Should You Buy A Whisper Room Vocal Booth?
Free Soundproofing Budget Calculator: https://www.soundproofyourstudio.com/calculator
I recently had someone in our community reach out about the Whisper Room Vocal Booth. I was curious to do a review and see if I could help them and you with some advice on is the Whisper Room Vocal Booth a good choice for your studio.
1) What Is The Whisper Room Vocal Booth?
Let's start with an overview of what this booth is and how it is made. They come in two models for isolation needed. They have a single wall model and a double wall model. The double wall model will provide more isolation and should be used for loud bands or drummers and perhaps a producer with speakers and a subwoofer.
The coolest part of these booths is that they can be installed quickly and moved to different rooms over time. A soundproof construction job is permanent and cannot be moved.
Each Whisper Room booth comes with a door with a window and the option for ventilation. It also comes with some 2" thick Auralex foam panels to control reflections in your booth.
2) How Well Does It Soundproof?
This is the number one question and the answer is okay depending on your needs. They say on their website that their booths are not completely soundproof, but do provide "outstanding sound isolation." This is true of all soundproof rooms. The question is how well do the isolate across the frequency spectrum.
On their website they have a cool calculator to estimate the transmission loss (drop in decibels) at certain frequencies. The frequencies they measure for are 125hz-4000hz. This frequency range is the common range for the human voice, but it does not account for bass frequencies from speakers, bass guitar, and kickdrums that will easily reach below 100hz. For those low frequencies we don't really know how well the Whisper Room will perform.
I recommend you play around with calculator. The important thing is to measure your room with a decibel meter app on your phone and learn what the general noise floor is in your room. For most homes this will probably be in the range of 40-70dB. You want to isolate for the loudest sounds. A good recording studio will have a noise floor of 30dB or less across the frequency spectrum.
For purposes of this article let's say our loudest noises in our room are around 70dB. This is the sound of a vacuum cleaner. The Whisper Room calculator says you would get the following.
We can see that with the standard wall you get 27dB of reduction at 4k Hz which would mean your noise floor in the booth would be 43dB instead of 70dB at 4k. At 125Hz your noise floor in the booth would be 49dB. For reference a 10dB change is perceived as either a doubling or halving of loudness to the human ear. Now to put 43dB-49dB in perspective that is somewhere in the range of a library on the low end and a conversation in a home at the high end according to their website. Now if someone is vacuuming right next to your booth you most likely will not want to record. However, these booths probably are great for reducing isolation in an already fairly quiet environment like the inside of a control room, a TV studio or a house basement on a fairly quiet street.
I don't think these booths would work well for drums, bass amps, or a studio with speakers that can easily reach below 125Hz. Lastly, they don't offer any STC ratings, which make it hard to compare to other soundproof assemblies.
3) How Much Does It Cost?
This is the next logical question. They are not cheap, but neither is soundproofing a room. The Voice Over Deluxe Package is a 4ftx4ft booth with double walls and ventilation included and it costs $11,118.80. That does not include shipping or tax. To compare the cost of building your own vocal booth I am going to use my Soundproof Budget Calculator. To get the better isolation that their booths and build your own 4ft by 4ft booth I estimate is would cost $3,454.80. That is a difference of $7,664.
Now, you are paying for convenience, you don't need to know how to build a soundproof booth, and you can have it delivered right to your doorstep. There is something to be said for how easy that is, but is it worth the extra seven thousand dollars? That is up to you to decide.
4) Do I Recommend You Buy A Whisper Booth
For most people, no, I would not recommend you buy a Whisper Booth. The ideal person who should get a whisper booth will have a large budget, not want to do any construction or deal with any design planning, only need the booth for voice over work and ideally live in a fairly quite house already. If you are in a busy office, on a super loud street or needing to isolate against lower frequencies then I don't think the Whisper Booth will do the trick.
I think the Whisper Booth is a solid product with decades of experience, but it is a premium price on something many of you could do DIY and get potentially better results.
Lastly, I think another downside to the booth is how it looks. If you don't like the look of their product then you don't really have a choice. If you build your own booth then you get the freedom to design it exactly how you want it.