DBX 286s vs Cloudlifter Incredible Comparison

Buy The Cloudlifter

Buy The DBX 286s

So, what is the difference between the DBX 286s and the Cloudlifter? Well, simply put, the Cloudlifter only provides clean gain. The only function of the Cloudlifter is to provide clean unaltered gain. Most people who are getting a Cloudlifter are getting it for a dynamic mic such as the SM7B. What about the DBX 286s? The DBX 286s provides clean gain and it also provides some nice processing features such as compression, EQ, dessing, and a gate. So why would you get one over the other? Lets dive in a little bit deeper here.

Benefits Of The Cloudlifter

The benefits of getting the Cloudlifter is that you are going to have the cleanest gain possible. What this means is that you’re going to have practically zero noise when using a dynamic mic such as the SM7B. Another additional benefit of the Cloudlifter is that it is cheaper than the DBX 286s, so you are going to be saving money. These are the two big reasons you would go with a Cloudlifter over the DBX 286s. Now, lets get into why someone might purchase the DBX 286s over the Cloudlifter.

Benefits Of The DBX 286s

The benefits of getting the DBX 286s is that you are going to be able to process your audio in real time. You’re going to be able add compression, EQ, dessing, and a gate to your audio without editing it in post which is really nice for live streaming. Another benefit of the DBX 286s is that it has really good preamps so it can drive a mic like the SM7B without introducing much noise at all. However, the Cloudlifter will provide cleaner gain than the DBX 286s and will likely introduce less noise. The tradeoff being that the DBX 286s allows all of those processing features that we talked about. Being able to apply compression, EQ, dessing, and a gate really does take your audio to the next level. If you get the DBX 286s, you’ll be wondering how you’ve lived without all these processing options this whole time.

Do I Get The Cloudlifter Or The DBX 286s

Well, part of this depends on your budget. If you are on a tight budget, we recommend buying the Cloudlifter or even the Fethead. This will provide you clean gain for a cheaper price. However, if you can afford the DBX 286s, we believe that you get more bang for your buck. As we mentioned earlier, the DBX 286s will provide a really good amount of gain and it will also allow you to process your audio in real time. However, if you are not streaming, or doing something live, then the DBX 286s may not be the option for you. If that’s the case, then we recommend you pick up the Cloudlifter or the Fethead and edit your audio in post if needed. Thanks for reading. We hoped this helped clear some things up. Check out our other articles here!

Thomas Shelby – Editor/Audio Engineer