If you want a professional mix with plenty of depth, reverb is crucial. But picking the right one can be tricky!
With countless plugins on the market, finding what you need is no easy feat.
To help you spot the right plugin quicker, we’ve put together this list: The 13 BEST Reverb Plugins of 2021.
We’ve even split them up by what they’re best at and how much they cost!
Contents Even if you have all the right software and tools, your music could still sound amateur. That’s why Musician on a Mission has created this new free masterclass for people who want the entire framework for making radio-ready music at home. Inside are the only 7 steps you need to go through if you want your mixes to sound professional. So, if you just want a shortcut to pro-quality mixes, watch this free masterclass now:
But Gear isn’t Everything
Even if you have all the right software and tools, your music could still sound amateur.
That’s why Musician on a Mission has created this new free masterclass for people who want the entire framework for making radio-ready music at home.
Inside are the only 7 steps you need to go through if you want your mixes to sound professional.
So, if you just want a shortcut to pro-quality mixes, watch this free masterclass now:
But if you just want to learn about Reverb Plugins specifically, keep reading.
A Quick Note…
It’s worth mentioning that none of the companies who create these reverb plugins are paying us to do so.
This article isn’t an advertisement for any one plugin maker. After trying out tons of different options, these are the ones we felt were the cream of the crop.
To help you find the right reverb quickly, here are some buttons you can use to zero in on the right match.
Just click on the button that matches your budget and the page will only show you options in that price range.
We’ve also picked out the best plugins for various instruments. Click on the button(s) for the instrument(s) you need a solid reverb for.
What Price Range Are You Looking For?
What Instrument(s) Do You Need it for?
Altiverb (€499 – €849)
Recommended for: Room Reverbs, Guitars, Drums, and Cool Effects
If you want to know what your vocals would sound like in the Taj Mahal, convolution reverbs will let you do just that.
And Altiverb is an incredible offering.
They’ve packed this plugin with tons of great room reverbs. Whether you want the sound of a pristine studio or a noisy arena, Altiverb has you covered.
You can use it on anything, but I’m particularly fond of how it sounds on drums and acoustic guitar. There are so many presets that all sound beautifully realistic.
Drums with Altiverb:
You can even choose where in the room you want the sound to come from. Creating a 3D stereo image is a snap with this plugin.
Static Mix Without Reverb:
Static Mix with Altiverb:
It’s also great for weird effects.
They’ve recorded the reverb of all sorts of strange spaces. So if you want to hear what your guitar would sound like in Alcatraz Prison, Altiverb will let you do that.
Weighing in at over $550 for the standard version, Altiverb is not cheap. If you’re new to convolution reverb, you should get a cheaper one first.
But if you’re already a convolution reverb pro, Altiverb is super high quality.
IQ Series Reverb (€149.90)
Recommended for Guitars, Cool Effects and Ambience
I love how this reverb sounds on guitars, pads and background textures.
It’s got this ethereal tone that leaves me wondering, “What exactly is that sound?” IQ-Series adds an alluring mystique to the high end of a mix.
You can also get some really cool effects using the Cut and Gate tools.
These are two different ways of gating the reverb. You can use them for weird, glitchy effects or to get a classic, ‘80s snare sound.
It’s also super easy to load your own impulse responses (aka IR’s). Just drag and drop them into the plugin!
If you’ve already got some favorite IRs that you don’t want to lose, IQ-Series has you covered.
The positioner tool lets you change where the sound is coming from in the stereo field.
Want it to sound like coming from the back left side of a cathedral? You can use IQ’s positioner to place it there!
The only downside of the IQ Reverb is its interface. It’s a bit confusing at first glance.
It’s a great plugin, but you’ll definitely want to watch some tutorials before you try to use it.
It’s also worth noting that convolution reverbs can be expensive. But IQ Series is pretty affordable!
Guitar With IQ Series Reverb:
Recommended for Electronic Music, Drums, Cool Effects and Ambience
Kleverb is an algorithmic reverb that sounds great on drums, ambient textures, and electronic tracks.
Original Drum Recording:
Drums With Kleverb:
It’s not the most realistic sounding reverb, but that’s not always what you want!
