Are you considering upgrading your microphone setup but are hesitant to spend money on an expensive pop filter? If so, you’re not alone. Pop filters can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, leading many to question whether the more expensive models are better. But are expensive pop filters better?
Unfortunately, not knowing which pop filter is better can lead to poor sound quality.
This article covers the differences between cheap and expensive pop filters, what features to look for when shopping around, and why you may want to consider investing in a higher-end model. So if you’re considering investing in a pop filter or are just curious about which is better, this post is for you!
Are expensive pop filters better? The answer depends on the person’s goals and the kind of result they want. Most novices don’t need to spend much on a pop filter, but higher-end ones do better at canceling out the “p’s” and “b’s” that come out when you speak rapidly. Also, the clamps are stronger, the number of ways they can be used has grown, and the “goosenecks” are stronger.
What is a pop filter, and why do you need one?
When recording, a microphone with a pop filter, also called a pop shield or pop screen, is often used to reduce unwanted noise. A pop filter is meant to reduce or get rid of the popping sound that can happen when recording speech or singing. This sound is made when fast-moving air hits the microphone.
A common pop filter has a circular frame with a clamp and a flexible mounting bracket attached to it, as well as one or more layers of acoustically semi-transparent material like woven nylon. Instead of nylon, metal pop filters use a fine metal mesh screen. For those needing it, a pop filter may be integrated into the design of certain condenser microphones used in studios.
Tights or stockings wrapped over a kitchen sieve, an embroidery hoop, or a loop of wire like a bent clothes hanger may be used to create an improvised pop shield that is functionally equivalent to the professional ones. However, because of the potential for vibration transfer, a pop shield should not be fastened directly to a microphone.
Pop filters are put in place to stop the microphone from clipping when the energy level of a plosive is too high. The strands of the filter stop the sound energy from the plosive from hitting the microphone’s sensitive diaphragm and briefly distorting it. Since pop filters don’t work on hissing and sibilant sounds, de-essing is often used to fix them.
Are expensive pop filters better?
If you’re just starting out, it’s usually acceptable to get an inexpensive pop filter. But as the price goes up, so does the quality of the filter and its ability to block out plosives.
Pop filters may be tough to place precisely, so paying a little additional money will buy you a better, more adjustable pop filter that is easily moved into position and more lasting than a cheaper one.
As a rule of thumb, a pop filter has to be no more than a few inches away from the microphone’s mouthpiece. This offers the filter enough room to not accidentally hit the mike and functions as a decent “buffer zone” to stop the vocalist from going too near the microphone.
Benefits of using an expensive pop filter
A pop filter effectively gets rid of annoying sounds and frequencies. It also cuts down on hissing or crackling sounds that come from fast-moving air on the microphone and are caused by mechanical interference. They are also useful for cutting down on Ps and Bs throughout the recording process.
The main benefit of using a pop filter is that it will stop sounds that come from plosives from getting through and ruining your recording. First, however, we want to check at additional astonishing perks of possessing a pop filter.
Take a look at these:
- Using a pop filter during recording may help you sound more professional and save time in post-production.
- Sweat and other moisture may damage a microphone, but a pop filter can help.
- Noises caused by the mechanical interference of quickly flowing air on the microphone are eliminated.
- You probably don’t give much thought to the fact that the salts in your saliva are corrosive, but they are. The pop filter also extends its life by preventing a buildup of saliva on the microphone.
Features to look for when shopping for a pop filter
When shopping for a pop filter, keep these things in mind:
The pop filter’s diameter should be big enough to encompass the whole microphone but not so enormous that it interferes with its function or degrades the sound quality.
Many geometric forms create pop filters, from circles to triangles. Some think a circular pop filter sounds better, while others argue that a triangle pop filter is better for reducing plosive noises. Try both out to see which one works better for you.
A pop filter may be attached straight to the microphone or include a flexible gooseneck arm for better placement. Gooseneck arms are more adaptable, although they may not be as sturdy as straight ones.
When choosing a filter, deciding between a foam and a metal filter is crucial. Foam filters are more cost-effective and convenient since they are disposable. Metal filters last longer, but they might distort the sound. It’s all a matter of taste.
Of course, financial constraints must also be taken into account. To improve the sound quality of your recordings, you need to buy a good pop filter that can eliminate plosive sounds. Although, there is no need to go into debt over it. Find a pop filter that works for you and your wallet by looking around.
The best pop filter blocks unwanted background noise and softens loud sounds without lowering the sound quality. All of the above options for pop filters are good, but you should do some research to figure out which one is best for you.
If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “The ULTIMATE Pop Filter Comparison | Best Pop Filter For Recording Music | Watch Before You Buy!!” from the Edward Smith YouTube channel.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about pop filters.
How much should I spend on a pop filter?
Pop filters are available in nylon mesh or thin metal constructions. The nylon mesh pop filters were the first iteration of these tools. However, they’ve been around for quite some time. You should expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $20 for one of these (on average); however, prices vary widely by manufacturer.
What pop filter do professionals use?
The Proscreen XL by Stedman Corporation is the best choice if you’re looking for a professional-grade pop filter. Unlike the other types on this page, which diffuse the air, they use a patented method of directing it downward, away from the microphone capsule.
What type of pop filter is better?
Foam windscreens, commonly placed too near the mic, are not as efficient as nylon mesh or metal mesh pop filters in dampening plosive noises.
Do pop filters reduce white noise?
Contrary to popular belief, a pop filter does nothing to lessen or eliminate ambient noise. This is because pop filters need to be as acoustically transparent as possible so that the sound of your voice is not altered in any way other than the elimination of the pops created by the plosives in the letters P and B.
You can choose from plenty of great pop filters, regardless of your budget. However, it may be worth investing in a higher-end model if you’re looking for a pop filter that will give you the best sound quality and performance. Expensive models typically feature better construction materials, superior sound-dampening capabilities, and long-lasting durability.
That said, it’s important to do research before purchasing to find the best one for your needs and budget. Then, with the right pop filter in hand, you can make sure that your recordings sound as good as they can!
However, just as you can’t become an expert cyclist by reading a book, you can’t become a great music artist by reading articles alone. It’s time to take action! Go and put what you have learned into practice.
This article covered what pop filters are, why you need one, whether expensive ones are better, and the benefits of expensive pop filters. Here are some key takeaways:
- When recording, it is common practice to utilize a microphone with a pop filter, also known as a pop shield or a pop screen, to reduce unwanted noise.
- The quality of the filter and its capacity to suppress plosives improve with increased cost.
- A pop filter effectively gets rid of annoying sounds and frequencies.
So, do you prefer to use expensive pop filters? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on music production. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.