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Updated on 8th Dec 2022
The Essential Equipment for Beatboxing at Home: Choosing a Microphone, a Powered Speaker, and a Loopstation
In this article we will share our recommendations and price comparison for beatboxing equipment and various setup options that can work for you. Whether you want to amplify your sound at home to practice beatboxing or want to get into beatbox looping, the setup required will be different. But don't worry, that's exactly what this article is here to help you out with.
The individual bits of equipment we discuss in this article are the following:
Beatboxing is a vocal percussion technique that can be used to create amazing rhythms and sounds. It's no wonder that so many people are keen to learn how to beatbox! If you're looking to practice beatboxing at home, then there are some essential pieces of equipment that you will need. In this blog post, we will discuss the three most important pieces of equipment any aspiring beatboxer should consider: a microphone, a speaker, and a loop station.
It is not a requirement to have any equipment at all to beatbox, after all, the sounds come from your mouth. However, it is recommended that you have some basic equipment if possible so your sound can be amplified. Hearing beatboxing amplified is a completely different experience and it can help you to improve your skills and also get more creative.
Beatboxers will want to purchase a microphone and then they have some options. Let's firstly take look at some of the different combinations of equipment you can purchase and what each of these options will allow you to do.
EQUIPMENT COMBINATION OPTIONS
Microphone + Speaker System
One option is to go for a microphone and a speaker system. This will enable you to perform and practice your beatboxing skills loud and proud and it also opens up the possibility for others to listen while you beatbox, live. Whether you want to practice beatboxing at home or want to perform your beatbox skills for others, this is a good setup option to get you started.
Microphone + Loop Station
Another option is to go for a microphone and a loop station. Loop stations allow beatboxers to record their beatbox creations in layers and literally create whole songs just by using their voices. You can plug a pair of headphones into the loop station so you can hear your creations and get lost in your music making. If you want to perform your loop station masterpieces for others to hear, you're gonna need a speaker system to go with this. That brings us to the next option.
Microphone + Loop Station + Speaker System
A third option is to purchase a microphone, a loop station and a speaker system. This will allow you to create your loops while having the option to hear your sound through headphones or have it heard loud through speakers.
Microphone + USB Interface
A USB Interface is a unit that can plug directly into your laptop or desktop via USB. You can then simply plug your microphone into the Interface. You then have the option to hear your sound through headphones (that you would plug into the interface or your computer) or through speakers that you would plug into the interface (we would recommended this option). It's possible to hear the sound through the computer speakers too but we don't recommend relying on this as the sound capabilities of computer speakers won't be able to handle many beatbox sounds and they will sound muffled.
Before starting your search for equipment it's definitely a good idea to know what combination you want to go for.
Once you have a idea of what setup will work for you, it's time to get the individual bits of equipment that you'll need. Let's take a look at our recommendations for the different microphones, speaker systems, loop stations and interfaces available.
THE MICROPHONE - (A Beatboxer's Best Buddy)
SHURE SM58 Microphone - (The Industry-Standard Vocal Microphone)
The industry-standard stage microphone for beatboxing is the SHURE SM58. This microphone is rugged and reliable, and it produces great sound quality. If you're serious about beatboxing, then the SHURE SM58 is a great investment. We recommend this microphone for children as well as adults as it's one that will stand the test of time as well as give you a great quality and natural sound. It is the microphone used most commonly for live vocal performances. The SHURE SM58 is a dynamic microphone which means it is made to be used very close to the mouth when speaking, singing, or indeed, beatboxing. With the correct microphone technique, a beatboxer can have all their beatbox sounds at their very best with this choice of microphone.
AKG D5 Microphone - (The Cheaper Option, Still Good Quality Microphone)
If you want a cheaper option that is still a good option for beatboxing, you can opt for the AKG D5 Dynamic Microphone. This microphone has a good overall sound for beatboxing but may not be as durable as the SM58 (but then again, not many other microphones are).
SHURE SM7B Microphone (The Studio Quality Microphone)
- BEST PRICE ON AMAZON LAST TIME WE CHECKED! - £364.48 INCLUDING CABLE! GREAT DEAL!!!
There is a range of other microphones that are suitable for beatboxing. If the budget will allow, another top pick amongst beatboxers worldwide is the SHURE SM7B. This studio-quality microphone is a must-have for vocalists and producers worldwide as the sound quality and sound customization capabilities are second-to-none. This microphone is probably the most popular amongst professional beatboxers today. It's great for practicing beatboxing, looping podcasting and recording in the studio. However, this is not a suitable microphone to use in a live performance situation.
If you are choosing the SHURE SM7B microphone for looping, podcasting or recording you will most likely require a Boom Arm so the microphone can be positioned in front of you at all times without the need to hold it. We have tried and tested the RODE PSA1 and strongly recommend it. You can also opt for the upgraded RODE PSA1 PLUS for a more robust and durable product.
There are many microphone cables to choose from that will do the job for very little money. We would recommend that you don't go for the cheapest possible option though as they are likely to be less durable and you may need to be buying a replacement sooner than you'd like. Spending a little more on a cable that will last you longer just makes sense. Prices for microphone cables range from as little as a couple of pounds to well over £100 and for a basic home setup, you can get a good quality cable at a low price.
