With its air blast reduction function, it significantly improves the recording quality. Not only professionals use it, but also podcasters and YouTuber swear by this microphone accessory.
In the following I will introduce you to the advantages, give you practical tips and describe my experiences with this microphone accessory, also known as a pop killer.[amazon bestseller=”microphone pop screen” max=”1″]
Microphone pop screen – What is that?
There are several names for this. In addition to pop protection, pop filter, pop killer or pop screen is also quite common. However, this always means the same thing, namely a membrane that protects the microphone from strong air blasts. These are usually made of nylon, but other materials can also be used.
The fabric is clamped in a metal ring as a membrane and placed between the mouth and the microphone. This slows down strong air blasts, such as those that occur with so-called pop sounds during pronunciation. These typical pop or plop sounds are produced, for example, by P or T sounds. Such explosive sounds are attenuated and the quality of the sound recording is thus significantly improved. Hence the name and it works very well.
Basically it is a special kind of wind protection, but not the same. More on this at the end of the article.
Another big advantage of the pop screen is that it is quite cheap and can be easily attached to any microphone stand or microphone spider with a so-called gooseneck. Sometimes there are also other mounting options.
Last but not least, a membrane protects the microphone itself from moisture, which can escape in the form of saliva during pronunciation and singing.
Tips for using the pop screen
The use of this accessory is in itself quite simple. Nevertheless, there are a few tips that I would like to give you in the following:
- It is quite simple to use. It is important that the pop screen is placed exactly between the mouth and the microphone and that it stays exactly there during the recording.
- Furthermore, you should not place it too close to the microphone. A distance between 5 and 20 centimeters is usually recommended. This gives a better effect. However, you should try this out and make test recordings, because every microphone is different.
- Furthermore, you can say that bigger is also better here. Larger rings ensure that they don’t reflect the sound and don’t cause additional interference. In addition, it happens less often that you “speak past” them.
- It is best not to place the pop screen exactly at right angles in front of the microphone, but at a slight angle. This prevents any sound from the microphone from being reflected back to the microphone.
Not always just fabric
As already mentioned, a pop screen is not always made of fabric. For example, there are also metal shields which provide for a swirling or directing of the airflow and also work well.
The Rode NT-USB, for example, comes with such a metal pop screen right out of the box.
Nevertheless, experts agree that the fabric version is usually the better option.
Pop screen vs. windscreen
Popscreen and windscreen are often confused, but they are not the same thing. The windbreak, as the name suggests, is designed to protect against wind noise. It consists of a foam cover that is pulled directly over the microphone.
So the windscreen helps a little with pop noises, but it’s not ideal for that. It also dampens the high frequencies a little, which is also not always desirable.
That’s why you should use a proper pop screen for indoor recordings where the wind doesn’t play a role.
Conclusion on the best microphone pop screen
Best microphone pop screen: Such pop protection may not seem so relevant, but it is very important for the recording quality. Also and especially with YouTubers and podcasters, pop noises are annoying and annoying.
If there are problems with such pop sounds during your recordings, then this purchase is worthwhile, especially since you really don’t have to spend a lot of money on it.
By the way, some special microphones have pop protection already integrated. So the Rode Podcaster has internal pop protection, which is not as effective as an external one but still works well.