Comparative Review of Portable Vocal Booths.

For voice actors as well as musicians and vocalists alike, who want to work on the go, having a portable vocal booth is a must. Especially for professionals who travel frequently or aren’t able to access an audio recording studio at a moment’s notice.

When considering the portable vocal booth there are three important factors to consider:

1) Quality and consistency of audio recording;
2) Portability and convenience;
3) Value.

We reviewed several portable vocal booths, analyzing the leading products in the portable vocal booth category to determine which sound booth provides the best  acoustic quality and overall value to the consumer.

We compared the following vocal booths:

VOMO (Voice Over MObile recording studio) from VocalBoothToGo.com,

Portabooth Pro (Porta-Booth Pro Portable Vocal Recording Booth) by Harlan Hogan,

Isovox2 (IsoVox VocalStudio Mobile Vocal Isolation Booth) by Isovox, and

Kaotica Eyeball (Kaotica Mobile Vocal Booth-Portable Sound Booth ) by Kaotica.

All these products are made with the same goal in mind: to help voice actors, vocalists, and musicians achieve a better quality audio recording. Yet they all have different features and capabilities. Let’s dive into what sets them apart.

(For portable vocal booth side by side feature comparison click here)

VOMO (Voice Over MObile recording studio) from VocalBoothToGo.com,

VOMO voice over mobile
VOMO – Voice Over MObile Recording Studio

First is the VOMO.  This portable vocal booth provides the perfect recording environment due to the quality of the sound absorption material, largest internal recording space and its 360 degrees of acoustic treatment. VOMO eliminates unwanted reflections in just about any environment. Producers’ Choice sound absorption material is thick and readily absorbs sound reflections among other unwanted noise (NRC 0.8, or 80% noise reduction). Even though it is not designed for soundproofing, in a test of outdoor noise reduction VOMO was able to cut up to 10 dB of outside noise. This product proved to provide a stable and consistent recording environment due to its patented construction and 360-degree acoustic sound treatment.
VOMO can be used with any type of microphone (front address or side address, long or short.), unlike any other portable vocal booths on the market.

VOMO comes with many useful accessories to make your work easier and more convenient. Including rechargeable LED light with three levels of brightness, scriptholder, mini boom to optimize microphone position and other accessories. It can fit your script, tablet, or laptop. VOMO can be mounted on a regular mic stand (mounting bracket is included).

Having the largest internal space for recording VOMO can fold into a flat travel case that can be taken on a plane as a carry-on luggage. It comes with a built-in carry case as well as an external abrasive resistant travel case.

Overall the VOMO is a well-balanced option, competitively priced. Great product for vocal actors and musicians who want to achieve great quality recording without breaking the bank.


Portabooth Pro (Porta-Booth Pro Portable Vocal Recording Booth) by Harlan Hogan,

portaboothpro
Porta-Booth Pro Portable Vocal Recording Booth

Moving on, let’s take a look at the Portabooth Pro.

This booth features an interior made of 2-inch acoustic foam (Auralex® Studiofoam) NRC 0.7 (70% sound absorption). This booth works well with most microphones but lacks the internal space to allow for use with long frontal address microphones. Although it provides an opening in the back, this can present some challenges with long mics as far as positioning goes.

An advantage to the use of foam is that it is very light. A downfall for foam is that over time the foam will capture and absorb dust and smells that cannot be cleaned out.. It also loses its resiliency and won’t be able to support its shape .

This booth is unlikely to be able to fit a tablet, let alone laptop while recording. Portabooth Pro can be mounted on a boom arm mic stand (mounting gear is sold separately). The Portabooth Pro can be set up relatively quickly, in about 5-10 minutes. This booth does not provide 360-degree acoustic sound treatment like the VOMO or the Isovox2 do. (It does include a cloth that can go over the actor’s head).
All in all, this is a good portable vocal booth for travel. It folds into a neat travel case, that is quite light. It is reasonably priced, provides reasonable acoustic environment for recording, although some users report that it sounds boomy and muddy.


IsoVox2 (IsoVox VocalStudio Mobile Vocal Isolation Booth) by Isovox

isovox
Isovox2  – IsoVox VocalStudio Mobile Vocal Isolation Booth

Next let’s review the IsoVox.

The Isovox2 is much bulkier and heavier than all of the options discussed in this article. Originally intended to be a portable soundproofing solution for singers, IsoVox is now being aggressively marketed to voice over actors. It is advertised as giving a voice over actor or singer the 360-degree sound isolation. IsoVox has a thick front panel intended to stop the direct sound of a performer, side wall and back flip panel to provide all around sound barrier.
This feature is probably useful to reduce the sound escaping from the box, but voice over audio recording requires a different acoustical solution. Structurally the Isovox2 is made out of hard panels with some sound absorption material on the inside, yet, it is still reflective, which results in a boomy sound. We tried to dig deeper into the details , but could not find what absorption material the Isovox2 uses, and any NRC rating, it looks like recycled cellulose insulation. Isovox’s sound quality is decent among reviews, although most voice actors comment that this product has a boxy and boomy sound.

