Improve Your Loudspeakers Sound with this Tweak?

Do IsoAcoustics Isolators Really Work?

  • Yes. It's a great tweak and must have despite their cost.

    Votes: 8 21.1%
  • Not sure. Sounds like snake oil to me.

    Votes: 30 78.9%
  • No. I tried them and heard no difference.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    38
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
I think this is an important point. Even if the A/B test proved there is a perceptible difference, how do we know what is generally preferred?
Preference is personal though. Even though I push back against an immense amount of BS that's out there. If you hear the difference between tube and ss and you prefer tubes. No skin off my nose even if most people, when blinded, would prefer ss.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
It amazes me how conspiracies are formed in audio when someone that has a good experience with a product and writes a glowing review MUST have gotten some kickback. I got off ASR and deleted my account when I saw how toxic of an environment some folks make it over there and hope we can keep that to a minimum here.

The reality is Theo (the author of this review) gets the same flat fee I pay him for reviews whether he likes the product or not. Theo is one of the most ethical, and nicest persons I've ever met and happy to have him on our team.

I honestly think his review is a bit over the top but the guy is the ultimate optimist and his optimism and enthusiasm for audio is quite intoxicating. It adds balance to my more pragmatic view of audio.

With that said, Theo secured me a set of these isolators for my Revel F328Be's and I plan to test them with him when he comes to visit next year. I don't think they will do much so my expectations are low, but we shall see. At the end of the day, I will just enjoy his company talking shop and eating dark chocolate together.
I would like to see some scathing reviews- maybe, if these make a positive difference, a manufacturer could try them and if they DO work for their speakers, they could include the isolators as an OEM part or accessory. I wouldn't mind seeing more testing to see if this is actually a quantifiable problem- if a manufacturer has deep enough pockets to afford using accelerometers and laser interferometry to measure and see, respectively, movement in the cabinets, they might be able to prove or dispel claims for this particular type of product. WRT the latter, I'm a bit surprised that nobody appears to have used it, so far. It would also be helpful for speaker cone and frame design, because it's possible for anyone to see it while looking through a polarized lens.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Makes one want to cease contributing real world experiences with real world products for nothin’’ when folks are gettin’ paid for adver… um, “reviewing” this kind of s#%t. Guess I’ll head over to the Audioskeptics site.;) I kid of course. If for no other reason, I’ll stay out of spite.:D

You know what I did when I managed production at a body shop and the painter had the balls to try and pass off a color mismatch to me. I sent that f#%ker right back into the paint booth and held back any glowing reviews until the f#%ker got it right.:mad:
I was looking at cars after mine was stolen and checked out one that had been partially repainted. It looked good, but was definitely darker than the rest and the salesman denied this. I asked if he was effing blind.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
I would like to see some scathing reviews- maybe, if these make a positive difference, a manufacturer could try them and if they DO work for their speakers, they could include the isolators as an OEM part or accessory. I wouldn't mind seeing more testing to see if this is actually a quantifiable problem- if a manufacturer has deep enough pockets to afford using accelerometers and laser interferometry to measure and see, respectively, movement in the cabinets, they might be able to prove or dispel claims for this particular type of product. WRT the latter, I'm a bit surprised that nobody appears to have used it, so far. It would also be helpful for speaker cone and frame design, because it's possible for anyone to see it while looking through a polarized lens.
Yes there are already several speaker manufacturers offering IsoAcoustics isolators with their speakers including:
  1. Dynaudio
  2. PSB
  3. Marten
  4. Spatial Audio Lab.
There are others evaluating the GAIA that haven’t been announced yet. To your point:
  1. Yes it’s already happening and
  2. Gene has spoken to speaker designer who has measured a difference with the GAIA independently.
I do find it very comical — and it speaks to Gene’s point about the nature of forum conspiracies— that highliging this exact point about OEM in the review along with recording engineers who use Isoacoustocs that it’s somehow interpreted as a PR stunt.

