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What Makes A Good Voice Over Sound Booth?
Key Considerations When You Shop And Buy

By Gabriel White

Sound booths are enclosed structures that are used to isolate noise and reduce sound transmission. These booths are commonly referred to as vocal booths, recording booths, isolation booths, and a variety of other names.

The primary purpose of using a sound booth is to create a quiet space to record audio, practice an instrument, or perform any activity that might otherwise be jeopardized by outside noise.

Sound booths are used by hobbyists and professionals and provide a brilliant solution for noisy environments and home studios. These unique products are widely used for voice overs, film and television, podcasts, recordings, hearing tests, and scientific testing.

If you are thinking about building a DIY booth or shopping for a new sound booth, this article helps you with several key considerations.
1. Sound Isolation Capabilities

Sound isolation is super-important in eliminating distractions from your voice overs.

No booth is 100 percent soundproof, but a number of commercially-available booths do a great job of keeping environmental noise out of the booth and interior sounds to a hush.  

2. Ask about the Noise Reduction

Beware of any manufacturer claiming to make a soundproof booth - a modular sound booth cannot be both "portable" and entirely soundproof.

Impractical sound testing methods are often used to inflate sound reduction figures. This results in confusing claims and dissatisfaction, so it's good to ask how the testing procedure was conducted.

Sound booths are expensive, so you want to be confident about the sound isolation capabilities of before purchasing.

3. Enclosure Size

It is important to choose a sound booth that gives you enough area to work in comfortably on your projects.

A small-sized booth works great for an individual, but when you need space for two to three people in the booth at the same time, your options start to become limited.

Most manufacturers offer a limited range of sizes, while few companies offer a wide variety of sizes.

Beware of built-to-order custom sizes, which can result in a first-time build of that size by the manufacturer. It is a safer bet to buy a booth that is prefabricated to specific dimensions.

4. Scalability and Portability

Find a booth that can grow with your career. For example, booths that are completely modular and easy to upgrade.

You might be able to upgrade the booth to have more windows, more lights, and more sound isolation (perhaps a single-wall can become a double wall if greater sound isolation is needed). You might even make booths longer and wider.

All these features give the flexibility to upgrade your booth without having to purchase a enitre new room.

Also, its wise to make sure that the sound booth you are considering has a good reputation to its modular design. If you ever need to move, disassembly and reassembly should be at the forefront of the portable design.

5. Material Quality

When shopping for a new sound booth it is important to inspect the quality of the material.

Some booth manufacturers outsource their components and consequently, use cheap alternatives to cut corners and increase profits. Ask questions about how the unit is designed and engineered, what kind of acoustic material is used, and how dense the wall components are.

The more you know about your purchase, the better.

6. Ventilation

Sound booths quickly get warm without air circulating into the booth. A quality ventilation system is a must-have for any session longer than just a few minutes.

Many people have the misconception that the ventilation system is air conditioning. However, most systems utilize a push-and-pull technique where one fan pulls warm air out of the booth, while the other fan pushes cool air from the outside room into the booth. This keeps the sound booth at the same temperature of the host room (outside the booth).          
Here are several questions to consider when assessing a sound booth's ventilation system:
  • How quickly do the fans deliver air? This is measured in CFM cubic feet per minute.
  • How many fans are included with the booth? Larger booths need more ventilation systems.
  • How much noise does the ventilation system generate? Some companies offer add-ons that help reduce the hum of the fan.
  • How is the ventilation system controlled? Some booths offer remote controlled ventilation, others use active (motion sensor) ventilation, and some use no ventilation at all.
7. Customer Service

Great customer service goes a long way.

If you are looking for a new sound booth, you might be considering several different products and are speaking with representatives at multiple different companies. Ask many questions and get specific - the more you know the better.

Some companies will treat you well, while other companies will not put in the extra effort to do so.

Ask about the product warranty, read online reviews, and watch video reviews on YouTube.

You want to be very confident in your purchase before spending any money. If you are treated well as a customer, that is usually a great indication of the product. Choose a company that you enjoy doing business with.   

8. Shipping/Lead Time

Lead time is another important factor when purchasing a new sound booth. Few companies stock all their components, while others build to order and ship out a few weeks later.

Depending on your circumstance, this may not be a huge factor, but you should ask for clear expectations regarding the delivery process.

9. Company Reputation

A company's reputation is critical. Businesses with a strong reputation have it for a reason.

Some companies have been around for years while others are relatively new to the market. Search the web for information on trust, customer regard, popularity, credibility, and the overall impression you get from the business.

10. Consider Everything

Choosing the right sound booth is influenced by many factors: sound isolation capabilities, the size of the enclosure, scalability and portability, material quality, ventilation, customer service, shipping process and lead time, and the reputation of the company you choose to do business with.

We hope this information helps you in your search for the best sound booth for your voice over business.
Gabe White is the Marketing Director of WhisperRoom, Inc., a lifelong musician, and an avid home recording hobbyist. His role with the company is to create and implement annual marketing plans, develop a calendar of campaigns and events, and analyze the market and competition.  

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Comments (2)
John Florian
6/17/2020 at 4:05 PM
Hi Ron,
For DIY, check out these articles on VoiceOverXtra:
6/17/2020 at 3:46 PM
A good write-up for buying.
What about one on building one? Many of us can build.
I just need reliable information for construction ideas for making a booth.
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