Editor’s Keys makes a range of music technology gear and several models of portable vocal booth, of which this new Home Edition is the latest. For the uninitiated, vocal booths like this are pretty much a requirement for any kind of vocal recording unless you’re in a pro studio. Even though “booth” is a bit of a misnomer, they still help to create pockets of isolation—of dry sound—inside otherwise imperfect rooms like the spare room or bedroom you might be recording in. Sticking an open studio mic in the middle of a bedroom and hoping for the best is a bad idea, since you’ll almost certainly get reflections off the walls as well as possible traffic noise from outside.
Booths like these have become very popular in recent years. Partly because they have got cheaper but mainly because they do actually work. Unlike pro studio acoustic kit, it’s also important that they can be stored when not in use since most people are working with limited space. This model actually goes further and plays up the portability element. It’s very light and compared to its predecessor, has a smaller footprint. It’s 51% smaller when folded in half than the previous model, and 38% wider when fully opened which means more space to sing into.
Hear the difference
This model doesn’t come with its own stand (the Pro version does) so that you can attach it to the mic stand you probably already own. There’s a special attachment to enable this to happen and this also lets you protrude the mic out for recording. Provided you don’t have a very unusual mic stand this should work well. The body uses a ridged foam interior and a perforated metal back with an orange frame to block sound from interfering with your recording but also prevent any reflections inside the recording area. The folding mechanism is very sturdy so it shouldn’t move about when in use or transit, and the whole thing feels solid.
It’s a lot wider than it is tall, which is presumably to make it more portable. This shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of people, unless you tend to be particularly animated during a vocal performance. It did a good job of blocking out reflections and created a very useable pocket of isolation when tested with a good quality condenser microphone. One aim with this product (as opposed to the others the company makes) is that you’re supposed to be able to carry it around easily and fit it to any mic stand, cutting down on the amount of gear you have to cart around. It’s certainly more portable than others I have tried, so in this they would seem to have achieved their aims.
Take a booth?
It’s currently on sale at £90 (around $138) which is pretty good, though the regular price is £130 (around $199) which puts it more into contention with sE’s Space and Reflexion Filter and these have a more complex design. On the other hand they are less portable too, so ultimately that may be a deciding factor for you.
Price: £90 / $138 (offer) / £130 / $199 (regular)
Pros: Very solid but lightweight build. Looks cool. Effective at creating isolation. Adaptor to fit any mic stand. Easy to transport. Very wide when opened.
Cons: Not massively tall when opened. Full price is closer to that of more complex competitors.