Instrument Insight

11 Recommendations For Making A Home Studio On A Budget

Learn about these 11 products before creating your own home studio on a budget!

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you have the will to create music, you’ll find a way to do it – even on a budget. So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while and your home studio is in need of an upgrade, these 11 recommendations will help get the most out of your recording space without breaking the bank. Happy creating!

Bass Traps

Bass traps are an essential part of treating your room, but they can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, try making your own by filling a corner with pillows or blankets. This will help absorb some of the low ends and clean up your sound. However, if you can swing it, purchasing a few bass traps will make a big difference in the quality of your recordings. It will also make your space more enjoyable to work in, as you won’t be constantly fighting against a muddy sound.

Best For Absorption
Auralex LENRD Acoustic Absorption Bass Traps
9.8/10Our Score
  • LENRD stands for Low-End Node Reduction Device
  • Helps to Control the Low Frequency Response Of Your Space
  • Designed for corner mounting between walls and ceilings, can also be wall-mounted horizontally
  • Each LENRD is 12" x 12" x 24" (2 Linear Feet of Absorption)
  • Effective absorption down to 63Hz with NRC (Noise Reduction coefficient ) 1.50

Acoustic Foam Panel

Acoustic panels are another great way to improve the sound of your home studio. They help absorb reflections and reduce echo, making for a more clear and focused recording. Again, you can make your own panels by covering cardboard boxes with fabric, but if you’re looking for a more professional solution, there are many affordable options available online like below:

Best For Soundproofing
Pro Studio Acoustics - Burgundy/Charcoal - 12
9.7/10Our Score
  • PREMIUM QUALITY ACOUSTIC STUDIO FOAM - Each piece of foam comes uncompressed and in pristine condition, ready to install today! What you see in the photos is exactly what you get.
  • GREAT FOR SPOT TREATING YOUR LISTENING ENVIRONMENT - For use in recording studios, control rooms, home studios, and home entertainment theaters.
  • THE PACKAGE IS NOT COMPRESSED!!! - Unlike other brands, this foam will not be warped or damaged from highly compressed vacuum packaging. Includes acoustic foam, installation instructions, and datasheet.
  • CONTROL YOUR ROOM'S ACOUSTICS - Reduces standing waves and flutter echoes in small to medium-sized rooms. NRC of 0.65
  • MADE IN USA - 12 Pack covers 12 square feet - Each tile is 1 square foot of 2-inch thick premium acoustic wedge foam. Fire Retardant: CA Technical Bulletin 117 and ASTM E84 Class A.

If you can’t afford acoustic panels, or if you’re just looking for a quick fix, a reflection filter is a great option. These handy devices attach to your microphone stand and help deflect sound away from the walls and ceilings, giving your recordings a more direct sound.

Studio Microphone

You don’t need an expensive microphone to get great results. In fact, some of the best-sounding microphones are actually quite affordable. For example, the Blue Yeti USB microphone is great for a variety of applications and can be found for around $100.

A studio microphone is indeed a basic need for any kind of home studio. Whether you use your home studio for podcasts or music recording, a studio microphone will be an excellent investment, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Some of the benefits of using a studio microphone include getting a more professional sound, having more control over your recordings, and being able to record multiple tracks at once.

Best For PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Studio, Computer Mic
Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout
9.9/10Our Score
  • Custom three-capsule array: This professional USB mic produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube videos, Twitch game streaming, podcasting, Zoom meetings, music recording, and more
  • Blue VOICE software: Elevate your streamings and recordings with clear broadcast vocal sound and entertain your audience with enhanced effects, advanced modulation, and HD audio samples
  • Four pickup patterns: Flexible cardioid, Omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns allow you to record in ways that would normally require multiple mics, for vocals, instruments, and podcasts
  • Onboard audio controls: Headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and mic gain put you in charge of every level of the audio recording and streaming process
  • Positionable design: Pivot the mic in relation to the sound source to optimize your sound quality thanks to the adjustable desktop stand and track your voice in real-time with no-latency monitoring
  • Plug 'n Play: Set up the computer microphone in seconds with the included desktop stand or connect directly to a mic stand or boom arm and instantly start recording and streaming on Mac or PC
Best For Smartphones
Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone
9.8/10Our Score
  • Lavalier Microphone for Smartphones and Tablets
  • With Foam
  • Pop Shield
  • Mounting Clip
Best For Recording Music, Audio for Video, and Interviews
Zoom H1n Portable Recorder, Onboard Stereo Microphones, Dictation
9.7/10Our Score
  • Streamlined body with a matte finish and newly designed protective mic enclosure
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphones in 90-Degree x/Y format
  • One-touch button controls
  • Localized and intuitive menus for easy operation
  • Playback Speed control, voice emphasize filter and stereo overdubbing functions
  • Camera Mountable, Records to SD Card
  • Compact, USB Microphone

Studio Headphone

Investing in a good pair of studio headphones is crucial for any home recording setup. Not only will they help you hear your recordings more clearly, but they’ll also allow you to monitor your levels without disturbing the neighbors.