The internal volume is relatively small and feels tight. Because of Isovox2’s construction, the microphone is located too close to the back wall of the booth. This is why it only works with vertically mounted, side address microphones.
The most glaring difference is the price point. The Isovox2 costs $1,099 dollars. In reviews on forums and social media this product has been referred to as an outlier in that category, having the highest price point, while not providing great acoustics and as many special features, as the competition. A recurring problem is the space created in the booth has been said to be uncomfortable for the vocal performer. All the padding materials used to create sound absorption also limit the vocalist’s space. The tight internal space restricts the consumer from being able to fit a laptop or script in the booth while they work.
Isovox takes the longest time to assemble, it is too heavy to be mounted on a regular microphone stand, (the company provides a special stand to go with it.)

Overall Isovox2 seems to be too heavy and bulky as a portable vocal booth solution for travel. And at its price point, it does not provide as much value as other products on the market.


Kaotica Eyeball (Kaotica Mobile Vocal Booth-Portable Sound Booth

kaotica on microphone
Kaotica Eyeball Kaotica Mobile Vocal Booth-Portable Sound Booth

To round out these portable options is the Kaotica Eyeball.

The Kaotica Eyeball is not really a portable vocal booth, but rather microphone treatment. it is more like an oversized microphone wind shield or windscreen,
(Microphone windscreens are meant t

kaotica eyeball knock off
Kaotica eyeball knock off

o block out outdoor wind noise. They create a dead air space around the suspended microphone.  There is also different type called the “dead cat” or “blimp” or “windmuff”, taking a lot more wind noise out than a foamy could.)  So the Kaotica is a large microphone wind-shield with a hole cutout on the front.  We included it in this review because they market and call themselves as a studio booth alternative.

 

 

The Kaotica is being heavily promoted and appears to have a following in the music industry. But with that said the major customer complaints are the high price point for such a simple product, and the poor sound quality.

The Eyeball does not require any assembly or special mounts, because it mounts right onto the microphone.  Kind of like a Mic wind

Customers have described that the Kaotica produces resonance and coloration problems.

Again, foam doesn’t perform the best with absorbing low frequencies and the Kaotica does nothing to absorb the reflections coming behind the vocal performer.

For what it is, Kaotica price point seems to be very high.

There is a Chinese knock off product similar to the Eyeball for as low as $26.00.

The only difference is that the knock off is not round, but angular. According to some reviews it is even said to have a better sound quality.

 

 


So how do all these compare?

In terms of portability Kaotica hits the spot, because it is light and small and easy to install, but it is mostly been tested in home studio environment and it is unlikely to provide a consistent acoustic environment in challenging situations. In terms of acoustic consistency for the travelling voice actor, it would probably perform the worst. Also, the value that you get for your money is questionable.

IsoVox is really not something that is easy to travel with. Acoustically it also does not perform well, and the huge price point makes it a biggest loser in this review.

Portabooth Pro was probably one of the first solutions in this space. It is very well made and performs well. The simple idea behind the construction of Portabooth created a wave of  videos showing DIY “Shoe box” vocal booths stuffed with acoustic foam. Because of Harlan Hogan’s  celebrity status in the Voice over industry, Portabooth Pro has a big following, but professional voice actors find that it sounds boomy and muddy. That is probably because it uses acoustic foam, which is in close proximity with the microphone. It is also wide open in the front end, so it allows all the sound and reflections from the sides and from behind the actor.

VOMO designers, took a different approach to creating portable acoustic vocal booth. Instead of foam that tends to disintegrate over time, they use acoustic blankets with rigid support. This makes the booth long lasting and allows to create the largest internal usable. Large internal space is very important acoustically, because it allows to keep the sound absorption material farther away from the microphone, so the direct sound captured with better clarity.
The Sound Isolation Hood keeps all reflections from all around the Voice actor, including from behind, away from the microphone. This feature is what makes VOMO the best portable acoustic solution, that provides consistent audio recording in any environment. VOMO is also great for travel, because it can be used to hold your recording gear, can be taken on airplane as a carry-on luggage.  So it hits all high points on Acoustics-Convenience-Value scale.
Overall the VOMO is a well-balanced option, sounds great acoustically and competitively priced that makes it the best value.

(For portable vocal booth side by side feature comparison click here)

portable vocal booth review

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