Whether your home studio is designed for music production, podcasts, or YouTube content, a clean and spotless vocal capture is a priority across the board, and you need the best pop filter for that!
There are many factors to consider when aiming for a professional voice recording.
Your choice of microphone is the obvious ingredient to wow the audience. However, it isn’t all about the mic! In this article, we will look at the unsung hero in your studio kit.
Today you will discover the best pop filter to suit you.
The humble pop filter is a low-cost solution to minimize the number of unwanted vocal artifacts entering your microphone. It is a common mistake to neglect this studio essential from your rig.
Plosives and vocal pops are hugely detrimental to your production, and will ultimately detract from your voice. They are a telltale sign of an amateur recording. A pop filter, also known as a pop shield or pop screen, is your device to combat this annoyance.
Pristine vocals are not the only benefit. The use of a pop filter may improve the lifespan of your microphone. Human saliva contains a corrosive salt that can damage mic components. So if you love microphones as much as us, we salute the pop filter!
With pops and plosives banished from your production, you’ll be looking into a future of clean tracks and content.
Let’s take a look.
Do You Need A Pop Filter? Or Is Frank Sinatra’s Secret Weapon Enough?
The introduction of the ribbon microphone in the 1930s massively impacted the world of audio recording. Frequencies that had previously been unrecordable were now able to be captured.
Frank Sinatra was quick to embrace the new freedom, and became a master of the studio microphone. He doctored his singing style to get the best of this new audio phenomenon.
Was sibilance a problem?
The ability to capture more frequencies obviously came with its issues for recording engineers. That is… unless you were recording ‘Ol Blue Eyes,’ who had a secret weapon.
Not only did Sinatra work the microphone for performance purposes, he would tilt his head or move away from the mic to minimize sibilance. He was in full control of plosives… without a pop filter in sight.
However, with microphones improving in sensitivity, even the most accomplished of vocalists and engineers have turned to the pop filter.
Frank Sinatra himself has been pictured in a studio with a pop filter roughly taped to a mic as early as the 1960s.
The pop filter has been waging war on plosives for years. From wire coat hangers with stretched pantyhose, to the latest technology, the pop filter’s mission for clean vocals rages on.
So let’s find your weapon of choice.
In This Article
- Top Pick: Stedman PS101
- Runner Up: Shure PS-6
- Best Budget: AUPHONIX Microphone Pop Filter (MPF-1)
- Best Pop Filter For Blue Yeti: Blue The Pop Filter
- Hook Studios OCTO – 842S
- Avantone PS-1 PRO-SHIELD
- Nady SSPF-4 Spider Shockmount with Filter
- Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter
- On-Stage ASFSS6-GB
- Nady MPF-6
- Sywon Pop Filter
The 11 Best Pop Filters
|Top Pick||Stedman PS101|
|Runner Up||Shure PS-6|
|Best Budget||AUPHONIX Microphone Pop Filter (MPF-1)|
|Best Pop Filter For Blue Yeti||Blue The Pop Universal Pop Filter|
Top Pick: Stedman PS101
Founded in 1992, Stedman is quickly becoming a market leader in studio accessories. Their emphasis on build quality is affirmed by their lifetime warranty on all products.
This metal pop filter has become a popular choice for its ability to eliminate bursts on vocal recordings. While visually the pop filter doesn’t reinvent the wheel, the unique patented filter material is what sets the Stedman PS101 apart from the crowd.
The 4.6-inch diameter metal screen doesn’t just diffuse vocal bursts, but redirects unwanted airflow away from your microphone. It is so effective that the filter will clean up even close vocal work.
Its effectiveness at cleaning your vocals is not where the charm ends. For voice work, the PS101 maintains crucial detail in your voice, leaving you with an uncolored replication that doesn’t detract from the gleam of your microphone.
The heavy-duty gooseneck measures 13 inches long and is as flexible as they come. Optimal positioning will not be a concern, and as you maneuver it, it will produce surprisingly little noise.
The Stedman PS101 is one of the leading pop filters on the market. And with its warranty, it will continue to deliver for years to come. It screams ‘long term investment,’ and usually priced below $40, it is hard to not crown it as a top pick.
Stedman PS101 Key Features:
- Weight: 5.8 oz.
- Total Length: 20”
- Screen Diameter: 4.6”
- Flexible Gooseneck: 13″
- Includes: Lifetime Warranty
- Unique Patented Metal Screen
- Adjustable Clamp Opening Diameter: 5″
- It can be cleaned with detergent and hot water.
Runner Up: Shure PS-6
Naming a pop filter a ‘popper stopper’ is worthy of praise alone. Not only is marketing genius at play here, the Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper also does the job at hand. This is why it has been awarded the Editor’s runner-up gong.
It is a versatile piece of kit, with the clamp capable of attaching to almost any mic stand or boom arm.
Once attached, the gooseneck comes into play and can be moved around the microphone with ease to suit your purpose. Once in place, it is durable enough to keep its position without any fuss.
So what makes the Popper Stopper unique?
That will be the double layer protection. The two layers each have two shields of material that will ultimately prevent p’s and b’s from reaching your microphone.
The science behind the pop filter isn’t the stuff of NASA, so it doesn’t take rocket scientists to realize with not one, but four layers in total, the PS-6 will give improved protection against plosives.
When singing or broadcasting, you may feel the need to position your mouth perfectly in line with the microphone capsule for the most effective production. With four layers at work, quite amazingly, you can see through the pop filter to position your voice for optimal capture.
The Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper is a great choice. With its durable gooseneck and effective filters, it performs wonderfully. If you’d prefer the traditional nylon method of reducing pops and clicks, look no further.
Shure Ps-6 Key Features:
- Weight: 1.175 lb
- Adjustable Clamp
- Total Length: 15.4″
- Screen Diameter: 6″
- Four Layer 6” screen
- Flexible Gooseneck: 14″
Best Budget: AUPHONIX Microphone Pop Filter (MPF-1)
Are the top picks out of your budget? Before you consider going DIY and darting off to your local Walmart in search of a pair of pantyhose, let’s have a look at the budget option.
The Auphonix MPF-1 certainly comes at a tempting price. But how does it perform?
This affordable pop filter will ease plosives, hissing, pops, and thuds, leaving your voice the focus of your content. Although the double layer nylon mesh filter minimizes unwanted sounds, it does not detract from your voice.
The gooseneck is strong and reliable to give extra contrasts during those all-important vocal recordings or live broadcasts.
All things considered, the MPF-1 gives you value for the money.
It will clean up vocal audio for YouTube videos, music recordings, or podcasts. Once you apply this pop filter, all you’ll be left with is improved professionalism in your production, and a few extra dollars in your pocket.
MPF-1 Key Features:
- Adjustable Clamp
- Total Length: 11.8″
- Screen Diameter: 6”
- Flexible Gooseneck
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Double Layer Nylon Mesh Filter
Best Pop Filter For Blue Yeti: Blue The Pop Universal Pop Filter
The Pop is a chic and stylish number. It is sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of daily use while it executes its role perfectly, filtering unwanted air rushes. Paired with any Blue microphone, you'll be producing in style.
The Blue Yeti microphone is one of the most common mics for use with gaming, podcasting, 7and broadcast applications.
Although this pop filter is for use with all microphones, it could be the perfect match for your Blue Yeti.
Blue products are instantly recognizable. They always look the part! If you want to take it further, this is your Blue Yeti pop filter to take sleekness to a new level.
Looks aside, The Pop is a high-quality windscreen. Clamp to any mic stand and position, then you are ready to rock and roll. The wire mesh grill and the durable frame will deliver years of performance.
The Pop Key Features:
- Weight: 11.7 ounces
- Pop Filter Blue Yeti Design
- Easily Clamp to Mic Stand
- For Use With Any Microphone
There are plenty of options when in search for the perfect pop filter. And to be honest, our top picks merely scraped the surface. Now let’s take a look at some other pop filters that didn’t quite make our top picks, but that are still well worthy of honorable mention.
However, if you are using small diaphragm condenser microphones, this unique pop filter will help you deliver your vocal projects with precision. If the price is not a concern, you can marvel at the use of innovative technology the likes of which you haven’t seen before!
OCTO 842S Key Features:
- Aluminum Frame
- Double Layer Protection
- Acoustex Screens: 0.187″ Air Space
- Designed for small diaphragm front address microphones.
The filter has a curved surface to follow the grill shape of most microphones… which yields beautiful results.
With an all-metal construction, this is one of the best pop filters you could wish for in this price range. The last string to the bow is a five-year warranty. The Avantone PS-1 will not only excel now, but will continue to do so for many years to come.
Avantone PS 1 Key Features:
- Curved Filter Surface
- All-Metal Construction
- Includes: 5 Year Warranty
- The Pro-Shield Filter is constructed for sonically superb results.
