Studios are often built around awe-inspiring equipment and, for the most part, have some good acoustic treatment too. However, isolation is often forgotten with the original internal doors of the building still in place. This is becoming more common with the increasing number of smaller facilities being built, either in commercial spaces or in the spare room at home. StudioDoor by Auralex is their first ready-made door for these scenarios, or for creating isolated recording booths. Have they missed a trick though?
This isn’t a particularly exciting part of music production and one that often gets overlooked. However, if you’re recording and maybe have more than one booth which need isolating from each other, then this is a vital topic that heavily impacts your recordings. There are several methods for building your own doors which can be cost effective, but they are often time consuming and deliver varied results. One recommendation when building your own doors is to use Auralex’s ‘SheetBlok’ in between two layers of plywood and this is effectively what they’ve done here. You could say this is a product we’ve been waiting for from Auralex for some time, just not at that price.
There are two doors available, but only the more expensive STC 48 features the SheetBlok Sound Barrier. There is the StudioDoor 41 which measures 1.75″ x 36″ x 80″ and the StudioDoor 48 measuring 2.5″ x 36″ x 80″. As their names suggest, they have Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings of 41 and 48 respectively. They are delivered pre-hung and unfinished without a knob, allowing you to fit your own.
Have they missed a trick?
Personally I think Auralex should have gone two ways with this product, or indeed brought out a couple of ranges. Firstly they could have gone entirely for the budget end of the market, mass producing doors at set sizes and at cost, which I’m sure would be successful. This type of product would have multiple markets, being suitable for offices, schools and other commercial facilities too. The issue with the current product, besides the price, is that I can’t find any fire safety ratings which makes this direction impossible. Alternatively, at the other end of the spectrum, one could provide custom-built doors to any size. There are already companies offering this service, however. Every building is different and studios are commonly built in unusual places, so with only two set sizes available they have immediately limited their customer base.
Pricing and Info
Prices in the UK aren’t available yet, but initial research suggests pricing around something as crazy as 3,000 USD and upwards depending on the model. I know soundproofing in general isn’t cheap, but at this price there are other options worth considering. Some even boast better STC ratings. See below why I think Auralex have priced these doors out of the market. It’s a shame as the product looks great. See their website for more information.