ROLAND BLACK SERIES MICROPHONE CABLE (A Microphone Cable Is Necessary With Any Of The Above Microphones)
If buying a microphone, you are definitely going to need a microphone cable to go with it. The great thing is that this doesn't have to cost you the earth. Roland's Black Series microphone cables offer great quality at an affordable price. What's not to like? An important thing to note when purchasing a microphone cable is the length of the cable that will work for your needs. If you will have the microphone set up in a home studio and you don't need to move the microphone around too much, the 1.5 metre cable might be ok. If you need a longer cable though, go for the 3 metre cable or longer.
Ok. Microphone and cable sorted! Now let's look at a speaker system to suit your budget.
THE SPEAKER SYSTEM
Your choice of a speaker will largely come down to budget and personal preference. You can get some great Bluetooth speakers these days that are very reasonably priced and offer excellent sound quality, but most handheld speakers of this kind are not suitable for beatboxing. For ease of use and portability, we recommend looking at some of the powered or active speakers on the market. A powered or active speaker comes with its amplifier built-in so all you need to do is plug them in and they're ready to use. Bass (or low-end) is an important factor when considering a speaker for beatboxing as the lower frequencies are what give beatboxing its power and punch. Speakers come in different sizes and are graded in inches. A minimum of 15 inches (15") will usually ensure the capability of handling the bass frequencies. All the speaker options below are 'ACTIVE' or 'POWERED' speakers and do not require an external amplifier - everything is built in so you can simply plug and play.
SUBZERO SZS-P15A ACTIVE SPEAKER (Affordable, Good Quality 15" Speaker)
An affordable option is something in the SUBZERO range. Just make sure that it is an 'ACTIVE' or 'POWERED' speaker as opposed to a 'PASSIVE' one so that you don't need to also purchase an amplifier. As mentioned above, we would recommend anything above 15" in size as the bass frequencies are handled better.
SUBZERO SZS-P8A ACTIVE SPEAKER (Cheapest 8" Speaker We Can Recommend)
The SUBZERO SZS-P8A is good value 8" speaker option. Please note, this is a passive It won't handle the bass and other frequencies like the other speaker options here though.
YAMAHA DBR SPEAKERS
YAMAHA DBR-10 (A Professional Industry Level Speaker, With Great Quality & Great Sound)
The YAMAHA DBR-10 is a fantastic choice of speaker from a reputable brand. The sound quality is excellent but if you can push your budget that little bit further, take a look at our most recommended speaker below (if your budget allows, of course).
YAMAHA DBR-15 (Our Recommendation If Your Budget Allows)
THE LOOP STATION
If you want to get more creative with your beatboxing, getting a Loop Station is the next step. Loop stations allow you to record samples of your voice and you can layer them up until they become full tracks. For example you can record a rhythm and then a bass line and then layer up some harmonies and so on. The better loop stations come with a range of effects, built-in, that can be applied to your voice.
You can plug the microphone directly into the Loop Station and all you will need is a good pair of headphones (that can also plug into the loop station). But, If you'd like to perform your loop station masterpieces to others then you will need to get yourself a speaker as mentioned above.
BOSS-505 MKll Loop Station (The Top Choice For Beatbox Loopers)
The BOSS RC-505 MKll is a tabletop unit that gives you five tracks of stereo recording, effects, and lots of control over playback and sound shaping. It's an incredible piece of kit that is the top choice for professional beatboxers across the globe. This machine is loaded with on-board effects and customisation settings that allow you to define your sound the way you like. These machines have become hugely popular through the global beatbox battle scene where beatboxers will battle it out performing their best loop station songs with this machine. We think they offer amazing functionality for the price that you pay.
BOSS RC202 LOOP STATION (A Very Good, More Affordable, Choice For Beatbox Loopers)
If the budget won't stretch that far, we would still advise you the stick with a BOSS machine and perhaps go for the BOSS RC202 LOOP STATION. This option has 2 tracks as opposed to the 5 that the RC-505 gives you but it still has great functionality and built in effects. This is certainly a good option to get you started on your looping journey and you can always upgrade when the time is right for you.
BOSS RC-1 LOOP STATION (A Cheaper Option For Beatbox Loopers)
THE USB INTERFACE
An incredible USB Interface that works with IOS (Apple) devices are those in the AUDIENT range. We've tried and tested a few of these and they look and feel great while doing the job that you need.
This interface is portable and smart looking. It just feels like a quality item and after trying and testing it we can confirm that the AUDIENT iD4 is a great choice. This interface plugs straight into most modern IOS devices without the need of software or an app. Whereas you may need to install software when using this with a Windows laptop or desktop. Make sure to check compatibility before purchase.
Beatboxing is an incredibly intuitive art form that anybody can learn if they practice. The beauty of beatboxing is that it doesn't require any equipment at all in order to practice. We do, however, advise you to purchase a microphone and speaker and/or loopstation and/or USB Interface if you really want to make this an art form that you stick to. Hearing your beatbox sounds loud and clear will only motivate you even more to get better and to get more creative.
Any questions, drop them in the comments below or get in touch with us here!
What equipment do you use?