There is nothing worse than fixing plosives post-recording or having your audio ruined by loud pops of sound while singing or speaking. The good news is: a pop filter can fix that for you – and more.
But, how do you buy a pop filter that not only allows a clean recording while protecting your microphone from saliva, which can lead to corrosion, and even mold? – nobody wants that!
Don’t worry; we are here to help.
With hundreds of pop filter options available in the market – from expensive and sturdy to budget-friendly yet efficient – finding one that is just right for you can be a task and a half. However, that is where we step in.
After extensively analyzing hundreds of review sources, we have come up with the five best pop filters available in the market. These options deliver on the promise of minimizing plosives and sibilance. In simple words, you do not hear whooshes of air or heavy breathing in your audio recording – what could be better than that?
So, let’s get to it.
My Picks for the Top Five Best Selling (And Performing) Pop Filters
The Aokeo professional microphone pop filter provides dual-layer filtration. The gap between the layers dissipates any leftover pressure, resulting in more transparent audio.
This is a budget-friendly option that does an excellent job at suppressing hissing and popping sounds. The Aokeo pop filter comes with a rotating screwable clamp and a gripper – making it compatible with a wide range of mics thanks to its flexible gooseneck.
With numerous 5-star reviews on Amazon, the Aekeo pop filter is a customer favorite. Customers love this pop filter because it gets the job done at a great price.
According to Amazon customer Manny, this product “smooths out all the background noise,” especially if recording unidirectional audio.
Another user, Ethan Dean, noted how “there were no audio peaks or clippings, yet the sound quality stayed.” He added how the pop filter toned down unwanted air bursts without muffling the sound.
The best way to set this up would be to secure it to the desk rather than the mic itself. The bendable clamp can be a little tough to set up for some, but you are getting a widely compatible pop filter for a fantastic price.
- PEMOTech [Upgraded Three Layers] Pop Filter
The PEMOTech pop filter is a three-layered filter that shows excellent resistance against lisps, pops, and sound cracks when recording.
- ▲▲NOT FOR BLUE YETI▲▲ WIDE APPLICATIONS - Our microphone pop filter suitable for 45 mm to 63 mm diameter microphones such as AT2020, AT2035, AT4040, AT2050, AT2020+, Samson Meteor , Scarlett CM25 ,CAD GXL2400, Apogee, Razer Siren X, BADAAX Mic, Rode NT1A, Rode NT-USB, MXL 770, MXL 910, MXL 2010, CAD U37, BM-800 and many other microphones.
- THREE LAYERS FILTER MIC SHIELD - Three layers design include foam layer, metal net layer and basic etamine layer can effectively reduces the plosive, pops, crackles, wind interference, breath sounds when recording vocals. Absolutely necessary for recording, speaking or singing. This studio mic shield isolation helps to get your best vocal recording.
- MAINTAIN CLEAN - Metal mesh matches plastic frame in a special appearance design. Functionally prevents saliva, keeping cleanness for your microphones and protecting your microphone.
- EASY TO SET UP - Handy and quick to assemble and disassemble from the microphone and firmly fixed on your mic with the combination design of elastic bands and inner rubber ring, Special design perfectly matches with your microphones.
- PACKAGE & GUARANTEE - 1 X Pop Filter(microphone is NOT included).
The three layers include a foam layer, a metal mesh layer, and an etamine layer. Despite these layers, this pop filter is straightforward to set up and perfect for various microphones between 45 mm to 65 mm in diameter.
Another remarkable feature of its design is that it doesn’t hide the script or monitor, making it perfect for narration work, as pointed out by an Amazon customer, K. Moody.
Moreover, its inner rubber ring and flexible elastic bands design make it a snug fit for your microphone without having to clamp it on. Another customer, Mike S., deemed it an excellent replacement for a traditional pop filter design. “Highly recommended product for people who have Pop Filters but can’t place them on a Boom Arm because of their design. And with this being cheap, it’s worth the small investment.”
Even though it doesn’t fit the Blue Yeti mic, it is still a great buy for the price with various compatible microphones.
- Auphonix Microphone Pop Filter
The double mesh filter screen of the 6-inch Auphonix microphone pop filter (MPF-1) provides crisp, distortion-free sound, with added gooseneck stability.
