When you invest money in good studio monitors…
It’s because you understand and appreciate the value of accurate monitoring.
So it makes little sense then…
To ignore the one small accessory that allow your monitors to truly shine.
Of course, I’m referring to monitor isolation pads…
And in today’s post, I reveal 6 of the best ones on the market.
1. Auralex MOPADs
One of the first of these pads to gain widespread recognition…
The Auralex MoPads paved the way for the many models we now have today.
With its beautifully simple design…
It offers way a cheap and effective way to improve monitor accuracy by reducing the low-end vibration transfer to the desk.
To adjust monitor tilt, a foam wedge is used to create a slope of 4, 8, or 0 degrees.
To make it one-size-fits-all, a pad consists of two narrow strips, which can be spread to align flush with the edges of a monitor.
All-in-all, it’s a beautiful accessory.
2. Auralex ProPADs
After the massive success of the MoPads…
Auralex followed up strong with version 2.0: the Auralex ProPAD.
On looks alone, the improvements are obvious…
In terms of performance, here’s what changed:
First, they added a Melamine-wrapped MDF base and their trademarked ISO-Plate on top to eliminate slippage and increase acoustic isolation.
Second, they moved the foam wedge to the bottom…meaning upward tilts are now possible, without needing to awkwardly reverse the pads, as you would with the MoPads.
They’re a bit more expensive than the originals, but many folks find the added cost well worth it.
3. Primacoustic RX7 Recoil Stabilizer
With a look and design closely resembling the ProPADs…
The Primacoustic RX7 offers offers all the same basic advantages…
With a few KEY differences.
With it’s unique anti-recoil design, the RX7 combines 3 layers of separation:
- On the bottom – a layer of high-density urethane foam for acoustic isolation
- On top – a layer of neoprene for slip-resistance and added shock absorption
- In the middle – a steel plate for added mass and stability
However, one useful feature lacking in the RX7 is an adjustable tilt. Their solution instead, is to offer several different models of varying tilts and sizes.
The medium RX7 is ideal for typical monitors, but here’s a full list of the options:
- RX7 flat 10.5″ x 13″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX7 angled 10.5″ x 13″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX12 flat 20″ x 13″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX12 angled 20″ x 13″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX9 flat 15″ x 11″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX9 angled 15″ x 11″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX5 flat 7.5″ x 9.5″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
- RX5 angled 7.5″ x 9.5″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
4. Ultimate Support MS-80
Of all the options on this list…
The Ultimate Support MS-80 is by far my favorite.
And here’s why:
Besides it’s sleek and sophisticated design, the MS-80 has 2 KEY features the others don’t:
- Precision Tilt Adjustment – rather than only offering 2 or 3 tilt options, a crank on the back lets you easily fine-tune the tilt angle to exactly as you wish.
- Decoupling spikes – beneath the metal base plate are 4 spikes designed to reduce sound transfer by minimizing direct contact with your desk.
(Don’t worry, the spikes won’t damage anything.)
They’re certainly NOT cheap, but I do believe that currently, the MS-80’s are the best isolation pads money can buy.
5. IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R
Easily the STRANGEST pads on the list…
The Isoacoustics ISO-L8R155 takes an entirely different approach to monitor isolation.
And while you might think they look silly and possibly unstable…
In the short time they’ve been available, they’ve gotten a TONS of RAVE reviews.
The two things I like about them are:
- They offer almost as many tilt options as the MS-80.
- They offer unmatched flexibility with height adjustment.
This second feature can be especially useful on larger desks, to lift your monitors up and away from potential reflection surfaces.
One drawback of the ISO-L8R is…
The setup is somewhat complicated, and adjusting the tilt requires you to swap out parts. But at worst, it’s a minor inconvenience on an otherwise stellar product.
Here are the different size options:
- MEDIUM 6.1″ x 7.5″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- LARGE 7.8″ x 10″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
- SMALL 5.1″ x 6″ – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
The medium size is standard, and works for the majority of monitors.
Up last on the list…
6. Adam Hall SPADECO2
With the previous 5 pads we’ve covered…
The one complaint you hear over and over is…
Despite being good products, they’re all TOO EXPENSIVE.
So to make everyone happy, for the last pick, I’ve chosen an option to fit even the smallest of budgets:
The Adam Hall SPADEC02.
As most of the reviews will tell you, they don’t perform quite as impressively as the more expensive models…
But they’re much cheaper, and they still do a pretty good job.