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for headphones. First, make sure they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Second, look for headphones that have a flat frequency response – this will give you a more accurate representation of how your recordings actually sound. Finally, try to find headphones that don’t leak too much sound, as this can be distracting (and even dangerous) when recording.

Best For Listening Studio Sounds
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones + Slappa Full Sized HardBody PRO Headphone Case (SL-HP-07)
9.9/10Our Score
  • PROVIDES EXCEPTIONAL CLARITY - The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones feature proprietary 45mm drivers and an extended 15Hz~28kHz frequency range. It offers a deep and accurate bass response.
  • SUPPRESSES AMBIENT NOISES - The circumaural design of the earcups perfectly contours around your ears, isolating background noise so you can enjoy listening to music more.
  • PROVIDES ONE-EAR MONITORING - Conveniently monitor your mix with a single ear thanks to the 90-degree swiveling earcups. Plus, the 3 detachable single-sided cables prevent cable-tangling.
  • OFFERS CONVENIENT PORTABILITY - The ATH-M50x has a collapsible design that allows you to save space in your backpack or handbag. Plus, the 3 detachable cables can be interchanged easily.
  • INCLUDES - Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable; 1/4" Screw-On Adapter; Carrying Pouch. Slappa Full-Sized HardBody Pro Headphone Case

Softbox

Good lighting is important for any home studio, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. A softbox light kit, like the one below, can be found easily on Amazon and will give you everything you need to get started.

Softbox lighting is ideal for home studios because it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and provides a soft, diffused light that is flattering for most people. If you can’t afford a softbox, any kind of lighting will do – even a simple desk lamp will help brighten up your space.

Best For Professionals
Fancierstudio Lighting kit Professional Digital Video Lighting Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit with Lighting Stand, 3000 Watt - (9026S3)
9.8/10Our Score
  • Fancierstudio lighting kit Professional photography quality: 15 x 45 Watt Compact Fluorescent Perfect Daylight Balance Light Bulb (equals 3000 watts)
  • The lighting kit includes Three 20" x 28" Professional Quality Softbox and Photography Lights, Softbox and three High Quality 7' Lighting Stand, 15 x 45 Watt Compact Fluorescent Perfect Daylight Balance Light Bulb (equals 3000 watts), Studio Lighting with three Premium Quality Light Socket And Power Cords (Holds Up To 5 Light Bulb), Studio Lighting Kit includes free Deluxe Carrying Case Included Able To Fit the Whole Kit In One Bag
  • These CFL light bulbs are rated for 120v by USA standards. Please make sure before buying that if your country uses 220v please do not use these bulbs they will pop or blow.
  • Benefits of lighting kit: Continuous lighting is always on, and the obvious advantage to working with continuous light sources is that unlike strobes and monolights, which take a great deal of practice to learn before you understand what changes will look like in a shot, what you’re seeing in the real world with continuous lights will closely resemble the image that you’re capturing. What you see is what you get and that makes it simple to adjust light positions and output as needed.
  • The benefit to a soft box is that it produces light that is more even than light coming from an umbrella. A softbox emulates the soft, directional lighting usually produced by natural window light. It softens and diffuses the lighting from the attached light source by transmitting the light through a diffusion panel.

External Webcam

If you plan on using your home studio for video conferencing or live streaming, an external webcam is a must. Built-in webcams are often low quality and can make you look washed out or blurry.

An external webcam will give you a much sharper image and more control over your lighting and background. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a webcam – even a mid-range option like the Logitech C920 will give you great results.

Best For Video Calling, Clear Stereo Audio, HD Light Correction
Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam, Full HD 1080p/30fps - Works with Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Hangouts, PC/Mac/Laptop/Macbook/Tablet - Black
9.9/10Our Score
  • The webcam comes with a 3-month XSplit VCam license and no privacy shutter. XSplit VCam lets you remove, replace and blur your background without a Green Screen.
  • Full HD 1080p video calling and recording at 30 fps - You’ll make a strong impression when it counts with crisp, clearly detailed, and vibrantly colored video.
  • Stereo audio with dual mics - Capture natural sound on calls and recorded videos.
  • Advanced capture software – Create and share video content easily with Logitech Capture.
  • HD lighting adjustment and autofocus - The C920x automatically fine-tunes to the lighting conditions to produce bright, razor-sharp images even if you’re in a low-light setting.
  • Mic range - Up to 3 feet (1m)

GoPro

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add some visual interest to your live streams or video calls, a GoPro camera is a great option. You can mount the camera in a variety of locations – on your desk, on a tripod, or even on your clothing – and get creative with your shots.

