If you’re recording audio with a microphone, it doesn’t matter whether this is music, podcasts, or streaming, your audio needs to be of good quality. One way of doing this is by using a pop filter or a windscreen around your microphone.
If you don’t know what these are, you’re in the right place!
You’ll learn all about windscreens and pop filters in this article, including the differences between each device, and the instances where each one might be necessary.
Keep reading to find out more about pop filters and windscreens!
What Are Windscreens?
Windscreens are microphone shields that lower the amount of wind noises and other environmental sounds. These are usually made from mesh and foam and fit snugly over the mic’s head.
Most microphones are equipped with windscreens made from foam.
These are designed to reduce air pressure, like breath noises, air from the mouth when speaking, and plosives. Plosives are hard consonant noises from words with the letter ‘b’ or ‘p’.
Windscreens are ideal for vlogs or outdoor recordings where there is lots of background audio, such as cars traveling through quiet streets. They can also shield the microphone against saliva, preventing the expensive equipment from wearing down in the process.
A popular type of microphone windscreen you may have seen is the furry version called a windjammer.
Windjammers are created from a furry, soft material that helps to reduce wind sounds better than ones made from foam. They are also good for reducing fan and air conditioner noise inside houses.
These different kinds of windscreens can be used for many different tasks. If you are recording outside or in a noisy environment, a windscreen is a good piece of equipment to have.
What Are Pop Filters?
Pop filters are microphone covers that help reduce plosives from air pressure, in particular the sounds of ‘b’ and ‘p’ words.
Pop filters are usually made from mesh and are fitted over the microphone’s head. These work by transmitting air from the mouth away from the mic.
This stops the explosive audio made from these consonant sounds from getting to the microphone and affecting the recording.
Pop filters are good for those who have louder voices or make a lot of popping sounds as they speak. If you are streaming a lot or creating podcasts, a pop filter is a good investment.
Keep in mind that pop filters shouldn’t be a substitute for windscreens. They can reduce plosives, but they won’t affect wind sounds.
Pop filters are usually used in closed environments, like recording studios, where the wind won’t affect the audio. Windscreens work better when recording outdoors as they lower environmental noises.
Which Costs More – Windscreens Or Pop Filters?
Pop filters and windscreens are both affordable pieces of equipment.
Decent-quality foam windscreens can be bought for roughly $15, while furry windscreens can be bought for around $25. A lot of microphones also tend to come with a foam windscreen.
Pop filters are usually priced between $20-30, but you might find ones that are more expensive if you are looking for a professional model.
Are Windscreens Good For Podcasting?
Well-made furry and foam windscreens are good for podcasting and streaming. They work well to reduce background wind sounds and can lower the number of plosives, but they won’t do this as well as pop filters.
If you are taking podcasting or streaming seriously, it’s best to purchase a pop filter. These will make a big difference to your plosive sounds, helping you create cleaner-sounding audio.
If you are recording inside, wind noise won’t be a factor, so windscreens and pop filters will both defend your mic from plosive noise and saliva.
Keep in mind that pop filters won’t be able to block out wind sounds. If this is your aim, you’ll need a different furry or foam windscreen.
Recording Without Windscreens Or Pop Filter
You can stream and record without any type of mic cover! A lot of recording artists don’t use these pieces of equipment, as they believe their audio and voice sound cleaner when mesh or fabric isn’t covering the mic.
Despite this, you may notice your sound quality decline if there are a lot of plosives in your audio. If you are recording outside, background noise can also affect your recording.
If it is within your budget, pop filters are going to be a good investment for recording at home. They will make a noticeable difference to your recordings.
Furry windscreens are also ideal if you ever plan on recording outside, or if you live on a busy street with lots of background noise.
The Bottom Line: Which Is Better?
Both pop filters and windscreens are important pieces of audio equipment.
One style isn’t necessarily better than the other, as your choice will depend on the type of setting you’re recording in, as well as the noises you want to reduce.
You don’t have to invest in one or both of these if you are recording audio, but they may make a difference to your audio quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Worth Getting A Pop Filter?
Pop filters can eliminate issues on low and high ends. This makes it easier to record, resulting in audition tapes, demos, and other types of audio that sound better.
Voice actors differ as to whether pop filters are good or not. If you don’t know whether you should get one or not, create some test audio recordings with and without a pop filter, then see which one you prefer.
Do I Need A Pop Filter If I Have A Foam Cover?
You don’t need to use both a pop filter and a foam cover. As long as you have one of these devices, there is little need to use another.
If you are trying to lower the number of plosives, a pop filter should be sufficient, but if it isn’t, this is a sign that you will need to purchase another pop filter.
Do Pop Filters Help With Background Noise?
Pop filters (see also ‘What Does A Pop Filter Do?’) are great for preventing plosives from occurring. These look like lollipop-shaped devices that prevent sounds from sounding explosive. However, they aren’t the best choice to reduce background noise.
They do eliminate popping sounds from air pressure, as well as protect microphones from saliva, but they won’t affect background noise.