We hate to show our age, but when we first started working in recording studios a pop filter or pop shield, as it was also often called, was made from some women’s tights stretched over a wire coat hanger.
This would then be attached to the mic stand, and more wire was used if it wasn’t sturdy enough. Commercial products just didn’t exist, you made your own or didn’t use one at all, which was never a good idea.
Thankfully, pop filters have moved on a lot since then, and there is now a large choice available at varying prices. But, is it worth paying more for something that simply reduces the amount of ‘p’s in your vocals? Are they all the same, or are some better than others? These are the questions everyone is asking.
Choosing one of the best pop filters for recording vocals can be very difficult, so we’ve made the decision easier by bringing you our Top 10. They are all excellent Pop Filters, but which one is the right one for you?
You’ll find out soon enough…
- Top 10 Best Pop Filters for Recording Vocals In 2020 Reviews
- 1 Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL
- 2 Avantone PS-1 PRO-SHIELD Studio Pop Filter
- 3 WindTech PopGard 2000
- 4 Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter with Flexible Gooseneck and Metal Stabilizing Arm
- 5 Blue The Pop Universal Pop Filter
- 6 Pauly Ton Superscreen
- 7 Auphonix Microphone Pop Filter (MPF-1) 6-inch with Double Mesh Filter Screen
- 8 Blue Yeti Pop Filter – 6-inch
- 9 Neewer NW(B-3) 6-inch Studio Microphone Mic Round Shape Wind Pop Filter Mask Shield with Stand Clip (Black Filter)
- 10 On-Stage ASFSS6-GB Dual Screen Microphone Pop Filter
- Best Pop Filters for Recording Vocals Buyers Guide
- What Is The Best Pop Filters For Recording Vocals For You?
Top 10 Best Pop Filters for Recording Vocals In 2020 Reviews
1 Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL
We’ll start with the review’s second most expensive pop-filter, the Proscreen XL from Stedman Corporation. And by more expensive, we mean it, it’s about 5 times the price of the average pop filter in this review. But is it worth it?
Well, the simple answer is, yes, of course, it is. Why else would people pay five times the price if it wasn’t far better? It’s also the go-to pop filter in most professional recording studios, which also proves it’s worth.
It’s made from an exclusive patented material, which ensures that this 6″ pop filter vastly reduces the number of plosives that reaches your microphone. It also has a significant benefit of leaving your vocal sound uncolored. So your voice comes out of it and onto the microphone, sounding exactly the way it went in.
The specially-designed filter features angled openings that force excessive plosive energy downwards and away from your microphone. This makes it one of the most effective pop filters in this entire review.
The ‘special’ material used to make the Proscreen XL, is also very easy to clean. You just wipe it down with a little mild detergent in some water, and you’ll be ready for your next session!
It features a 13″ gooseneck, which is longer than most and allows flexible positioning. It also holds its position, unlike many of the cheaper pop filters on the market. The clamp is nylon-tipped, so it won’t scratch your microphone stand.
If you’re looking for a truly professional pop filter for recording some fantastic vocals and are happy to pay the price, then the Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL pop filter is an excellent choice.
2 Avantone PS-1 PRO-SHIELD Studio Pop Filter
We’ll move on with a more reasonably priced pop filter, the PS-1 Pro-Shield from Avantone.
The main difference between this pop filter and most of the rest is the arch shaped design that curves to mirror the shape of the grill of most studio mics. Unlike, most pop filters which are positioned out in front of the mic, the PS-1 actually ‘hugs’ the microphone, as if it was custom-made for it.
This is ingenious thinking, and in terms of physicality it makes sense, but the company seems to be forgetting one critical thing. The microphone’s capsule which contains the diaphragm that you are actually singing into is flat. It may be in a curved case, but the diaphragm is flat.
We, therefore, see no benefit to having a curved pop-filter, unless you a problem with keeping your head in the same place and like to sing as if your doing an impression of a sideways nodding dog? Which we doubt very much.
Regardless of that little fact, it’s a good pop filter and does the job well, whatever shape it is.
It features an easy to attach flexible mount, and the filter should be easy to reliably position with any microphone.
So, what’s it like?
The Pro-Shield PS-1 has an acoustically transparent metal screen that produces excellent results while recording vocals. The high-frequency details pass through the metal screen to be sonically captured in full while the plosives are blocked.