It’s logical that you’d want to know who is using a product. The exact questions as to who else might be using it lays that bare. That’s why I took the pains to include it in the article.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Yes there are already several speaker manufacturers offering IsoAcoustics isolators with their speakers including:
  1. Dynaudio
  2. PSB
  3. Marten
  4. Spatial Audio Lab.
There are others evaluating the GAIA that haven’t been announced yet. To your point:
  1. Yes it’s already happening and
  2. Gene has spoken to speaker designer who has measured a difference with the GAIA independently.
I do find it very comical — and it speaks to Gene’s point about the nature of forum conspiracies— that highliging this exact point about OEM in the review along with recording engineers who use Isoacoustocs that it’s somehow interpreted as a PR stunt.

It’s logical that you’d want to know who is using a product. The exact questions as to who else might be using it lays that bare. That’s why I took the pains to include it in the article.
Thanks for the info but

I just called Dynaudio and spoke with Mike- he said that Dynaudio doesn't offer them as an accessory, nor do they have any relationship with the company, but he said he has used them with the Contour 30 and considers them worthwhile.

I did find this-

 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
There are three states goals in the article:
  1. Scratch-free isolation feet alternative to spikes on a hardwood floor.
  2. Isolate my speakers from the hardwood floor to mitigate some of the physical vibrations that went into the room from my speakers.
  3. Squeeze more performance out of my system in my listening room.
It’s clear many haven’tread the first several paragraphs.

I was not interested in using rubber pucks, bricks, or other DYI solutions on hardwood. If someone finds those solutions to be attractive, go for it.

Are the GAIA expensive? Yes, read the con in the reviewThe pricing listed is for the GAIA feet at those weight classes only. There are cheaper models for less heavy speakers. The cost of the GAIA is going to be less than the sales tax you’ll be spending on your speakers.

Spikes aren’t relevant to this use case. The use case is hardwood not carpet.

I find it somewhat perplexing that on the one hand some forum members can comment that isolation is a well understood topic and on the other hand several posts dismiss the notion of isolation outright. If you haven’t read @Matthew J Poes comments, he highlights what the conversation should be.

@snakeeyes and @jeffca attest to the efficacy of SVS’ isolation feet. A great product by the way.

@snakeeyes seems to have now added a set of the SVS to each sub in his setup after noticing the improvement.

It’s certainly appropriate to criticize a product for cost. And one’s perception of value differs: Do you buy a $35 faucet from Home Depot or a $450 one from the local design store? Toyota? BMW? Ferrari? Boston Acoustics? Definitive Tech? Revel? RBH? Wilson? SVS feet? IsoAcoustics isolators?

For the use case and goals I outlined, I found that the GAIA delivered though certainly at a premium price point.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
I've already posted this at ASR. So here goes:

I've threaded inserts for speaker spikes for my Statements. Now that they are on carpet on concrete slab I don't need them. When I had them on hardwood I needed them. It cut down on the floor excitation.

When I've done sound reinforcement in large venues we hung subwoofers with aircraft wire for isolation. Did that all the time.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Isolation is a thing.

Now I saw the price and my first kneejerk reaction is why is AH reviewing such over priced doo-dads. But in the end, un-like a $600 Ethernet cable that I can at least demonstrate does jack schitt, these do work and my reaction is my own internal value judgement on $1000 speaker isolators.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
There are three states goals in the article:
  1. Scratch-free isolation feet alternative to spikes on a hardwood floor.
  2. Isolate my speakers from the hardwood floor to mitigate some of the physical vibrations that went into the room from my speakers.
  3. Squeeze more performance out of my system in my listening room.
It’s clear many haven’tread the first several paragraphs.

I was not interested in using rubber pucks, bricks, or other DYI solutions on hardwood. If someone finds those solutions to be attractive, go for it.

Are the GAIA expensive? Yes, read the con in the reviewThe pricing listed is for the GAIA feet at those weight classes only. There are cheaper models for less heavy speakers. The cost of the GAIA is going to be less than the sales tax you’ll be spending on your speakers.

