- What Is a Pop Filter?
- What are The Types of Pop Filters?
- Why You Need a Pop Filter?
- Understanding Plosives
- 7 Best Pop Filters To Try Out
Podcasting is a world full of its own terminology and one that you will see around a lot is the word pop filter. You must be wondering what is a pop filter, and why it keeps appearing on multiple lists of essentials needed to record your podcast with ease.
A podcast is as good as the audio quality and of course the content. However, for the content to shine you need some equipment, to begin with. A pop filter is one such thing. You might have even actually seen it in videos of people singing. So, what is it and why do you need one?
1. What Is a Pop Filter?
If you are wondering what it is, you should know that it is a noise protection filter used with microphones. It helps reduce and, in some cases, completely eliminate the popping noise that is caused when the air hits the microphone by dispensing the disruptive sound. It is key in minimizing the impact of plosives on your audio that occur when you are recording.
They are usually made with one or two layers of woven nylon or metal mesh. These are materials that are considered to be acoustically semi-transparent i.e. they do not cause any major difference in how you sound.
2. What are The Types of Pop Filters?
2.1. Metal Mesh
This type is created with a metal screen. These are comparatively expensive, but the price is justified considering that they allow for a more fine-tuned sound of varying frequencies to pass through while helping reduce and eliminate plosive sounds.
2.2. Nylon Mesh
The next type is the nylon mesh filter. This one is created with the help of woven nylon stretched over a circular frame. These are inexpensive and highly effective. You can even DIY your own pop filter with the help of some pantyhose if you are on a budget. The only drawback of these is that it dampens some of the high frequencies.
2.3. Foam Mesh
These are pop filters that come attached to the microphones directly. You will generally find this kind of pop filter attached to the outdoor boom and lapel mics. In terms of effectiveness, they aren’t as effective at reducing the sounds as the other ones on the list.
3. Why You Need a Pop Filter?
You need one to help reduce the popping sound that is created when a microphone is subjected to increased air pressure. This happens because of two reasons, first is that words that start with the word “P” cause you to expel more air which causes the microphone to overload, and similarly if someone laughs there is more air pressure.
The second reason is hygiene. This acts as a barrier between the user and the microphone and helps the speaker’s saliva from entering the microphone which is a good thing, especially from the cleanliness point of view.
4. Understanding Plosives
Plosives are the sound that comes out when a speaker pronounces breath-heavy consonants like Pa, Ba, Fa, Ta, and Ka. When a vocalist speaks words featuring these common consonants, the air released hits the microphone’s capsule directly which causes windy sounds or if it is stronger then there is a popping sound.
5. 7 Best Pop Filters To Try Out
5.1. Nady MPF-6
Nady MPF-6 is the best-selling pop filter and for good reason. This durable filter features a stabilizing arm which makes it easy to attach to any mic that you might be using. The extra-long flexible gooseneck is instrumental in ensuring that you are able to set the pop filter the way you want to. It is made with a double mesh cover that ensures that you get a clear distinct sound.
5.2. Avantone Pro PS-1 Pro-Shield
Avantone Pro PS-1 Pro-Shield is a pop filter that features an all-metal construction. Instead of the usual circular frame, this particular frame has a curved shape that follows the natural grill shape of studio mics to give not only better acoustic results but also provide a better aesthetic look. So, if you are someone who records the video of your podcast this is a great investment.
5.3. Proscreen XL Metal Pop Filter
If you are looking for something that works well for both podcasting and recording music then you need to check out the Proscreen XL Metal Pop Filter. This metal pop filter features an adjustable gooseneck, which allows you to fit it into your studio setup with ease. The mixed metal helps retain the integrity of your sound while capturing frequencies across the spectrum.
5.4. On-Stage ASFSS6-GB Dual Screen Microphone Pop Filter
Usually, you will find that your pop filter has a single mesh screen but the On-Stage ASFSS6-GB Dual Screen Microphone Pop Filter is different. It has two mesh screens with a tiny gap between the two. This ensures that you get double the protection when you are recording a podcast. This pop filter comes with a gooseneck with a simple C-clamp at the bottom allowing for easy positioning wherever you are.
5.5. WindTech PopGuard 2000
If you are looking for a pop filter that you can just attach to your mic and does not stand out the way standard gooseneck pop filters do, then you need to get a WindTech PopGuard 2000. This pop filter has elastic bands to help secure it to the mic. Once you snap it on, you don’t even have to adjust it again. The pop filter features an acoustically transparent screen. The screen is hydrophobic as well ensuring moisture does not enter the mic at any time.
Pop filters are usually made keeping in mind a studio set, one used for recording music and vocals. But InnoGear Microphone Pop Filter has been created keeping in mind desktop mics which are usually used by podcasters. The pop filter features a clamp at the bottom which helps it attach to any flat surface which is the ideal solution if you are working with a desktop mic.
It has a swivel mount at the bottom which makes it easy to install. You get double protection with a dual mesh layer. The first layer removes all the plosives and breathing noises. The second works to disperse any additional air that might still be left.
5.7. MXL Mics Microphone Pop Filter
For podcasters who do a lot of traveling with their setup the MXL Mics Pop Filter is a good investment. The pop filter features a compact design that makes it easy to transport and store. It is created with the help of a double layer of mesh that is effective in reducing the plosive sounds as well as unwanted background noise that might seep through.
Also if you are a podcaster who is starting out their podcasting journey this is a budget-friendly option in the market.
Is a pop filter necessary?
No, a pop filter is not necessary but it is recommended especially if you are just starting your podcasting journey. As plosive sounds occur naturally while we speak and this is the best way to ensure that you minimize them and create less of a problem when you are editing your podcast.
What does a pop filter even do?
A pop filter helps reduce the plosive sounds that occur and causes your microphone to overload.
Does a pop filter change your voice?
No, a pop filter does not change your voice.
Do pop filters reduce sound quality?
No, a pop filter does not reduce the sound quality, it does however dampen the brightness of your sound. But that is also dependent on the kind of filter you decide to use.
How often should you clean a pop filter?
You should clean your pop filter every month. You can do this with the help of a damp cloth in the case of a metal pop filter and if you have a mesh filter you can clean it on a gentle cycle and then dry it out.