As well as the screen being made of metal, so is the rest of it. And the PS-1 comes with a 5-Year Warranty.
In terms of the sound quality, we could not hear any loss in hi-frequency sounds when used for recording vocals, so it produces an uncolored sound.
3 WindTech PopGard 2000
Next up, we have another pop filter in the same price range as the Avantone PS-1, the Popgard 2000 from WindTech.
WindTech has come up with yet another ingenious design to the two pop filters we’ve reviewed so far. It’s unique because it attaches directly to the body of the microphone using elastic bands.
So, there is no messing about trying to get goosenecks to sit in the right place and watching clamps gradually fail, as your pop filter moves slowly out of position. The PopGard 2000 actually moves with your mic, no matter how you position it or where you move it to.
We do, however, yet again have an issue with this design. For pop filters to work effectively, there needs to be at least, 3 to 4 inches between you and the pop filter, and at least 2 to 3 inches between the pop filter and the microphone capsule. We don’t understand how that is possible with this design if the pop filter is basically physically attached to the microphone.
But, won’t the whole thing get heavy?
There is no need to worry about your microphone getting all heavy on you, with the attached pop filter, the WindTech weighs less than an ounce.
The PopGard 2000 is hydrophobic, which mean that it will prevent moisture from reaching your microphone, This will keep it cleaner and also protect the microphone element.
The WindTech PopGard 2000 is suitable for most side-address mics that are between 1.8″ to 2.7″ in diameter.
In summary, it’s a good choice for some applications such as video podcasters who want some plosive removal but also want their set to look great. We would not recommend it for critical vocal recording, a more traditional design will give you much more reliable results.
4 Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter with Flexible Gooseneck and Metal Stabilizing Arm
We now move on, with an incredibly in-expensive pop filter from the well-respected Nady Systems – the MPF-6.
With a legacy of making great equipment by musicians for musicians, for over 40 years, Nady Systems has a reputation for delivering quality products at value prices. The question is, will the MPF-6 carry on this tradition?
This is a ridiculously affordable pop filter, which does concern us slightly because it can’t stack up against to the others we reviewed at this price. And we’re afraid to say it doesn’t.
It isn’t terrible and features a double mesh design which does reduce plosives, just not as well as the more expensive pop filters reviewed. The main problem is its gooseneck, which just isn’t strong enough to allow you to position the mic where you want it easily, if at all.
The only way to effectively get it to stay where you want it is to get another mic stand and hang the pop filter from it. This means that you can adjust the mic stand, not the pop-filter, to get the filter in place. Obviously, not ideal, especially if you don’t have more than one mic stand.
It’s a great budget effort from Nady, and if you only need a pop filter for some simple voice-over work or a podcast every few months it will work fine, but if you intend on using it to record anything more important than that, than you would be better off spending more and getting a better product.
5 Blue The Pop Universal Pop Filter
With a similar but smaller design than the Avantone PS-1, we have our next pop filter, the imaginatively named – The Pop from Blue.
This again features a curved design that wraps around the microphone but is even smaller than the PS-1. It’s also quite a bit more expensive.
In use, it’s as easy as can be, just clamp it to your mic stand and position it where desired. And unlike, the Nady, it will stay where you put it.
As with all of Blue’s products, it is well manufactured, and the sturdy wire mesh and frame should ensure many years of studio use. Metal pop filters tend to last a lot longer than those made from fabric, they are also much easier to clean.
It features a plastic peg at the end of the fastening screw, as well as, a foam pad inside the arm. These ensure that your microphone stands will look exactly the same after The Pop has been attached and detached, as they did before.
It’s a great pop filter and would be superb for someone who is doing voice-over work who wants a small pop filter that allows them to see the text they are reading easily. But, the small size does mean that excitable rock singers, would have to calm down their physical performance, a little more than they would with bigger sized pop filters.
6 Pauly Ton Superscreen
Next up, we have the most expensive pop filter you’ll find in this review, or anywhere for that matter, the Superscreen form Pauly Ton. And it isn’t a little more expensive, it’s much more, costing twice as much as the Stedman ProScreen XL, the second most costly pop filter.
Unlike the more affordable pop screens we’ve covered so far, the Pauly Superscreen is all handmade from premium materials.
