable isolation booth in his home recording studio. A Portable Isolation booth (Also known as Sound Isolation Shields) is an innovative tool that is perfect for singers and musicians who work in rooms that aren’t built to be a recording studio. They run into problems with their audio recordings, especially with vocals because of the room reflecting sounds back to the microphone while you record.

Using one of these portable isolation booths (or shields) helps eliminate these type of problems when you record, ensuring that you get dry and clear vocal recordings. This increases the quality of your recordings, sounding much cleaner and more professional.

The best part is that you won’t be paying as much compared to converting your room to be like an actual recording studio.

Things to Keep in Mind

The Room That You Are Recording In

The first thing to keep in mind is the room or space that you are recording in. These portable isolation booths are great, definitely making a big difference when recording vocals. While they are a big step from not using one at all, remember that they’re just a way of “treating” the issue. Everyone’s room/space will be different so results may vary between individuals.

Area Behind the Singer

The acoustic foam on these isolation shields absorbs the sound that is being projected towards it. However, something you should keep in mind is the space that is behind the person recording.

It’s possible for sound to bounce back off of a reflectable surface behind the vocalist. This can cause the microphone to pick up some of these unwanted sounds. Try to have something behind the person recording that can absorb sound like the acoustic foam. This will help you achieve the best possible sound that you can record while using these isolation shields.

Alright now that you have a better understanding of what isolation booths are, let’s get into our list of recommendations!

Top 5 Best Portable Isolation Booths

1. Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield (Best Overall)

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The Monoprice Microphone Isolation shield is probably one of my favorite portable isolation booths available. Some consider it a miracle maker for how effective it is at helping you achieve a much better recording quality at such an affordable price. It’s capable of doing the same things as more expensive isolation booths without breaking your bank.

This isolation shield is quite heavy, so keep in mind that you’re going to need a heavy-duty microphone/tripod stand, something you’re going to have to get separately. It features an acoustic foam front and a vented metal backplate. The two outer panels can be folded inward, creating a tighter acoustic isolation chamber, while also making it easier for storage. Of course, this gives you more control over how you set up your shield for vocal reflections. Your vocals come out crisp and clean in no matter what room you’re recording in.

It’s got a nice professional look and an excellent build quality. This isolation shield is also relatively easy to set up as long you have the proper heavy-duty mic stand and follow the instruction book that comes with it. I like that you can widen it to a width where it’s effective in handling vocal reflections, but you can still have your lyrics in front of you while recording. Some isolation booths are so enclosed that it’s difficult to reference to your lyrics if you need to.

Overall, the microphone isolation booth from Monoprice is an incredible value. You get a high-quality isolation shield that makes your home recording studio and overall sound much more professional. You’re going to love the results you get from using this isolation booth.

2. RockShield 3 Isolation Shield by Rockville (Excellent Value)

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Rockville put together a nice acoustic isolation shield, the RockShield 3. It has similar results to Monoprice’s model, however, this is a bundle that comes with a compatible heavy-duty tripod stand. This ensures that you’ll have everything you need to assemble your set-up right out of the box.

This portable isolation booth utilizes 2-inch thick high-density acoustic foam that does a very good job at keeping unwanted outside sound waves and vibrations from affecting your vocal and acoustic recordings. The acoustic boundaries set by this shield, direct your vocals straight to your microphone. While this is happening, room reflections are prevented from entering the recording area. This all results in a crisper and cleaner recording in any space you’re working in.

Like we already mentioned, installation is a breeze since this bundle comes with everything you need to set up and get started. Do keep in mind that the heavy-duty tripod will come in a separate box from the isolation shield. This means they might not arrive at the same time. The entire portable isolation booth is well made, being large and sturdy by design.

Overall, the RockShield 3 from Rockville is an excellent isolation shield that does its job well. The results of Vocal/acoustic recordings will be significantly better and the ease of set-up is a plus! Definitely worth checking out if you don’t want to worry about having to buy a heavy-duty microphone stand separately.