Kleverb lets you mix between early and late reflections.
You can easily automate your reverb to sound close during one section and far during another. All you have to do is move a single knob.
There’s also a ducker for when you want the reverb to be quieter when the instrument is playing. This is a great way to make sure your reverb isn’t taking up too much space in the mix.
You can also use the ducker to get that cool gated snare sound that’s making a comeback.
Kleverb is perfect for ethereal, far away stuff. And the extra features make it easy to add subtle changes that will keep your listeners engaged.
You just have to be careful with resonances.
Kleverb can end up sounding a little metallic due to some high mid resonance. But some simple EQing should help!
It also looks great. Sure, looks can be superficial when it comes to audio. But a well designed interface can go a long way in encouraging creativity!
All in all, Kleverb is a really solid reverb that’s easy to use and is super affordable.
Electronic Mix without Reverb:
Electronic Mix with Kleverb:
Valhalla Room ($50)
Recommended for Strings, Piano, Cool Effects and Ambience
Valhalla Room from Valhalla DSP is an industry legend.
Throw any preconceptions about digital reverbs out the window. This plugin sounds lush and realistic.
You may not realize it, but you’ve heard this reverb in the scores for tons of major films. Valhalla Room is a favorite of composers writing for orchestras and symphonies.
Valhalla Room is terrific for creating big, open spaces that sound rich and believable. This makes it a must-have for anyone mixing strings, choirs, woodwinds, and horns.
Original Orchestra Recording:
Orchestra with Valhalla:
At first, these strings sounded a little flat. But by adding Valhalla Room onto them, they feel fuller and more 3 dimensional.
It also sounds great on piano and anything that needs a big ambient sound.
Original Piano Recording:
Piano with Valhalla Room:
You can mix between early and late reflections, so dialing in the room size is pretty easy.
I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s super affordable, and it sounds great on anything with a clean tone.
UAD’s EMT 140 ($199)
Recommended for Everything
Many have tried to emulate the iconic sound of EMT 140, but none have come as close as UAD.
UAD’s EMT 140 sounds absolutely gorgeous.
I think where it shines is in matching the tone of instruments. Whether you’re mixing biting vocals, airy guitars, or crisp drums, the EMT 140 sounds great on the all.
The only downside of the EMT 140 is its price. In order to use it, you need to own an audio interface from UAD. And those things aren’t exactly cheap.
But if you already have a UAD interface, the EMT 140 is well worth the extra money.
PSP Springbox ($99)
Recommended for Guitar and Cool Effects
If you’re mixing electric guitar, you need a solid spring reverb. Especially if you’re recording guitar with a Direct Input.
Luckily for you, Springbox from PSP exists!
It’s modeled after high-end spring reverb units you’d only find in expensive studios. PSP has brought the tools of the pros into the digital age.
Original Guitar Recording:
Guitar with Springbox:
The Springbox isn’t just for guitars though. You can create tons of weird, trippy effects by running different instruments through a spring reverb.
And if you’re inspired by punk or reggae from the ‘70s and ‘80s, try putting spring reverb on your snare.
Original Drum Recording:
Adding Springbox to the Snare:
With low CPU usage and plenty of parameters, SpringBox is a great offering for anyone in need of a spring reverb.
Recommended for EVERYTHING
If I could marry a plugin, I’d gladly propose to the TSAR-1.
Softube has knocked it out of the park with this one. It sounds believable and lush in every setting.
No matter what instrument I put it on, the TSAR-1 sounds great.
Static Mix Without Reverb:
Static Mix with TSAR-1:
And it’s super easy to use! Using a plugin shouldn’t feel like learning a new language.
There are plenty of reverbs out there with really cluttered designs that are hard to figure out.
With a simple interface and a terrific tone, the TSAR-1 makes finding the right sound a snap.
It has just enough parameters to be versatile without being confusing. No more agonizing over tiny details!
Original Guitar Recording:
Guitar with Tsar-1:
Reverb SOLO (FREE)
Recommended for Writing
I was thrilled when I found this plugin.
Reverb.com and Acon Digital have teamed up to create an incredible, FREE plugin.
