Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth Review

| Product Review

 01HeadwithMicAs a home studio owner/musician one of the biggest challenges we face is capturing clean, clear audio in an acoustic environment not intended for recording. We deal with thin walls, box shaped rooms, and of course outside noise (those darn lawn mowers!). But that shouldn’t stop you from getting fantastic takes even with a minimal $500 setup (or it’s $300 cousin).

As I wrote about before, you can deal with a bad acoustic environment simply by avoiding reflective surfaces and using a close mic technique. But taking a step further, you can always take advantage of today’s affordable (and portable) vocal booths. One such product comes to us from Editors Keys, sepcifically their Portable Vocal Booth Pro Edition.

If you saw last week’s video review of the Editors Keys USB microphone you may have noticed me singing into the vocal booth. I wanted to address it in a separate review so I could point out the key benefits to this awesome piece of gear. Real quickly, here are 3 things I love about this product:

It’s Really Two Products In One

 

02boothbackWhen you get your hands on the Portable Vocal Booth Pro, you realize that it’s actually two things in one: acoustic treatment around your mic AND a microphone stand. This is fantastic for obvious reasons as it means one less thing I have to carry around with me if I’m recording outside of my studio (and one less thing to setup IN my studio), plus it’s basically a custom heavy duty stand that will hold up under pressure.

It’s Easy To Use

They guys at Editors Keys have really made a simple, useable product. The clam shell design allows flexibility in acoustic treatment while the metal bar protruding out of the center will hold either one or two mics securely and perfectly placed. This takes all of the guess work out of the equation. Simply screw in your shockmount and mic of choice and you’ve got perfect acoustics where you need it most: at the source.

It’s Accessible To Real Home Studio Users

 

When it comes to all the gear being sold to you every day in magazines and on the internet, most if it really isn’t priced right for real home studio owners. That’s why you don’t see me pushing too many products out there other than your basic studio needs because I think a lot of it is over priced (and usually unnecessary). That’s not the case for the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth. This thing comes in two flavors: the Home Edition ($150) and the Pro Edition ($233). A definite investment, but compared to the competition a more economical choice.

Do I Need One?

Given most of us record one track at a time in a second bedroom or office, an investment in excellent isolation and sound absorption at and around your mic (like that offered by the Portable Vocal Booth) seems to be a wise move. As in my experience with it, you get excellent recordings quickly and easily, no matter what room you’re in, which microphone you’re using, or which DAW you’re recording into.

To me, after your main studio setup (software, interface, mic, accessories)is in place, acoustic treatment would be the first thing I would really spring for if the money is there. And both of the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booths are a fantastic option for that.

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12 Responses to “Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth Review”

  1. Daniel

    Not really knowing the size of this product, is it big enough to use when playing your acoustic guitar into the mic? You said it could hold two mics so could u mic your guitar in stereo with this product or would it be too narrow?

    Reply
  2. Daniel

    Does this sound better then say some of the diy options such as surrounding yourself w/ the little foam pads? lol just wondering if you know or have any info on that.

    Reply
  3. Graham

    Sounding “better” is a subjective term…it will definitely reduce reflections and noise hitting your mic, giving you a cleaner take. Compared to foam pads (i’m assuming you mean auralex type stuff for your walls) i’d say it’s easier only because the absorption is always around the mic.

    Reply
  4. bolenti

    Hello,
    First let me tell that i’ve discovered your web site yesterday and i’m still going avidly through all the posts one by one. The content is very good and addresses real home studio issues without making so much fuss about gear. So thanks for these brilliant articles.

    Well pertaining to this subject, in some home recording forums’ threads i have seen some people argue that this portable reflection absorber/diffuser would exacerbate the reflections of low frequencies while dampening other frequencies. As you’ve being really using this booth, have you notice any (negative) impact on the frequency response, would it make any recorded vocals sound dull or whatsoever?

    Reply
    • Graham

      No real negative impact on your vocals. Just helps you reduce annoying reflections. However, if you sing too close to the mic you still run into the proximity effect, of exaggerated low end. But this is true with or without a portable vocal booth.

      Reply
  5. Lukas

    +1 for the portable vocal booths. I own one form a different manufacturer and it is doing its job very well. Certainly useful for home studio owners, who often neglect or simply cant afford proper acoustic treatment. Wish the EditorsKeys booth was available few years back. It is reasonably priced and comes with the stand – noone else offers that! Thanks for the post, Graham!

    Reply
  6. Diego

    like Daniel Im also wondering how good this Vocal Booth can be while recording classic/acoustic guitars and other instruments like hand drums.
    My room has huge windows all around, just wondering if this Vocal Booth can isolate instruments as much or as close as it does with vocals.
    Really need some help/suggestion.
    Regards from Japan!
    Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Karsten

    Without having tried one, I wonder why acoustic treatment to mostly the back of a cardioid Mic should make such a tremendous difference, when recording track by track?

    Reply
    • Graham Cochrane

      It just reduces some of the angled reflections hitting the mic from all around. Helps it “focus” purely on your voice. Not a perfect solution but a helpful one.

      Reply

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