For music lovers, there is often a tension between budget, available space, and audio quality. You want audio to sound as good as possible, but there are often budgetary constraints, and often the space available is limited. If you’re looking for a way to make your bookshelf speakers sound better—without investing in new speakers and while still staying within a limited space—IsoAcoustics has a solution. The Canadian company’s ISO-PUCK Mini isolation feet.
Isolating Your Speakers
The ISO-PUCK Mini isolation feet arrived in an eight-pack. Each of the small units is capable of supporting up to six pounds, making four of them the ideal configuration for most bookshelf speakers.
Each of the ISO-PUCK Mini units is made of multiple components. On the top (the upper flange) is a rubber suction cup. The bottom is a rubber protective footpad. In the middle is a plastic cylinder housing tuned isolators. You can actually squeeze the units and they spring back like mini shock absorbers.
The idea is you position one ISO-PUCK Mini under each of your speaker’s corners. They take the place of the little rubber pads that probably came with the speakers. They then isolate the speaker from the surface it’s placed on. What will this do? According to IsoAcoustics:
“This unique patented design provides a high degree of isolation while resisting lateral movement and oscillations, which results in greater sound clarity and focus.”
Ultimately, the idea is to make your existing speakers sound better by helping to prevent sound distortion that can occur when your speakers are in contact with a surface. At $99.99 for an eight-pack, they certainly cost a lot less than a speaker upgrade. And by improving your existing speakers, there’s no scramble to find replacements that will fit in a limited space.
ISO-Acoustics says product testing was done at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) labs—that’s the same facility where the PSB Alpha P5 bookshelf speakers I tried these with were also tested.
Installing the ISO-PUCK Minis couldn’t be any easier. There’s no adhesive, you literally slide them under the speakers. The rubber pads will ensure everything stays firmly in place. The only issue (if you’re dealing with limited vertical space) is that they will add about 3/4 inch of height to the speakers.
I was particularly interested in these because my bookshelf speakers are located on a bookshelf. With limited space between shelves and each shelf only 10-inches deep, I don’t have the physical space to trade up to larger units. And with a ton of stuff loaded on the same wooden bookshelves as the speakers—including a turntable, which is very susceptible to vibration—I suspect there are many acoustic imperfections in my setup. With the volume turned up, I can definitely feel the vibration through the entire bookcase unit from the speakers. That means glass, plastic, paper, wood, metal, and other materials are also vibrating.
I wasn’t entirely convinced that a $99 pack of what amounts to mini shock absorbers would do all that much, but I was surprised to find they made a noticeable difference. Turning up the music volume, vibration through the bookcase was virtually eliminated. The extra elevation gave a little more room for air to move under the rear-ported speakers. The bass was definitely tighter and less boomy, especially at higher volumes, and I’m pretty sure that extra airflow space had something to do with it. Audio, in general, seemed clearer, and there was a noticeable improvement in the soundstage.
I got enough out of the ISO-PUCK Mini installation that it was easily worth the price of the products. I can’t think of anywhere else in my audio system where I could spend $99 and hear a noticeable improvement. Of course, your mileage will vary—a lot has to do with the interaction between your speakers and the surface they’re placed on. If you’re already using acoustic stands, for example, then these probably wouldn’t be a fit.
It’s with noting that if you are using larger speakers like towers or a subwoofer, the ISO-PUCK solution is also available in larger sizes.
Disclosure: IsoAcoustics provided an ISO-PUCK Minis for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.