- Clear Sound - Cut the post-production hassle of reducing pop sounds with our microphone pop filter. It features a double layer of mesh to ensure a smooth recording free of distortion.
- Strong - This mic pop filter has a flexible yet sturdy gooseneck holder to support the weight of the shield, allowing for a simple set-and-forget placement.
- Easy to Install - Clamp the bottom of the mic filter to a microphone (up to 1.75" thickness), adjust the gooseneck holder to fit between the mic and sound source, and record away.
- Multipurpose - The MPF-1 microphone filter can be used for singing, voiceovers, podcasts, vlogging, and anywhere else you need crisp, quality sound.
- Sound Necessity: If you’re a singer, vlogger, voiceover artist or podcast host, you want your voice to be heard. This mic filter helps block any hisses, pops or thuds to provide you with clean audio essential to creating professional content and is a wonderful gift!
The gooseneck is sturdy enough to support the weight of the filter, making it easy for users to set the pop filter once and forget about fixing it into position again and again.
According to Amazon customer R. A. Bay, “The first song I recorded contained the words’…picture postcard posing…’ and it sailed right through that with nary a trace of a pop, so it does the job.”
Another customer, K. Vilenchirz, noted that MPF-1 is “Very much a “set it and forget it” item, in that once it’s installed, you will likely never have to make much of any adjustments, and it will work as intended.”
Even though the screw attached to the mic stand is plastic and at the risk of cracking if twisted too much, this equipment’s overall quality makes it a great choice to dissipate sound, especially for USB microphones.
- Dragonpad USA Microphone Pop Filter
Dragonpad USA Microphone Filter is another piece of equipment that eliminates popping sounds, and it does it well.
- Dual Layer Mesh Pop Filter: Dual layers of nylon mesh with an air gap work together to reduce and eliminate popping and lisping from your recordings without diminishing clarity.
- Protection from Saliva: Prevents the accumulation of spit on your microphone element which contain corrosive salts.
- Universal Mount: Featuring a unique bracket angle and tension screw, the pop filter can be mounted to virtually any microphone or stand.
- Firm yet Flexible Gooseneck: Metal gooseneck is strong enough to stay where you put it, yet easy to adjust as needed for maximum comfort and quality.
- Cost Savings: Multipack bundle provides an economical solution to help get your best vocal recordings on the first take.
It is a simple design made to easily adapt to different positions, thanks to its 13-inch 360-degree gooseneck. In addition, its double-layer nylon mesh is placed with a gap to eliminate any whistling or lisping, which can be a huge hassle to clean up post-recording.
Its clean design and effective sound filter have gained nods from many satisfied customers. As one noted, “This works as well as my musician brothers $80.00 pop filter. I am not a pro, but I do narrate my videos and animations for YouTube, and the Dragonpad is very effective.”
Some users find it challenging to maneuver the arm into place and then clamp it securely. However, almost all agree that the filter screen is of excellent quality, and it is a steal for the price.
- Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter
The patented material Stedman Pro screen filter does a terrific job at eliminating plosives. Users claim that the filter is so good at what it does, they save time editing once the recording is done.
- Screen diameter: 6"
- Length: 26.5"
- Weight: 10 oz.
- Clamp range: .39"
- Signal levels can be maximized without the risk of clipping caused by bursts (extremely important with digital formats)
Even though it is pretty expensive when compared to the other options mentioned in my top 5, its excellent performance deems it worthy of its place.
This 6-inch wide pop filter has a flexible gooseneck and scratch-free, sturdy clamp. In addition, the filter openings are angled downward, which helps dissipate sound much better than many of its budget-friendly alternatives.
One Amazon user noted how this pop filter keeps out what you do not want getting to the mic but does not change anything else about the character of the voice/sound going into the mic.
As with any pricey equipment, some users think a pop filter is not worth splurging. However, an overwhelming amount of positive reviewers seem to think otherwise. If budget is not an issue, then this particular pop filter is worth checking out.
What Does a Pop Filter Do Exactly?
A pop filter does exactly what it says – that is, filtering air before it hits the microphone.
When recording stop consonants (otherwise known as plosives) like P and B, the air through our mouths moves at a speed that can cause harsh pop sounds. A pop filter mechanically disperses air over a larger surface area, thus, minimizing signal clipping and resulting in much crisp and clear recording.
It also creates a barrier between the speaker and the microphone, preventing it from contacting saliva, thus promoting equipment longevity.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pop Filter
When buying a pop filter (or any studio equipment for that matter), there are a few things you need to consider. Read through carefully because there is no one-size-fits-all, for what might work for someone else may not work for you.
From product quality, studio size to mic specifications, several aspects play significant roles when deciding to purchase.
First and foremost, you need to check if a particular pop filter model is compatible with your microphone. If you are using a microphone with a stand, you will easily mount and adjust most pop filters. The filter comes with a clamp to mount securely onto the stand.
However, if you have a home studio where you work with a microphone mounted on a desktop, make sure to look for a pop filter easily clipped on the mic or the desk. Similarly, when using lightweight USB microphones, go for a smaller, adjustable clamp pop filter to prevent your mic from toppling.
You want a pop filter with a stable enough gooseneck to maneuver and position as you see fit.
Many low-quality pop filters come with goosenecks that droop and need to be adjusted repeatedly. On the other hand, some options leave you straining as you try to fix them to your liking, with no luck. Naturally, you do not want either of those.
Go for a pop filter with a sturdy gooseneck that is flexible and long enough to set up to your comfort.
Pop filters are available in different diameters. The most common diameter for this device is 6-inch. However, there are smaller versions available in 4-inch as well.
If you have a sturdy stand-mounted microphone, opt for a blogger diameter. The reason to go for a bigger diameter is that it allows the speaker or singer much more natural movement while recording. The smaller the diameter, the more restricted the speaker will be. Thus, compact pop filters sometimes hinder the natural creative process.
However, a bigger diameter also means that the pop filter will be heavier. Thus, keep in mind your microphone model as well. For USB microphones, a bigger-sized pop filter, which may allow more movement, can prove to be a nuisance.
If you have compact studio space or a more miniature microphone to work with, a 6-inch wide pop filter can put too much stress on the gooseneck. In such cases, even though the vocalist would need to be more aware of his movements, a smaller pop filter can do the job just as well while providing much-needed stability.
Last but not least, consider what kind of filter material you want. You can get pop filters built with nylon or similar fabrics. Many manufacturers prefer fabric over metal filters because they provide good results while being cost-effective.
On the other hand, some high-end manufacturers swear by perforated metal. They believe it provides better filtration and a clearer output, especially when recording higher frequencies.
Since both materials get the job done, there is no definitive answer to which one is better. This consideration comes down to personal choice. A little trial and error can help you determine which material better suits your vocal technique and requirement.
What Makes Pop Filters a Studio Essential?
Although you can record with just a microphone, what makes pop filters such an asset when it comes to recording studio equipment?
Reduces Popping Sounds
The biggest problem when recording any audio is the popping sound you hear with plosives. Take “popping,” for example – the sound of “p” would be recorded as a pop if not for a pop filter.
Fixing popping sounds post-recording is quite a tedious task, so the focus should always be preventing it from happening in the first place. The great thing about a pop filter is that it dissipates air when recording plosives; this gives clear audio but does not compromise the quality of the recording.
Protects the Microphone
Another reason why pop filters are necessary is for protecting the microphone. A pop filter prevents saliva droplets from passing through by creating a barrier between the vocalist and the mic. Otherwise, saliva can cause damage to the microphone in the form of corrosion and mold!
Helps Maintain Studio Hygiene
Hygiene is imperative, especially in a closed space like a recording studio. The pop filter barrier between the microphone and the speaker allows hygiene maintenance and longevity of studio equipment.
Moreover, you can regularly clean a pop filter (especially those made out of mesh) relatively easily.
In short, a pop filter is a must-have equipment for any recording studio for a crisp recording that is free of popping sounds and distortion. It makes it easy to eliminate unwanted background noise while keeping the quality of the recording intact.
When buying a pop filter, make sure you check if it meets your requirements. Look out for mounting compatibility with your microphone, gooseneck stability, and filter size and material. For more compact mics, go for smaller filters for added support. The Aokeo professional microphone pop filter is an excellent choice for a pop filter – its dual-layer does an excellent job while being light on the pocket.