Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Post Audio ARF-68 Ambient Room Reflection Filter

Aloha!

If you have done any vocal recording outside the studio, you know how tough it can be to get a clean sound with no background noise. Your voiceovers and podcasts have the unmistakable quality that make it sound like you recorded them in the bathroom or a tunnel. The Post Audio ARF-68 reflection filter is a tool that can give you a much drier recording for not a lot of cash.

When you open the box, you will see that the filter is made of molded ABS plastic with 1-inch sound-deadening acoustic foam around the inside face; the mounting brackets are aluminum. The whole thing measures about 18” x 12” x 6” not counting the bracket. By the way, save the box, as it makes for a nice place to store it when it is not in use. The box also contains an instruction sheet that will come in handy, as it might be hard to figure out where all the pieces go when installing it on your microphone stand.

Build quality is good, though there was a bit of adhesive that got schmutzed onto the foam on mine. It still works fine, though. It looks like it should last for a good long time.

With the instruction sheet, installation is straightforward. Take the book of you stand (if equipped), thread the longer barrel nut on to the stand, put the bracket over the barrel nut, and then install the shorter barrel nut on top to sandwich the bracket into place. Then you can install the microphone mount over the second barrel nut, adjust the filter (up/down and in/out) and you are set to go.

With its plastic and aluminum construction it is not super heavy so it is less top-heavy than other reflection filters I have seen and it does not require a special stand. It has enough vertical movement (5-inches) that you will be able to center your microphone easily and without tools – there is a clasp and lock on the back of the assembly that can be worked by hand. In actual use for a voiceover with my Shure PG42-USB microphone I did an A/B test with and without the filter, and the tone was much cleaner with none of the strange thuddy tone I had before. Sibilance was reduced and external noises were almost completely mitigated. I am a fan of this thing!

The Post Audio ARF-68 Reflection Filter does everything it is supposed to do and it will not break the bank. It comes in at around $70 on Amazon (the last time I checked) and it is worth every penny. If you are doing podcasts, voiceovers, or other vocal recording at home you should really look into getting one of these. Trust me!

Mahalo!

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