The gooseneck, as well as, the screen mount is finished in a non-reflective, gray texture coating that creates no noise while being adjusted and also perfectly maintains its position. This lets you precisely position the filter at any angle you wish. And it will stay there, until you, not gravity, decide you want to change it.
It removes plausives incisively, but that would be expected for the price. There is also no effect on the tone of your voice, it leaves the high end exactly as it was. So, your voice will sound precisely the same going in, as it does coming out of this pop filter.
If you are happy to pay this much for a pop filter, then you won’t regret buying it, it does everything it should spectacularly well. Highly recommended for those who want the best and are not on a budget.
7 Auphonix Microphone Pop Filter (MPF-1) 6-inch with Double Mesh Filter Screen
From the most expensive, we move on to a much more reasonably priced filter, the MPF-1 from Auphonix.
It comes with a strong, sturdy, construction which should ensure durability, and features a double layer of mesh to catch the majority of the plosives you throw at it.
And Auphonix, have obviously been listening to user feedback because the gooseneck holder actually works and fully supports the weight of the pop filter. Which as you know, isn’t as common as you would think it is.
And all this is available at a very reasonable price. Plus the MPF-1 comes with a 12-month 100% money back guarantee, so if your not happy with the number of plosives it removes or the gooseneck has a mind of its own, you can simply return it.
It also comes with a free ebook full of recording hints and tips. Which includes detailed information on exactly how you should use a pop filter. So, it should do an excellent job for the low price.
It obviously isn’t as good as the Pauly Ton we’ve just reviewed, and being a mesh filter isn’t as easy to clean as metal ones, but it’s a great product for those who don’t want to spend a lot.
8 Blue Yeti Pop Filter – 6-inch
We now have another pop filter from Authonix, the Blue Yeti Pop Filter, which was created to be used with the Yeti microphone from Blue.
Specifically designed for use with the Blue Yeti microphone, this pop filter clamps directly to either the Blue Yeti or the Yeti Pro. The clamp will not cause any damage to your microphone and is the easiest way to attach a pop filter to it.
And if you don’t have a Yeti or Yeti pro, there is no need to worry. Because you can use this pop filter with any desktop USB microphone by just clamping it on to your desk. It also easily clamps to both square and rectangular microphone arms. Most pop filters don’t allow this because they are designed for tubular microphone stands.
The double screen mesh provides distortion-free recording without affecting or degrading the quality of your voice. It removes the pops, but nothing else. This makes it great for filtering the plosives from your podcasts, voiceovers or screen captures.
The mesh screen will also drastically reduce the damage caused by saliva to your microphone.
It features a strong, yet pliable, gooseneck holder that supports the weight of the filter head, and allows you to place it wherever you wish.
As with the Auphonix MPF-1, the Blue Yeti Pop Filter also comes with a year-long 100% money back guarantee and a free ebook which features excellent hints and tips for getting better recordings.
9 Neewer NW(B-3) 6-inch Studio Microphone Mic Round Shape Wind Pop Filter Mask Shield with Stand Clip (Black Filter)
If you thought the Nady MPF-6 was cheap, then let us introduce you to the king of budget pop filters in this review – the NW(B-3) from Neewer. This is so cheap that you could either buy a single Pauly Ton Superscreen, or just over 23 of these!
So, your thinking that it’s going to get a similar review to our other budget pop filter, the Nady MPF-6, but your wrong, this actually gets a better review, because, amazingly, it does a better job.
In terms of reducing plosives, they both work the same, removing most of them without greatly affecting the tone of your voice.
It features a double screen layer design. The first screen blocks the air blasts as any pop filter does, the gap in between the screen layers then disperses any remaining air pressure. Then the sound passes through the second screen, and the blast is easily contained producing great quality recordings.
So, what makes it better than the Nady MPF-6?
But, the difference is that the Neewer actually stays in place ‘most’ of the time. Its design is nothing on the more expensive pop filters we’ve featured, but once you get your head around it, it does work.
The secret is that you have to tighten BOTH ends of the metal wire if you find that the gooseneck is bending too easily. This isn’t explained anywhere, but if you tighten both sides, it will work perfectly and stay in whatever position you place it in.
This is of course, far more complicated than you would like, but that is, unfortunately, the downside of buying such a cheap product.