Spikes aren’t relevant to this use case. The use case is hardwood not carpet.

I find it somewhat perplexing that on the one hand some forum members can comment that isolation is a well understood topic and on the other hand several posts dismiss the notion of isolation outright. If you haven’t read @Matthew J Poes comments, he highlights what the conversation should be.

@snakeeyes and @jeffca attest to the efficacy of SVS’ isolation feet. A great product by the way.

@snakeeyes seems to have now added a set of the SVS to each sub in his setup after noticing the improvement.

It’s certainly appropriate to criticize a product for cost. And one’s perception of value differs: Do you buy a $35 faucet from Home Depot or a $450 one from the local design store? Toyota? BMW? Ferrari? Boston Acoustics? Definitive Tech? Revel? RBH? Wilson? SVS feet? IsoAcoustics isolators?

For the use case and goals I outlined, I found that the GAIA delivered though certainly at a premium price point.
If I could find someone in the area who carries or uses them, I would like to check them out. Having been in the audio industry for so long, I'm not going to jump on many bandwagons quickly.

WRT cost vs perceived performance- I worked with someone whose wife really liked to spend money they didn't have- she bought some wine glasses that were far out of their budget and his comment upon hearing the price was "What else can they do?".

I like products that make improvements- I would like to find someone in the area who has them.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Thanks for the info but

I just called Dynaudio and spoke with Mike- he said that Dynaudio doesn't offer them as an accessory, nor do they have any relationship with the company, but he said he has used them with the Contour 30 and considers them worthwhile.

I did find this-

List of OEM: https://isoacoustics.com/partners/
Press release with Dynaudio with BM mkIII Series: https://www.prosoundweb.com/isoacoustics-forms-strategic-partnership-with-dynaudio-professional/
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
If I could find someone in the area who carries or uses them, I would like to check them out. Having been in the audio industry for so long, I'm not going to jump on many bandwagons quickly.

WRT cost vs perceived performance- I worked with someone whose wife really liked to spend money they didn't have- she bought some wine glasses that were far out of their budget and his comment upon hearing the price was "What else can they do?".

I like products that make improvements- I would like to find someone in the area who has them.

Worth reaching out to IsoAcoustics directly and asking for a review set on loan if they are game since no one in your area??
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
List of OEM: https://isoacoustics.com/partners/
Press release with Dynaudio with BM mkIII Series: https://www.prosoundweb.com/isoacoustics-forms-strategic-partnership-with-dynaudio-professional/
That explains it- I thought you meant that the consumer line had an arrangement. Not sure it's still in effect, since they were bought after the 2014 date of the IsoAcoustics bulletin. Specifically, the Gaia is the one he used. I had seen the ones in the link you posted, though- never looked much into the pro line other than out of curiosity, since I only sell some of their consumer models.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord

Worth reaching out to IsoAcoustics directly and asking for a review set on loan if they are game since no one in your area??
I checked the site and they don't have anyone inside of 100 miles but since Moon is associated and I know a dealer who carries that brand, so I'll see if he has any on display. Their demo room is carpeted, though- not sure he would.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Vendor should be willing to setup a loaner pair and then start a shipping chain where everyone pays for the shipping to themselves from the prior evaluator. Give everyone 72 hours with them.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Yes there are already several speaker manufacturers offering IsoAcoustics isolators with their speakers including:
  1. Dynaudio
  2. PSB
  3. Marten
  4. Spatial Audio Lab.
There are others evaluating the GAIA that haven’t been announced yet. To your point:
  1. Yes it’s already happening and
  2. Gene has spoken to speaker designer who has measured a difference with the GAIA independently.
I do find it very comical — and it speaks to Gene’s point about the nature of forum conspiracies— that highliging this exact point about OEM in the review along with recording engineers who use Isoacoustocs that it’s somehow interpreted as a PR stunt.