Any mixer knows that adding reverb can take a while.
“Is the decay time too short?”
“Should I add more pre-delay?”
It’s easy to fall into a spiral while searching for the right tone. You end up spending hours on something that should really only take minutes.
Reverb SOLO is here to save you from mixing gridlock. With a whopping two features, Acon Digital has boiled reverb down to its absolute basics.
One knob changes the length and tone of the reverb, while the other is a simple wet/dry knob.
Sometimes maintaining your creative momentum is more important than finding the perfect tone. Reverb SOLO is perfect for those times when you just want to throw a reverb on and keep moving.
Original Piano Recording:
Piano with Reverb SOLO:
It’s free, it’s fast, and it sounds good. What more could you want?
Recommended for Electronic Music, Cool Effects and Ambience
It uses machine learning and ray tracing technology. Zynaptiq has created an unprecedented plugin.
Adaptiverb creates reverb tails that don’t get in the way of the rest of your mix.
How? By resynthesizing the original sound.
Check it out.
Here’s the original piano recording without Adaptiverb:
Piano with Adaptiverb:
And to really show you what’s going on, here’s Adaptiverb by itself:
It can add some super cool effects.
The Hold button turns the reverb tail into a droning, synth-like sound.
You can even quantize the pitch of the reverb tail to create certain harmonies.
It’s honestly more like a reverb-instrument than a regular reverb.
FabFilter Pro-R ($199)
Recommended for Vocals, Electronic Music, Piano, Strings, Writing
Pro-R from Fab Filter is an extremely transparent-sounding reverb.
A lot of the time, reverb can make your mix sound muddy if you aren’t careful. Or it may just sound unnatural and distract your listener. You won’t run into either of those problems with the Pro-R.
If your songs tend to have a lot of instruments, Pro-R would be a great choice for you.
This thing sounds crystal clear, making it perfect for vocals and instruments that sound clean.
Original Vocal Recording:
Vocal with Pro-R:
It’s also pretty light on CPU. So if you’re still writing, but you want to throw a reverb on something, the Pro-R is a solid choice!
You can use it on anything but if you write indie, pop, or electronic music, the Pro-R is perfect.
LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven ($69 – $299)
Recommended for EVERYTHING.
The Bricasti M7 is one of the most beloved hardware reverb units of all time. Reviews for the M7 are overwhelmingly positive.
There are a lot of professional producers who only use the M7. Quite the vote of confidence!
And now you can harness the sound of the M7 without dropping thousands of dollars!
Seventh Heaven uses convolution reverb to emulate the Bricasti M7. The results sound stunning.
The Seventh Heaven adds reverb that’s lush and crisp.
Check out how natural it sounds on vocals:
It’s smooth like butter and sits perfectly in the mix. It adds the extra polish needed to take a song from good to great.
Static Mix without Reverb:
Static Mix with Seventh Heaven:
Like its hardware predecessor, there are some engineers who only use the Seventh Heaven for their reverb needs. It sounds great on everything, but it’s spectacular for vocals.
They’re both great plugins, so you won’t go wrong with either.
SoundToys’ Little Plate ($99)
Recommended for Vocals, Cool Effects and Ambience
Little Plate is here for all of your plate reverb needs!
Little Plate takes plate reverb into the digital age. It surpasses the limitations of the hardware originals.
For example, the EMT 140 allows decay times between 1 and 5 seconds.
The Little Plate lets you dial in shorter and longer decay times. That expands the possibilities of plate reverb.
Original Vocal Recording:
Vocal with Little Plate:
One of the coolest parts of Little Plate is the “infinity” setting.
This gives the reverb an infinite decay time, meaning it’ll reverberate forever.
With Little Plate, you can turn any sound into a lush pad!
Original Synth Recordings:
Synths with Little Plate:
SoundToys’ Echoboy ($199)
Recommended for Vocals
Echoboy is actually a delay plugin not a reverb.
I know I know! Why put a delay plugin on a “best reverbs” list?
Something a lot of people don’t realize is that a well-chosen delay can be the perfect reverb. Especially when mixing vocals.
