Best Studio Monitor Isolation Pads under $200

One of the best purchases I made for my studio in 2021 was a pair of Primacoustic RX5 Monitor Isolation Pads (at $99 each). I’d heard and read plenty of positive things about these monitor platforms, including enthusiasticreviews from some highly respected industry pros, but I finally became convinced to treat myself to a pair after getting to hear them in action at a friend’s studio.

The Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizer is a unique speaker mounting device designed with two core functions in mind:
1. Eliminating disruptive resonant coupling from the loudspeaker to the stand
2. Provide a stable base that reduces the recoil caused by the forward energy of the loudspeaker motion.

It’s tempting to think that monitor stands/isolation pads are all much of a muchness but different manufacturers do bring different technologies to the table and in the case of the Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers you get four different elements adding up to make an impressive whole:

  • Retention pad (a thin, no-slip neoprene surface secures the nearfield monitor to the top surface for maximum signal transfer.)
  • Steel platform (stabilizing mass to rigidly hold the nearfield monitor in place.)
  • Curved front panel (the curved design eliminates standing waves and adds mass to the platform without increasing the footprint)
  • Isolation foam (a high density open cell acoustic foam provides acoustic isolation and eliminates coupling between loudspeaker and shelf.)

The technical specifications alone don’t really tell you much about what exactly the Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers can do for your music though. In short, if you’re involved in any kind of critical audio editing, mixing and mastering you can expect enhanced accuracy across the audio spectrum, tighter bass and improved transient response, better definition and improved imaging. (Check out some of these reviews from audio professionals on the Primacoustic website.)

Primacoustic Recoil types:

Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers are available in a variety of sizes, profiles (down,horizontal and up) and weights. The smallest (the RX5-FH) measure 7.5″ x 9.5″ (190mm x 241mm) and can support monitors up to 32lbs (14.5kg) while the largest in the range (the RX20-HF) measure 20″ x 22″ (508mm x 559mm) and can support monitors up to 144lbs (65kg).

The down-fire model introduces a 5º degree angle to compensate for the added 2″ (5cm) height that the Recoil Stabilizer will introduce when put in position making them a good choice when your near fields are used on a meter bridge or an elevated shelf that cannot be adjusted.

The horizontal-fire models are designed to fire sound straight on, in a horizontal plane making them a good choice if you’re placing them on adjustable monitor stands. This is also the preferred format for isolating sub woofers.

The up-fire Recoils are designed for post production suites where monitors are often placed directly on a desk top. These introduce a more acute 10º angle to direct the tweeter to the listening position.

What size Primacoustic Recoil should I get?

The performance of the Recoil Stabilizers is based on mass so you need to ensure that the mass of your monitor speaker is no more than 4 times the mass of the Recoil Stabilizer. Note that you can use a large speaker on a small Recoil and it will work fine even though the speaker may protrude beyond the edges.

Can I use Recoil Stabilizers with subwoofers?

Yes. You can team suitable Recoil Stabilizers with your subs to enhance the bass response.

For more information on the Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers see the Primacoustic website. You might also like my article Do music producers really need monitor stands?

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