It’s logical that you’d want to know who is using a product. The exact questions as to who else might be using it lays that bare. That’s why I took the pains to include it in the article.
I fully support isolation and decoupling strategies (as I've described my experience above) where indicated and appropriate. I can't help but question, however, the efficacy of the IsoAcoustic line compared to less expensive solutions, though.
A posteriori knowledge is important here. We really need quality understanding and definition of how to apply the concepts of isolation and when coupling vs decoupling is advised and how to understand and recommend their usage alone, or in combination with each other, as I described using in my own room.

I know I was a little critical of your review, @TheoN , yet I want you to know I fully support your quest. Moreover, I am supremely grateful that you have come back a few times now to comment.
I get the distinctions you make about what you were looking for. I am glad you found something of worth (I can't in good conscience use the word "value," I'm afraid) in these.

Truly, I hope we get to see some sort of objective measurement and proof regarding any and all isolation concepts. To me, this seems to be the root of the problem here: a lack of clear understanding. There is an element of voodoo in isolation conversations. Unlike cable phoolery, however, I think Isolation and Coupling/decoupling is something that can and should be measured.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I fully support isolation and decoupling strategies (as I've described my experience above) where indicated and appropriate. I can't help but question, however, the efficacy of the IsoAcoustic line compared to less expensive solutions, though.
A posteriori knowledge is important here. We really need quality understanding and definition of how to apply the concepts of isolation and when coupling vs decoupling is advised and how to understand and recommend their usage alone, or in combination with each other, as I described using in my own room.

Truly, I hope we get to see some sort of objective measurement and proof regarding any and all isolation concepts. To me, this seems to be the root of the problem here: a lack of clear understanding. There is an element of voodoo in isolation conversations. Unlike cable phoolery, however, I think Isolation and Coupling/decoupling is something that can and should be measured.
The link I posted shows the results of vibration control and it's striking- that's the kind of info I would like to see from a curiosity/academic standpoint, also laser interferometry, to see how the panels of the enclosure move.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
I fully support isolation and decoupling strategies (as I've described my experience above) where indicated and appropriate. I can't help but question, however, the efficacy of the IsoAcoustic line compared to less expensive solutions, though.
A posteriori knowledge is important here. We really need quality understanding and definition of how to apply the concepts of isolation and when coupling vs decoupling is advised and how to understand and recommend their usage alone, or in combination with each other, as I described using in my own room.

I know I was a little critical of your review, @TheoN , yet I want you to know I fully support your quest. Moreover, I am supremely grateful that you have come back a few times now to comment.
I get the distinctions you make about what you were looking for. I am glad you found something of worth (I can't in good conscience use the word "value," I'm afraid) in these.

Truly, I hope we get to see some sort of objective measurement and proof regarding any and all isolation concepts. To me, this seems to be the root of the problem here: a lack of clear understanding. There is an element of voodoo in isolation conversations. Unlike cable phoolery, however, I think Isolation and Coupling/decoupling is something that can and should be measured.
Your point about the IsoAcoustics solution efficacy versus potentially less expensive options is completely valid. That’s something that would be lots of fun to explore. I am not immediately aware of a deep dive into this area that has such comparisons. If someone is indeed aware of some thing like that it would be great to start to get that info!

The second thing I’m interested in would be the type of flooring substrates or structures that could benefit most from isolation. My specific use case was a hardwood floor. what about carpeted floors on plywood, etc.

The third thing regarding additional measurements: This is something I did engage in an extended conversation about. A laser vibrometer was identified as the best tool to perform this type of measurement and alas it’s not something that I have in my toolkit. ☹

I welcome any feedback and I’ll have to make a concerted effort to find your posts and comments. at one point or another we are all travelers on the same journey and learning from our collective experiences just makes us better.

Frankly that’s one of the things I’ve appreciated in working with Gene over the past decade. i love our ability to compare notes with products, Gene’s vast experience in engineering, and his experience in a wide array of industry products is a tremendous catalyst for our hobby. Steel sharpens steel.