A solid slapback delay helps you add depth to your vocal without pushing it back in the mix. So if you want a powerful vocal sound, slapback delay is crucial!
And EchoBoy from SoundToys is especially great for vocals.
Listen to how much closer the vocal sounds when it has EchoBoy on it.
Original Static Mix:
With EchoBoy on the Vocals:
So if you want your vocals to sit perfectly in the mix, consider using a slapback delay instead of (or in addition to) a reverb plugin.
*Honorable Mention* Your Stock Reverb Plugin(s)
Don’t underestimate your stock reverbs! The plugins DAWs come with are seriously underrated.
I have a lot of premium reverbs, but I still use at least one stock reverb on every one of my mixes. They sound great, and they’re usually pretty light on CPU.
Expensive reverb plugins won’t help you if you don’t know how to use them. Getting really comfortable with your stock reverb(s) will make you a way better mixer.
Before you go out and buy a premium reverb plugin, spend some time with the one(s) that came with your DAW.
*Honorable Mention* TAL Reverb-4 (FREE)
The TAL Reverb-4 is a free plate reverb that’s perfect for anything that needs a vintage feel.
If you want the magic of a plate reverb on your tracks but don’t have the money for Little Plate or EMT 140, TAL Reverb-4 is a terrific choice!
*Honorable Mention* Waves Renaissance Reverb ($49.99)
R-Verb is also a really solid reverb. It’s especially good for guitar and vocals.
The interface leaves something to be desired, though. It’s not a very intuitive-looking plugin.
Nonetheless, you can get some great sounds out of it. So it’s worth looking into to see if you like it!
*Honorable Mention* OrilRiver 2 (FREE)
Looking for a feature-heavy plugin but don’t want to break the bank? OrilRiver has you covered!
OrilRiver comes with high-quality room and hall emulations. With 3 EQ bands, 12 options for early reflections, easy to use modulation, and more, you can tweak to your heart’s content!
Conclusion: The Best Reverb Plugins of 2021
Here are 13 of the best reverb plugins on the market:
- IQ Series Reverb
- Valhalla Room
- UAD’s EMT 140
- PSP Springbox
- Acon Reverb SOLO
- FabFilter Pro-R
- LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven
- SoundToys Little Plate
- SoundToys Echoboy
No matter what your budget is or what type of music you make, there’s something here for you.
So if you find yourself in need of another reverb, check here again to find which plugin best suits your needs!
And be sure to try the free demos of any plugin you’re thinking about buying! Most of the plugins on this list let you try before you buy, so look for a free trial before pulling out your wallet.
Here’s the thing… You could have all the right gear still end up with music that sounds amateur if you’re missing a crucial step. There is SO MUCH that goes into a good song and a professional mix. It’s actually pretty overwhelming. But what if I told you that you don’t have to be an expert (with years of experience) to make radio-ready music at home? Well… That’s the truth. It’s likely that you’ve already wasted time, money and effort on the wrong things. Most of us do. We waste years focusing on the wrong things. So, what should you focus on if you want fast results? Inside this new free masterclass, you’ll learn the secret to making radio-ready music at home. With this new approach, you’ll know exactly where to spend your time and energy. You’ll no longer feel confused and overwhelmed by the recording and mixing process. So, if you want to learn the *exact* steps that will take your mixes to a professional standard in under a year… Watch this free masterclass now:
You can Make Great Music at Home
Here’s the thing…
You could have all the right gear still end up with music that sounds amateur if you’re missing a crucial step.
There is SO MUCH that goes into a good song and a professional mix. It’s actually pretty overwhelming.
But what if I told you that you don’t have to be an expert (with years of experience) to make radio-ready music at home?
That’s the truth.
It’s likely that you’ve already wasted time, money and effort on the wrong things. Most of us do. We waste years focusing on the wrong things.
So, what should you focus on if you want fast results?
Inside this new free masterclass, you’ll learn the secret to making radio-ready music at home.
With this new approach, you’ll know exactly where to spend your time and energy. You’ll no longer feel confused and overwhelmed by the recording and mixing process.
So, if you want to learn the *exact* steps that will take your mixes to a professional standard in under a year…
Watch this free masterclass now: