Today we are going to be taking a look at the best microphone isolation shields. No matter what the budget might be on your upcoming/current production, unless you’re forking over serious cash to a professional studio space, you will want to read on. A good microphone isolation shield can make a massive difference on your vocal/music recordings and can be affordable enough to invest in before your channel/content is already making you money.
Recently we went over some of the best starter podcasting and home recording gear to get your budding media empire off the ground. As much as audio interfaces, headphones and speakers can be an integral part of any audio recording setup, the sound of your microphone is paramount in the early days. Not everyone is going to be able to afford $2,000 mics right from the jump – nor should you want to if you’re just getting started – so doing as much as possible to get your vocals sounding as crisp and clear can make a big difference. Especially if you aren’t a proficient mix/audio engineer that knows their way around a compressor or two.
Most mics in the starter price range include one extremely important accessory. The pop screen. This small, unassuming bit of kit can make a massive difference on your audio recordings. At the least it will tame elements of a performance that are inherently “boomey” and undesirable. At best, it will make the difference between an amateurish, tough to listen-to recording and a good entertainment experience for the listener.
Like anything when it comes subjective audio recordings, there’s no way to recommend a single product in the pop screen category that will just simply work magic on your vocals. So it is best to experiment here. Having said that, if you’re budget is tight and the mic you chose includes one, definitely use it. These small screens will minimize the plosive “P” and “T” sounds in both spoken word performances and singing. It will also help to control the annoying sibilance of words with harsh “S” sounding phonetics.
While in many cases these types of issues can be remedied with the likes of De-Esser software (among many other things), again, you’ll need to be somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to audio processing for those solutions to be worth your while. We highly recommend looking into these things, when comes to getting your brand off the ground, it’s probably best to keep the focus on creating great content on a consistent basis your audience can depend on.
They start from around $8 Prime shipped on Amazon and you can get even more details in our previous podcast gear roundup. But no matter what, do yourself (and you listeners) a favor and make sure there’s a pop screen between you and your mic on your next recordings.
On top of some light experimentation and a solid pop screen filter, small isolation shields and booths are your next best bet. Unless we are talking about some creative bridge in the middle of your next post-progressive, psychedelic rock record, you’ll want to create as much isolation as possible to mitigate ugly room tones and background noises on your vocals. This can become especially problematic when you get to the point where you (or your engineer) is going to mix/process the vocals after being recorded. But anything we can do to create an ideal environment for recording voices (and even instruments) will give you the best possible sound in the end regardless.
Price range can vary quite a lot when it comes to the best microphone isolation shields. Attempting to deck out your entire recording room with baffles and sound barriers can be quite tedious and somewhat pricey at best. This is why, especially for beginners, we highly recommend one of those affordable mic stand isolation shields. Having recorded vocals in a countless number of home studios and professional recording spaces over the last 10 years or more, these things can make all the difference in my opinion.
Choosing one for your needs:
Outside of price, the deciding factors here should mostly revolve around the amount of space you have available to you. Of our top picks down below there are a few options, like the pricey sE Electronics and more affordable Neewer isolation shields, that are not adjustable. These models will also be a little tougher to lug around with you if needs be, so that’s something else to keep in mind there. Of the best microphone isolation shields down below, the Pyle Pro is probably the best for desktop use (unless you have a giant amount of desktop space) where as other options like the Editor’s Keys Portable Vocal Booth is a great middle of the road option that won’t break the bank and will work great on just about any mic stand.
You’ll want to experiment with mic placement in your room, even with microphone isolation shields, but starting from around $60, it is certainly worth your time to get even better audio for your audience.
Best Microphone Isolation Shields:
- Neewer Portable Microphone Isolation Shield $60
- Multiple sizes available, extremely affordable
- Does not fold-up; Not size-adjustable
- 16.7″ x 12″ x 6.1″
- Pyle Sound Isolation Recording Booth $61
- Foldable design
- Features tripod base
- Great for desktop setups
- 13.2” x 7.2” x 15.6”
- Editor’s Keys Portable Vocal Booth $66
- Fold up design
- Currently in use at my home studio; Sounds great
- Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield $65
- Large (not great for tight spaces)
- Measures 17.3″ x 15.4″ x 5.5″ when folded
- Marantz Professional Sound Shield $79
- Adjustable microphone mount assembly
- Available in multiple sizes
- 17.3” x 11.3” x 12.0”
- sE Electronics Acoustic Control Environment $299
- Quite Pricey and sounds like it
- Is not foldable or adjustable in size
- 9.45 x 19.69 x 13.78 in
In case you missed it, be sure to swing by our previous feature on the best podcast gear. It has everything you need to know about getting started with USB/XLR mics, audio interfaces, accessories and more.
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