From From £109.99
(F-type £129.99)

It’s all very well having the perfect sound system, but without the right surface to stand it on, you still won’t get the optimal sound you’re looking for. For the really dedicated audio-heads, whether you work in music production or just like to appreciate your tunes at the perfect quality, there is the iRAP (Isolation-Resonance-Absorbing-Platform) by Custom Design.

You may have seen shelving or end-tables built with this sort of logic before, but they are often far bigger, chunkier set-ups. Unlike these, the design of the iRAP means it only needs 20mm of height to work, making it a versatile option that can fit in any room, whether you’re setting up a studio of your own or just want the best sounds for your home. The iRAPs are available in a variety of sizes: we received the F-type, which measures in at 430 x 300 mm, but you can request a custom size if your set-up doesn’t fit any of the builds available.

These shelves have been flying off the, well, shelves over the summer, Custom Design let us know, and we can see why. But what’s the point of this shelving, you may ask? Sound travels through vibrations, and any un-intended vibrations can ruin the sound of your music. These units are designed to absorb these vibrations to make sure that no distortion interferes with the clarity of your audio – just place these little shelves on any surface, and your hi-fi is safe from distortion. iRAPs achieve this using a special polymer material that is placed between two sheets of steel: this creates friction when vibrations pass through the unit, thus turning that energy into heat instead of movement. Science aside, it means the buzz that would pass through a usual shelf and affect your audio becomes non-existent. I didn’t think there’d be that much of a difference, but once you try it, you’ll never want to go back.

These shelves are minimalist, attractive, practical, and they work. Our iRAP had aesthetic-looking chrome feet, but you can also select brushed chrome or black isolation feet. If you’re just a casual listener, the iRAP probably isn’t worth the high price tag to you, but if you’re a true hobbyist or professional, then they are a useful, discrete must-have.

Easy to place anywhere
Size options plus custom sizes
Noticeably improves sound