Vibration isolation methods that vary damping and stiffness have demonstrated excellent authority over system vibration, thus, potentially making them attractive for many applications. However, conventional devices for controlling variable stiffness are typically complicated and difficult to implement in most applications. To address this issue, a new method is proposed that requires two magnetorheological (MR) fluid dampers placed in series. With this configuration, variable damping and stiffness vibration control is simultaneously achieved by varying a small current to the MR dampers. This paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of a two degree-of-freedom system that is controlled by the MR dampers. Five different control schemes involving the variable damping and stiffness are explored. The time and frequency responses of the two degree-of-freedom system to a random input show that combined variable damping and stiffness control provides the best vibration isolation over a frequency range spanning the system’s two structural vibration modes. The experimental results agree well with the theoretical analysis.

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