So you want to improve the sound of your desktop monitors but you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars in new speakers, well I may have the solution you’re looking for.
Today we’re going to look at the Rockville Speaker Isolators which I bought from amazon for around $25 to test out how well they’d improve my audio. I’ve heard about speaker isolators for years, but have never taken the time to test them out myself.
In the package of these Rockville Isolators were four pieces of high density foam which your speakers or studio monitors will sit on top of which creates a separation or barrier between the speaker cabinet and the surface that it’s siting on. The foam feels high quality and is fairly thick. The speakers I have sitting on the pads are about 10 lbs each, and these pads show no signs of compression.
Creating isolation between your speakers and the surface they are sitting on will improve sound in two ways.
Firstly, the isolators will absorb any speaker cabinet resonance from traveling into the surface or desk the speaker is sitting on. The resonance that travels into the desk or surface creates a low frequency noise which cancels out some of your mid range and bass response from your speakers. By eliminating this desk resonance, clarity of the sound is improved.
Lastly, the sound your hearing will be improved by using isolators due to the angle the speakers can be adjusted too. Bass sound waves are non-directional, meaning you don’t have to be in direct line of sight of the woofer to hear bass accurate bass. This is why it’s fine to place subwoofers on the floor and still get great sound. Treble response however is directional, meaning ideally you want the tweeter of your speakers to be the same height as your ears and facing toward you.
If your speakers are sitting on a desk below the height of your ears, these isolators allow you to angle them up which allows the tweeters to be pointed toward your ears. The isolators come with a second piece of foam which can be placed in different orientations allowing for greater angles. If your speakers are already at ear height, the isolators can be oriented to sit flat, or if your speakers sit higher than your ears, you can flip the isolators around to point down at your ears.
I like these Rockville Speaker Isolators because they are a bit taller than some of the other foam isolators I found on amazon and they have no branding what so ever on the isolators themselves. If you’re going for a minimalist look of your desk setup, these isolators are perfect.
One negative of these foam isolators is that they are about a 2 inches longer than my desktop monitors. You can cut the foam to a desired length; however, creating a clean cut is a lot easier said than done.
On my first use of these isolation pads, I noticed a definite improvement in sound quality, both in music and in dialogue from movies and videos. The best way I can describe it is overall, everything sounds slightly clearer. With that said, they didn’t make my M-Audio desktop monitors sound like $3000 Vandersteen’s, but the improvement they did make in the sound was worth the $25 I spent in my opinion.
To conclude, if you’re looking to improve the sound quality of your speaker on a budget, foam isolator are definitely worth checking out. There are plenty on manufactures of foam isolation pads on the market, but I went with these Rockville Isolation Pads and I’m very happy with them.