10 of the best reverb plugins in 2023 to give you a spacious sound
Discover the top 10 reverb plugins in 2023 that will transform your audio production. From lush halls to vintage plates, find the perfect reverb for your sound in our comprehensive guide.
Reverb is a vital, complex, and often misunderstood tool in the world of audio production. Making matters more confusing, there’s a veritable glut of reverb plug-ins to choose from out there. Finding the right one can be a daunting task. So, in this article, we'll take a deep dive into 10 of the best reverb plugins from iZotope, Native Instruments, and Plugin Alliance – each with its own unique flair – and help you make the correct decisions for your productions.
How can reverb enhance your sound?
Reverb can add a sense of naturalistic ambiance, taking you to a literal church or a vast canyon. The effect can also evoke bygone eras or classic genres: a particular plate verb can sound like an old Christmas album, while the right Lexicon emulation will bring your synth back to the 1980s. Then there is the good old-fashioned utility of reverb in general and these plug-ins in particular: a little verb, carefully chosen, can bolster a dry tom, help a snare drum cut through the mix, or provide some much-needed depth.
All of these objectives depend on whether or not you understand how to use which reverb. Each of the verbs we’ll cover below has its own use, so you should get a lot of mileage out of this piece.
Still, we have one more thing to cover before we get down to the proceedings – a question we see coming in time and time again.
What is the best reverb sound?
There is no reverb that will work on everything 100% of the time – or rather, if there is, neither I nor anyone else in the universe has found it. It’s better to think of reverb as a specific spice for the specific dish you’re mixing today.
Just as you’re not going to put cumin in Spaghetti Bolognese (at least I hope not), you wouldn’t put a spring reverb tank on top of a trad-jazz piano.
The “best” reverb is the one that complements your mix, enhances the mood, and supports the song's narrative. Everything from the decay time of the reverb to its intangible character matter. It's always about finding the reverb that makes your music shine.
The top ten reverb plugins of 2023
Discover the top 10 reverb plugins of 2023, each offering unique and powerful tools for shaping and enhancing your audio productions.
Apart from its overall clean and pleasant sound, iZotope Neoverb offers two things that set it apart from the common reverb. First is its Reverb Assistant, which automatically sets up the reverb for you. You can describe the sound you're looking for, and the Assistant will suggest parameters like reverb style, pre-delay, and more, making it easier for you to achieve your desired reverb sound.
The other cool thing about Neoverb: it lets you blend among three different reverbs at any one time using a handy-dandy XYZ matrix. Mix just the amount of ambiance with a plate and a large chamber to create the perfect verb for your particular track.
Observe the adjustments you can make to your reverb sound in the video below as we explore the settings:
Neoverb provides a built-in EQ module specifically designed for reverb. This feature allows you to shape the tonal characteristics of the reverb tail, which is essential for ensuring that the reverb complements the source audio. You can control the reverb's low and high-frequency content to tailor it to your specific needs.
Bottom line: Neoverb is a fantastic choice for when you want a clean and modern sound with a no-fuss user experience.
Inside Nectar 4 you’ll find a reverb modeled on a classic EMT™ 140ST Stereo Plate Reverb – though it has mojo all its own, adding natural space and character to your vocal. As the manual notes, the decay time of the reverb changes across the frequency bands, which contributes to its useful color.
The width control is also particularly handy for easily slotting the reverb into the right spot. Observe the before and after audio examples:
Vocal Reverb with Nectar
Nectar also comes with a variety of presets with reverb included, which can serve as starting points for different vocal styles and music genres. It also has an AI-powered Vocal Assistant that can help you get a great reverb sound as well as additional dynamics processing.
Bottom line: Nectar’s reverb is a plate with modern color and charm. When you need a pop vocal or snare to cut through with class, this is the one to choose.
3. Stratus 3D
Imagine a Lexicon reverb fully brought into the 21st century with an unbelievable amount of control, and you’d be picturing Stratus 3D. Perfect for mixers, sound designers, and post-production engineers alike, Stratus excels in generating clean algorithmic reverbs that can be placed into many situations.
The “3D” part of the name implies immersion – and boy does Stratus deliver, with support for up to 24 channels. Definitely break out this plug-in for your next Atmos project.
Vocal Reverb with Stratus
Bottom line: if you want a modern reverb sound with a high degree of control and Atmos compatibility, try Stratus.
4. Symphony 3D
Right off the bat, Symphony 3D offers a stunning array of presets – and its customization options are just as extensive as Stratus. Symphony 3D feels tailor-made for classical music, orchestration, and any production that craves symphonic, larger-than-life reverb spaces.
Extensive multichannel support is available to users who prefer to work in Atmos or any of the other immersive formats.
This reverb adds a touch of grandeur to your audio projects: just listen to what the default setting does to this mix.
Reverb with Symphony
Bottom line: if you’re looking for big beautiful spaces that sound lush and expensive, Symphony 3D is for you. Multi-channel support is also on hand.
Synth Reverb with RC 24
6. RC 48
Like the RC 24, this reverb emulates another classic reverb from the vintage era, but this one offers a cleaner counterpart to RC 24’s grittier vibe.
RC 48 is a great tool for adding a sense of depth to instruments, OR for adding dramatic flair to big ballads. Observe what it does to this drum kit:
Drum Reverb with RC 48
Raum is way more than a reverb. Its pre-delay – which offers its own feedback control – can be utilized apart from its reverb tank, so you can create textural delays.
The same goes for its modulation: turn the reverb down, and you can still get a lot out of its time-based and frequency-based mod effects. All of this contributes to a reverb that would satisfy even the most discerning sound designer.
Vocal Reverb with Raum
8. Guitar Rig 7 Pro
If you’re looking for some of the best reverbs in the game right now, they can be found in Guitar Rig. In fact, Raum, RC 48 and RC 24 are all available within Guitar Rig 7 Pro. It truly carries more reverbs than you can conceive of using in one project.
One of the best, in my humble opinion, is the spring reverb, which sounds fantastic on everything from vocals to guitar:
Guitar Reverb with Guitar Rig
Bottom line: if you want as many great-sounding reverbs in one plugin as you can find, this is the one to get.
bx_rooMS by Brainworx has a lot going for it. Its core algorithm comes from Fiedler Audio, a company well-known for smooth reverb algorithms in the post-production space. Extensive mid/side tweaking is made possible by the Brainworx team, a pioneer in M/S DSP. The result is a verb with deep controls over stereo perception.
The GUI is tailor-made for those steeped on classic hardware units from the vintage digital era, so if you love fiddling around with esoteric hardware pieces this one is a real treat to use. Finally, its CPU hit is rather low. Only good taste can limit how frequently you slap this thing across your tracks.
Drum Reverb with bx_rooMS
TAILS by Unfiltered Audio is designed for people who want to push the boundaries of what a reverb can do. With extensive modulation options, bit-crushing possibilities, multiple reverb algorithms, and easily definable MIDI linkup, this verb is perfect for achieving experimental and evolving soundscapes.
Vocal Reverb with TAILS
Get depth and character in your mix with reverb
Whether you seek realism, creative experimentation, or simplicity, these top reverb plugins offer a rich palette of sonic possibilities, ensuring that your productions are immersive and spacious. We hope this guide gives you a solid understanding of the incredible reverb tools we have to choose from in 2023.