I know a comment or two has been made about raising the speakers two inches on the GAIA. I listened at both ~14 feet and ~28 feet away from the Salon2 and approximately 8 feet and 15 feet from the RBH SVTR. I’m not convinced that at those distances the 2” height is a major factor in my impressions with either the Salon2 or the RBH. Remember that the Salon2 tweeter is already at a height of ~49 inches and goes to about ~51 with the GAIA. The RBH’s AMT tweeter starts at roughly 43-inches and at ~45 inches with the GAIA.

When Gene received his set of GAIA earlier in the year he was smack in the middle of moving. It didn’t afford us the opportunity to compare notes as I had hoped. Hopefully in the new year we can make this happen.

I’d encourage any interested Audioholics members to dip into the SVS Soundpath Isolation feet. From what I’m reading a few folks already have with positive results. They’ll cost you roughly $120 for the set plus you get SVS 30 day trial. (Oh boy will someone make a conspiracy theory about product placement for this too?). See if it works if it’s of interest.


And if someone wants another review on isolation, try this one:

I think my biggest disappointment in reading some of the posts is that nobody commented on my Monty Python Holy Grail allusions. Do we have a case of the Van Halen brown M&Ms happening with some
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
That explains it- I thought you meant that the consumer line had an arrangement. Not sure it's still in effect, since they were bought after the 2014 date of the IsoAcoustics bulletin. Specifically, the Gaia is the one he used. I had seen the ones in the link you posted, though- never looked much into the pro line other than out of curiosity, since I only sell some of their consumer models.
I didn’t do a super deep dive into isoacoustics’ penetration into the pro and recording engineering world.

There are other vendors on their OEM page who use their isolation products. I chose to omit mentioning any of them explicitly as they weren’t speaker manufacturers. I figured anybody who was interested could take the info and do the deeper dive. Other than using isolation feet on my turntable with very tangible results as I mentioned in a previous post, I can’t say that I’ve experienced any perceivable difference with solid state equipment.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I didn’t do a super deep dive into isoacoustics’ penetration into the pro and recording engineering world.

There are other vendors on their OEM page who use their isolation products. I chose to omit mentioning any of them explicitly as they weren’t speaker manufacturers. I figured anybody who was interested could take the info and do the deeper dive. Other than using isolation feet on my turntable with very tangible results as I mentioned in a previous post, I can’t say that I’ve experienced any perceivable difference with solid state equipment.
If it was easier to do, I would contact some of the local musicians and people who have recording studios to find out if they use anything like this. One studio had B&W 801(?) at one point and the room was terrible- far too dry and it would have been a bad place to demo the speakers or anything else. Another place carries better than average equipment and their demo room wasn't good, either. I listened to a pair of Golden Ear Triton 3 and they didn't impress, although I did move around the room and they sounded far better than in the main listening position. A former sales rep had a pair of Revel speakers and couldn't hear the phase cancelations, nor did he know what to do about them. His next speakers went in exactly the same locations and he didn't know that each speaker needs its own best location.

I think the electronics would need to be bombarded with high SPL to really need isolation, although some circuits can be microphonic (especially tubes and some capacitors). You know about 'triboelectric effect? I had some guitar cables that could have been used as an excellent example of this. Terrible stuff.
 
Matthew J Poes

Matthew J Poes

Senior Audioholic
Staff member
I don’t know what all the complaints over price are. look at what I did to isolate my speakers. I decoupled the entire room.

Guarantee that would cost over $1000!
DC4B0E62-53C8-4D0B-BD22-BA93178D888A.jpeg

BA6CC9E4-A252-4A4E-A77F-367B2231CE72.jpeg

decoupled the subwoofers

and
22D8B747-9B0B-4D44-8D23-314B2C28B9AA.jpeg

made sure to have insulation to avoid any resonances or vibrations.

the ultimate audiophile tweak!
 

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