Gear of the Year 2018: Best Accessory

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Over the past 12 months, we’ve reviewed plenty of audio accessories, from portable speakers to microphones. But only one has come out on top…

Gear of the Year, ISO Acoustics ISO Puck

WINNER: ISO Acoustics ISO-Puck

Price £50/pair
Contact SCV Distribution | ISO Acoustics |  03301 222 500

The Accessory category in any awards list is, you may think, one where any old indescribable product can be thrown in because it doesn’t fit elsewhere. But in music-technology gear, this category is one of the most important. Where would your studio be without accessories? Without any acoustic panels on the walls? Without any headphones? Where would it be without cables? Without a MIDI-to-CV interface? Without books that give you all of the help and advice you need?

This year’s winner of Best Accessory is something you might not have considered before, but has emerged as being your most essential purchase of 2018 – and something to keep your monitors stable. ISO Acoustics’ ISO Pucks are small circular rubber pucks, rather like ice-hockey discs, though far more useful. As monitor isolators, they stop vibrations from the surface on which you place your speakers from colouring the sound in any way. They are available in packs of two and realistically, you need at least three under each monitor. But they deliver the results, better even than dedicated isolated speaker stands that cost a lot more.

We said: “These won’t give you the same mind-blowing revelation that a new set of monitors can do, but there is a subtle increase in low-end tightness. Mixing is, of course, all about these subtleties and we’re pretty convinced that the ISO-Pucks offer you a considerable amount of extra clarity. Plus the cost might be a lot less than the speaker upgrade you’ll need to get similar results.”

Read our full review here.

Highly commended

swiftshield

Aston Microphones Swiftshield

Price £79
Contact Aston Microphones | 0845 500 2500

Aston has certainly won enough plaudits for its range of microphones in recent years. This UK company has taken that world by storm with models such as the Origin, Spirit and Starlight, so naturally, it was probably only a matter of time before it developed a dedicated pop shield and shockmount for them. SwiftShield is just that, and is made up of the Aston Swift shockmount and Aston Shield pop filter – hence the name.

“The Swift was very easy to use,” Mike Hillier said. “Both units have been designed to make setup as quick and easy as possible. The best devices are so simple as to be almost invisible in the studio. Aston’s SwiftShield makes setup and pull down simpler and faster, keeping your sessions running smoothly.”

Read our full review here.

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