3. Halo Reflection Filter by Aston Microphones (Professional and Unique)

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The Halo Portable Microphone Reflection Filter form Aston Microphones is the most unique option on our list. It has a full 360-degree filtering design with the option of either a slick all-black finish or an eye catchy smooth purple finish. In a market where portable isolation booths usually follow the same design concept, Aston Microphones took a different route with an innovative design to stand out. It’s a step in the right direction and a huge leap forward in reflection filter technology.

Unique Lightweight Design

Performance is enhanced with its radically improved isolation, thanks to its Hi-Tech construction and patented design. It’s made from PET felt, which is one of the most lightweight and efficient acoustic products available. On a side note, this acoustic felt is made from 70% recycled PET plastic bottle material, making this isolation shield very sustainably produced. This is much lighter in weight compared to other options on this list. The Halo reflection shield is easy to move around and travel with. Setting up is also a breeze thanks to its easy-mount hardware.

The Halo filters both the top and bottom, unlike other portable isolations booths where they mainly filter sound horizontally. It does an incredible job at keeping out any reflective sounds that come from the room you’re recording in. Using this reflection filter results with a perfectly dry recording almost every time. The Halo reflection filter is more on the pricer side when compared to the other options on our list, however, considering the amount it would cost to do an all-out room acoustic treatment with proper acoustic padding, you’ll save a lot of money while achieving professional sound recording results.

This unique portable isolation booth is worth every penny. It’s hard to beat the professional recording quality that this reflection filter helps you achieve. If you have the budget and want the best results, this is the isolation shield to go with.

4. AxcessAbles SF-101KIT ( Recording Studio Bundle)

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AxcessAbles put together a nice bundle that comes with everything you’ll need for your home recording studio, plus a high-quality portable isolation booth.

With this studio bundle, you’ll get their SF-101 isolation shield with a heavy-duty tripod stand, an Audio Technica 2020 condenser microphone, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interface, a pop filter, and some recording software (Protools First and Ableton Live).

The isolation shield is built with sharp 2-inch thick high-density foam that is effective at eliminating unwanted background interference and noise. It comes with steel clamps that easily screw onto the back of the shield for easy set-up. The isolation shield is on the heavier side, but it’s sturdy and durable. You can also conveniently fold the shield up to help save space when storing it. It’s a great isolation shield for those who don’t have a lot of recording space.

It is an effective isolation shield, but just keep in mind that it’s not going to be the complete solution to a room that’s not designed for recording vocals and music. It will definitely help you out a lot, significantly improving your overall recording quality.

Coming in an All-in-One bundle, makes this option great for people who are literally just getting started with their home recording studio. You’ll definitely be steps ahead of me when I first started recording music in my room with a setup like this one. Everything that comes with this bundle is beginner-friendly.

5. LyxPro VRI-30 (Budget Option) 

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The VRI-30 portable isolation booth from LyxPro is a great option for people who are looking for more of a budget option. There are multiple size options for the VRI-30, however, we are going to be looking at the small version for its extremely affordable price tag.

Setting up this isolation shield is fairly simple as the panel already comes put together. It literally takes a matter of seconds to set up. All you have to do is attach it to your microphone stand and you’re good to go. For a “small” sized option, it covers a lot of space. The panel is constructed from premium aluminum and lined with high-quality foam. It’s a solid isolation shield that remains stable with the help of the mounting hardware that comes included. This isolation shield is also convenient to travel with thanks to its small and lightweight design.

For a budget option, it does a great job at deflecting noise interference. The foam and aluminum panel absorbs and deflects ambient noise, ensuring that your recordings come out dry. If you need the most affordable solution to help your recording needs, the VRI-30 is the choice for you.

Final Thoughts

Recording vocals at home can be challenging when you don’t have the proper room design/set-up. These portable isolation booths will help you record professional sounding quality in any room/space that you work in. They’re not a replacement for proper acoustic treatment to an entire room, but it’s a great affordable alternative that allows you to achieve professional-sounding recordings all at your home recording studio.

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