However, if you can live with this complication, it will remove the majority of your plosives and stay in position without you having to spend much more than you would on a couple of coffees at Starbucks.
10 On-Stage ASFSS6-GB Dual Screen Microphone Pop Filter
And finally, for this review, we have another very reasonably priced pop screen – the On-Stage ASFSS6GB. The company was founded on a promise of affordability, durability, and innovation, but how will this pop filter fair against the rest?
Back with a traditional design, this 6” split screen pop filter is made from micro-weave black nylon. It removes all unwanted ‘p’ and ‘b’ consonants in the same way as the Neewer we’ve just reviewed – i.e., by providing an open space between the two screens.
This design removes the air pressure that can easily build up in hoop style pop filters. This makes it very effective in filtering wind-caused plosives.
But is it easily positioned and does it stay there?
The long 11.5-inch gooseneck is made from coated brass and allows the pop filter to be precisely positioned between the singer and the microphone. It’s length also allows it to be used with longer dynamic mics and for unusual applications like wrapping a ski-hat around it and using it to stop a snare mic from picking up hi-hat bleed. No one ever said you could only use pop-filters for filtering pops, did they?
The easy grip clamp has a nylon tipped screw, which allows it to be firmly attached to any microphone or boom stand, without leaving any scratches or marks.
It’s an excellent choice if you don’t want a super budget pop filter, but also don’t need the expensive professional options. It does the job well, stays in position and should last a long time; therefore it’s highly recommended.
Best Pop Filters for Recording Vocals Buyers Guide
Pop Shields Are Essential For Most Vocal Recordings, But What Exactly Are They And Why Are They So Important?
Everyone has heard microphone announcements which sound terrible because of loud popping noises, but we never hear those noises when you listen to people speak normally.
So, What Are Microphones Hearing That We Can Not?
These pops and thumps happen when we speak a ‘plosive,’ examples are words that start with the letter ‘b’ or ‘p.’ If you were to hold your palm up to your mouth and speak a sentence, you will feel breath on your hand whenever you pronounce a ‘p’ or a ‘b’. You will feel a slight gust on a few other letters such as ‘f’ and ‘t’ and very little when pronouncing any of the rest.
The problem is made worse if your mouth is very close to a microphone. And when it slams into the microphone’s diaphragm, a substantial asymmetrical output signal is produced. Which results in the unwanted plosive sound you hear on playback.
You also need to take into consideration that all directional microphones suffer from the ‘proximity effect.’ This happens when a source is very close to a microphone, making it more sensitive to low-frequency sounds. A plosive blast is all low-frequency energy, and therefore, when recorded, it translates into a loud, low-frequency thump.
What Is A Pop Shield?
Even the most controlled singers, who have learned to either turn to one side or to back off from the mic when they are singing loudly or plosively, will still produce occasional pops. That’s why in most studios you’ll see circular nylon-mesh or metal pop screens clipped onto mic stands and sitting a few inches in front of the mic.
There’s nothing that special about the construction of most pop shields. In fact, you can make a basic one for yourself out of a pair of used nylon tights and a wire coat hanger. As we all did back before commercial ones became available.
The way they work is simple, sound passes through the fine mesh with very little high-frequency reduction, but the plosives are stopped dead. As air from your mouth hits the mesh, it breaks up, so the full force cannot hit the microphone, only smaller parts of it that have no effect on the recorded signal.
To make the screens more effective, many designs now incorporate two layers of mesh which are a short distance apart. This ensures that any air that passes through the first layer is caught up by the second.
However, for this to work effectively, the positioning is crucial. And the pop filter has to be placed at least a couple of inches in front of the microphone’s capsule, because there has to be a volume of air between the two.
Losses of High-frequency Information
Although the high-end loss produced by these pop screens is very small. Some recording engineers still feel that nylon-mesh pop shields do have an effect on the sound. An alternative is to use a more widely spaced mesh that is made from woven or perforated metal. These have larger holes which have less impact on high frequencies but are still small enough to stop the plosives. You can even use a metal kitchen sieve, although you may get asked some strange questions if you do.
Best advice is to always use an effective pop shield when recording vocals. You won’t need one for most instruments. Although they are also used if your mic’ing a kick drum with a very expensive condenser microphone. Just in case a gust of air damages the capsule. As well as the pop-filter and ski hat hi-hat isolation trick we mentioned earlier.