When I first heard about the Auralex MoPADs, I was skeptical. Once I got them in my studio, however, I changed my tune.
The MoPADs are monitor isolation pads. They’re designed to live between your studio monitors and the surface on which they are resting. Why is this important?
We all know that sound, by definition, is vibration. When a speaker vibrates, it not only vibrates the air around it, but it also vibrates whatever surfaces it comes in contact with.
You’ve probably seen pictures of a speaker suspended in an anechoic chamber by a couple wires. This is how they test the frequency response of speakers, they hang them in a super-quiet room. They are able to hear the speaker by itself, as it was intended to be heard.
That’s the key. If your studio monitors are sitting on a big desk, shelf, table, or even speaker stands, the sound of your monitors will be effected. This becomes particularly noticeable in the bass frequencies. The surface begins to resonate with the speakers, causing the low frequencies to become less defined.
Here’s where the MoPADs come in. They will, in essence, float your monitors, acoustically decoupling them from the rest of your studio (and the world!).
What does that mean? This translates to a huge improvement to the bass response of your studio monitors. I kid you not. As soon as I started using the MoPADs, my monitors suddenly sounded deeper, and the bass was tighter with better definition. In fact, I even tried them on a cheap $100 pair of 3-inch monitors, and the MoPADs made even these sound a lot better. Suddenly there was more bass, even out of these tiny little 3-inch speakers.
In addition to the acoustic benefits, MoPADs also have a nifty little feature that allows you to angle your monitors up or down by 4 or 8 degrees using a few extra pieces of angled foam. Ideally, your monitors will be placed at ear-level height. if that’s not possible, the MoPADs take care of that by angling them up or down as needed, so you can listen to your monitors head-on.
The one downside of the MoPADs is that if you need to angle the monitors up by 8 degrees, you’ll need to face the “Auralex” logo towards the back. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s kinda nice to have that logo facing to the front.
MoPADs sell for $40. I can think of no other single piece of gear that will create such an improvement for so little money. Most music gear is subjective. What sounds good to me may sound bad to you. Auralex MoPADs, however, will make your monitors sound better.
There have been plenty of times where someone has told me I had to try out a piece of gear, that it would sound so good. I get it into my studio, and sometimes I don’t hear a difference or improvements. MoPADs aren’t that way. You really will hear a difference, and you’ll be able to get better mixes because of it.