If you like your recording space tidy, the SSP4-4 combines both a shock mount and a pop filter in one tidy package. The shock mount reduces unwanted low-end rumble with its 8 point suspension mount, while the metal manufactured pop filter expertly protects from plosives.
It is a great piece of design by Nady. The pop filter’s curvature makes for productivity in a stylish all-in-one package.
SSPF-4 Key Features:
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Rotatable Pop Filter
- Eight Point Suspension
- Pinch Clamp Holder Fits Any Microphone (53mm)
- Two In One: Shockmount with Integrated Pop Filter
Diffused unwanted air rushes from the voice downwards and away from the microphone, so you can expect a professional and polished vocal recording.
So what is the difference between the Stedman PS101 and the Proscreen XL?
You guessed it. The XL is bigger. It is also longer in length for more versatility, and with a bigger screen diameter. The Proscreen XL is going to level up your audio.
Proscreen XL Key Features:
- Weight: 10 oz
- Total Length: 26.5″
- Screen Diameter: 6.125″
- Clamp range: .39 inches to .925 inches
- Patented Metal Stedman Pop Filter Design
When those annoying airbursts arrive at the first layer, they are diffused… and then the open space cleverly disperses the air pressure before finally tidying up at the last hurdle.
Considering how sturdy the gooseneck is, and how effectively the two pop filters work, this is a great choice for the price.
ASFSS6-GB Key Features:
- 11.5″ Gooseneck
- Screen Diameter: 6″
- Duel Nylon Diffusers
- C-Clamp For Mic Stand Attachment
But what about performance?
If you have been recording without pop filters, the Nady MPF-6 will give your productions an audible improvement.
It isn’t the most innovative of pop filters we have reviewed, but it does everything you need! It stops plosives, and the all-metal gooseneck is extremely durable.
For the price of a pair of pantyhose and an embroidery hoop, you can have this pop filter delivered. It is a great budget option, usually priced under $15.
Nady MPF-6 Key Features:
- Weight: 11.2oz
- Screen Diameter: 6″
- Gooseneck Length: 13″
- Screen Rotation 360 Degrees
The filter wraps around the microphone, giving excellent protection. It is a top alternative to the traditional large pop filters on the market.
There is no gooseneck. Just attach the elastic around the mic and away you go with cleaner vocal reproduction.
Sywon Key Features:
- Weight: 30g
- Color: Black
- Fits 45mm – 63mm Diameter Microphones
- Material: Metal and Foam Sponge Pop Filters
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Really Need A Pop Filter?
It is highly advised that you use a pop filter for any project that involves recording vocals. Due to the sensitivity of a condenser microphone, they are likely to pick up the pops and clicks.
Some instances may not require the use of a pop filter. Beatboxers are known to use pops and clicks to their advantage, for example.
Dynamic microphones may also have built-in pop filters to minimize the need. Many of these types of microphones also use windshields that act as a sock around the microphone element to protect against plosives.
What Can I Use As A Pop Filter?
A pair of pantyhose is the key material. You can stretch them across a wire coat hanger or an embroidery hoop.
However, with the price of pop filters in today’s market, you can pick one up for very cheap. This will save time and be easier to connect to your mic stand. We would advise this unless you are determined to get your DIY on.
Are Metal Pop Filters Better?
There is no definite answer to this. Both work brilliantly at diffusing plosives.
Whilst metal filters are more easily cleaned, they can have a larger price tag.
Nylon mesh filters are a more traditional method for combatting plosives, and can be more affordable.
Where Does The Pop Filter Go?
Generally, a pop filter will have a mechanical clamp that attaches to a mic stand or boom arm.
Then adjust and place in front of your microphone. Some shock mounts or portable vocal booths may have filters in place as an all in one package.
The age-old hack for optimal pop filter use suggests that you should be able to fit your closed fist between your pop filter and microphone. At the very least this is a great place to start.
The style of the vocal will determine if any adjustment is required. A softly spoken dialect will be a lot more forgiving than a screamo singer, for instance.
A crafty producer may also use the pop filter as a marker to keep a vocalist an optimal distance away from the mic to reduce proximity effect.
There it is our creative friends. All that is left is to pick from our 11 best pop filters.
Whatever price you pay, the simple action of placing one of these pop filters in front of your microphone will level up your audio.
Whether it be the very affordable Nady MPF-6, or the more innovative and expensive PS101.
Go forth and turn heads with the help of your new studio essential gear!