Recording audio in any untreated space brings a few specific issues into play. Hard surfaces in any room—floors, ceilings, walls, and even furniture—love to reflect sound. Sometimes these reflections can sound good, adding depth to recorded audio, but more often than not, they can interfere with the clarity of the final sound, make editing difficult, or just sound plain awful. One of the quickest ways to combat unwanted reflections and noise is by setting up a simple recording isolation shield around the microphone. These baffles “hug” the microphone and block out external noise while focusing on the source and enhancing the quality of final audio, making them an exceptional tool for recording vocals, kick drums, guitar amps and more.
Here are some of the best recording isolation shields currently on the market.
Weighs just two pounds, but can treat a whole room. Amazon
Designed to function like a portable vocal booth, this isolation shield is reinforced with multiple layers of acoustic treatment and mounts to any microphone stand for easy installation. Perfect for home recording and mobile applications where it’s not feasible to add acoustic foam to the structure of the room, it prevents enough external reflections from bouncing back to help your microphone achieve a tighter, clearer signal.
Made from 70 percent recycled material. Amazon
The Halo from Aston Microphones is specifically engineered with ridges to maximize surface area and consequently provide the maximum sound absorption possible in this portable form factor. Whereas other shields may make performers feel “boxed in” or separated from the rest of the band, the Aston Halo is set apart by being made to feel organic and contribute to the vibe of the room all while maintaining 360 degrees of noise isolation on both vertical and horizontal axes. It’s finished off with a stylish acoustic felt that’ll be right at home in any studio.
Stows away in the included tote bag. Amazon
This isolation booth from Snap Studio is a fully portable unit takes the best elements of traditional shields and pushes the concept to its furthest potential. Its stand-in design accommodates one performer and provides a full 360 degrees of acoustic coverage on every axis. Two included LED lights ensure that singers won’t have to work in the dark, and a handy tablet mount offers hands-free performance flexibility.
Vented outer metal plate allows sound to breathe without building up resonance. Amazon
Here’s a cost-effective recording isolation solution from Monoprice that’s a great choice when outfitting a studio, buying multiples, or traveling to record. It’s built in five segments, lined on the inner edge with conical isolation foam, and the entire unit folds down to be less than six inches thick when not in use. Additionally, the outer segments can fold independently to use the isolation shield in tighter spaces or when more sound absorption is required.