While it’s not necessary to have a GoPro camera for your home studio, it can be a fun addition that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Best For All-Around
GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
9.9/10Our Score
  • Revolutionary Processor: Faster. Smoother. Better. The powerful new GP2 engine changes the game—snappy performance, responsive touch controls, and double the frame rate for amazingly smooth footage. Designed specifically for the demanding nature of the GoPro, the GP2 “system on a chip” is by far our fastest ever.
  • High-Res Photos plus Videos, High Frame Rate: Step up to the sharpest-shooting GoPro ever. Upgraded to incredible 23MP photos and 5.3K video resolution at 60fps, HERO10 offers double the frame rate for amazingly smooth motion. Plus, there’s 8x slo-mo at 2.7K and you can pause videos and grab 15.8MP still photos from 5.3K video that look amazing.
  • Unbelievable Image Quality: Shoot with fine detail, realistic textures, and stunning contrast, even in low light. Images look their best thanks to a new water-shedding hydrophobic lens cover that repels water while helping to eliminate lens flare and other artifacts.
  • HyperSmooth 4.0: HyperSmooth has never been smoother, and it’s easy to dial in the best stabilization at all times. Plus, get even better low-light performance and horizon leveling with a higher tilt limit, so your footage looks perfectly straight when you want it.
  • Fast, Reliable Connectivity: Super easy, super fast. Transferring photos and videos from your cloud-connected GoPro to your phone is simple and versatile, with your choice of an effortless wireless upload via the Quik app or a lightning-fast wired connection via USB. There’s also unlimited cloud storage with the hassle-free auto upload. Just plug in your camera when connected to your home Wi-Fi and the camera does the rest.

Laptop Stand

If you use a laptop for your home studio, it’s important to have a good laptop stand. This will help keep your computer cool and prevent it from overheating – something that can be a major problem with laptops.

Laptop stands also help to adjust your webcam to be placed at the right height. This is especially important if you plan on using your home studio for video conferencing, as an improper webcam placement can make you look disheveled or unprofessional.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s sure to be one that fits your needs. The below one can be a great option as this is from one of the bestseller lists.

Best For Instantly Convert Any Desk into a Stand Up Desk
Stand Steady X-Elite Pro Standing Desk Converter | Easy Lift Height Adjustable Standing Desk | No Assembly Required (28 x 20 / Black)
9.7/10Our Score
  • EASY SIT TO STAND: Raise and lower your standing desk converter quickly and quietly with the pneumatic pump-assisted lift. Simply grip the side handle and let the pump do the work! When you’re ready to sit again, grip the handle and apply downward pressure to return to a lower position.
  • PATENTED ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Say goodbye to neck and back pain! With its innovative air pump assist and slim modern frame, the patented X-Elite Pro is the perfect ergonomic solution for any home or office space.
  • SPACIOUS DESKTOP: The X-Elite Pro features a 28-inch long, single-level surface with plenty of room for your monitor, laptop, keyboard, and more! With its spacious desktop, yet compact footprint, this desk converter fits perfectly on any workspace!
  • SLEEK & STURDY CONSTRUCTION: With its minimalist cherry frame, the X-Elite Pro is sure to add a high-end feel to any home or office space. The durable metal base ensures your desk converter won’t wobble while you work – while supporting up to 20 lbs!
  • FULLY ASSEMBLED: Let’s be honest, no one likes assembling furniture - that’s why we made the process so simple for you. Just open the box, place the X-Elite Pro on your existing desk, and you’re done! It’s that easy.

Green Screen Backdrop

A green screen backdrop is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your home studio. With a green screen, you can easily change your background to anything you want – whether it’s a virtual cityscape or a beach sunset.

Green screens are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. You can find them online or at your local camera store. If you want it online, consider the ePhoto Studio Green Screen Backdrop Kit (10×12 Feet) as it is one of the top-rated ones currently.

Best For Green Screen Videography
ePhoto 10' X 12' Video Photography Studio Chroma Key Chromakey Green Screen Cotton Muslin Backdrop Seamless and Background Supporting System Kit with Carrying Case by Ephoto INC 901+10x12G
9.8/10Our Score
  • Stands Extend to 8 feet height/Opens up to 10 ft wide
  • 3 x sectional cross bars
  • 2 x 8 ft supporting stands
  • FREE carrying case for the background stand
  • 1 x 10 X 12 ft Chroma Key green Muslin Backdrop

Final Verdict

If you’re on a budget, or just starting out in your home studio, we hope these recommendations help get you started. Remember to subscribe to our weekly newsletter “Instrument Insight Insider” below for more helpful tips like this, as well as product reviews, artist interviews, and more!

By subscribing, you will also get our institute’s premium materials worth $97. Thanks for reading!

Author | Recording Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Steven P. Frizzell is from Kinston, NC. He's 37 years old and currently works as a recording gear expert at Instrument Insight. Steven has an amazing understanding of recording gears, and related equipment - their materials, build quality, and versatility. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of various recording gear manufacturing brands. This makes him one of the most sought-after experts in the industry!

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