29th April 2024

Another isolation platform from UK outfit IsoSlice, this time Paul Rigby looks at a couple of Blocks for your speakers

Back in October of 2023 I reviewed an isolation platform from IsoSlice, produced by recording engineer and musician, Paul Mallyon. This is basically a one-man company, based in the UK. 

This platform was and is designed to hold a turntable. It’s job is to remove vibration from the turntable itself and thus, ultimately, to lower the noise floor from the final HiFi sound output, thus improving the sound. 

I liked that platform a lot and gave it an award-winning, rating. Fireworks and all-night parties followed, as you might expect.

Now? Well IsoSlice is back with another product. This time? With something that looks very much like that turntable platform. But not.


This one is called The Block, is smaller at 230 x 180 x 65mm and is priced at £285 for the pair.

The pair? Oh yes because The Blocks are designed to sit under your speakers. 

You can see the family resemblance here, I’m sure.  

The Block features nine layers of mechanical isolation between your speakers and the surface they are supported by. Specifically? That means a combination of MDF, Poplar Plywood and acoustic foam.

More than that, each layer is of a different thickness and a different resonant frequency, damped by that acoustic foam.


And that’s basically it in terms of the tech talk. They’re pretty simple and straightforward really. 

What I’m more interested to learn is this. I know this technology works underneath a turntable but does it work under speakers? 

Let’s find out.


For this sound test section, I wanted to do two distinct but very different tests. I wanted to test The Blocks directly underneath a pair of speakers. I decided to do this is an AV set up. A very basic AV set up that I have in my office, not my living room but we’ll get to that.

I also wanted to test The Blocks positioned under a pair of speaker stands to see if they work in that manner. So I then shifted The Blocks to my very audiophile Listening Room for that test. 


You know what? Let’s do that HiFi test first. For this one, I grabbed a pair of Martin Logan 15i speakers placed those on top of a pair of HiFi Racks stands with no feet added to the stands. Tried those ‘as is’ then placed the stands on top of The Blocks.


I began with CD and Yes guitarist Steve Howe and his first archive collection, Homebrew 1 and the track The Valley of Rock. 

Inserting The Blocks underneath my speaker stands changed the positioning of the speakers themselves fundamentally in that they raised the speakers nearer to ear level which, in itself, was a good thing. But look, I could have used bricks or wooden blocks to do the same thing couldn’t I? In fact, I did prop up my stands on a set of wooden blocks to prove the point and there was a slight, very slight enhancement in terms of detail. Not a lot, though to be honest. 


Inserting the IsoSlice Blocks under the stands did change the sound for the better though, adding a heap of air and space right across the soundstage which allowed more detail to pass through to the ear. The entire band of midrange now sounded more interesting, delicate and informative while treble had an airy, fragile quality. Bass had extra punch too because it was better focused. 

I then removed the IsoSlice blocks and brought in a set of Soundeck Mk.II Mini discs, playing them undertake speaker stands instead.


To date, I have rated the Mk.II Minis as my best performing speaker stand isolation feet set in this price area so it’s worth a quick comparison. 

The Mk.II Minis use constrained damping as a means of lowering the noise floor and they did just that. I would say that the lower frequencies were superior to the IsoSlice Blocks, reducing noise and adding bass character and strength but the IsoSlice Blocks did win out in terms of midrange air, space and detail. 


So – for a laugh – I added the Soundeck Mk.II Mini discs underneath the IsoSlice blocks and added that lot underneath the speaker stands. I also turned to vinyl and Coldplay and the album Viva La Vida.


The result? Not bad but the combo does horrible things to the stereo image, creating a muddy mush in the centre of the stereo image which then wandered around no fixed point.


If you put the Mk.II Minis on top of the IsoSlice Blocks then that improves matters but you still lose some of that air and space. 

So I would decide which is most important to you, either the Mk.II Minis stronger but possibly drier bass and detailed yet less spacious mids and treble or the Isoslice’s much more spacious and detailed mids but less impactful yet more airy bass. 


I then moved to my office, placed The Blocks on my IKEA Kallax shelving system and put a pair of Spendor S3 speakers on them directly to see if the sound improved in this basic AV configuration. My rough and ready office AV system consists of a Samsung TV, Tellurium Q cabling, Rega Brio-R amp, Topping E30 DAC and Spendor S3/5R speakers. All supported, as I say, by IKEA Kallax.

To repeat, although featuring quality components, this remains a rag tag AV set up with no real audiophile pretensions in terms of the shelving or set up. I had a Kallax shelving unit, I grabbed any spare HiFi kit I could find, through them together and switched on. 

This equipment is basically moved against a wall. ‘Not getting in the way’ is the priority here, not so much sound quality. So it struggles a bit when sound is singled out. 

To begin I tried a ‘real world’ (hmm), none-audiophile source, firing up YouTube and played Eddie Grant’s Electric Avenue. Whatever happened to Eddie Grant, eh? My Spendor S3/5R speakers, to this point, had been sitting upon a set of low-cost sorbothane fruit pastels. 

Inserting the IsoSlice Blocks underneath my Spendor speakers, I was thankful for their low-footprint, neat and compact build, especially for the front-to-back nature of the design, following the deep nature of the speaker cabinet itself, because I didn’t have a great deal of spare space here.


As for the sound? Wonderful! It added life to this track, inserting desperately needed air and space into the vocal and the backing music. Before? The entire track sounded muffled, dull, lacking in clarity and as if it had been smothered with a velvet blanket. Now? Well it wasn’t perfect – this is basic Youtube we’re talking about here – but blimey, there was so much more space around the mids, bass had extra focus and the stereo image was locked dead centre now with the backing vocals planted there too instead of wandering around like a cloud in the background. 


I tried a CD in my Sony Blu-ray player. That same Steve Howe track I played earlier actually. 

And once more, the air and space around the mids brought the entire track to life, gave it extra zing and pep but also a huge amount of extra detail such as a visible tambourine on the right channel which was almost invisible before plus far more complex and layered lead guitar string plucking. 

The extra focus better arranged the stereo image while bass had good character instead of the earlier muddy boom.


So even here, in this so-so, cobbled together AV system the IsoSlice Blocks made my entire AV system come alive and made me want to listen to the music itself instead of treating it as second hand, background noise. 


The Blocks are a great implementation of the original IsoSlice turntable platform. They are also a superb addition to your HiFi or your second system you might have in a spare room or garage or your AV system. Whether that be a ‘Pro’ set up or the kind of messy system I was running. 

In fact, especially the rag tag system I was running because my AV system was not built for sonic splendour, it was built to do a basic job. Yet, the Blocks tied everything together in a bow and made it sonically pretty. For the first time, it sounded like an office entertainment system that I wanted to listen to. 

And that leads me to those of you who might be running a HiFi system with no formal HiFi shelving unit. Maybe your HiFi is spread over coffee tables, IKEA book shelves, shoved into any available space? These Blocks are made for that kind of set up. For that arrangement? These Blocks will provide a sense of quality to your HiFi sound set up, in sonic terms at least. They provide you with some freedom in how you set up your HiFi, therefore. 

This, whether you use the Blocks in AV or as part of a second HiFi system or indeed your main listening room system, be prepared for a sonic boost and fun times ahead. So then, more fireworks and late night parties for IsoSlice, methinks. 



GOOD: spacious midrange, fragile treble, small footprint, bass focus, detailed performance

BAD: bass impact