Before you speak, you inhale a fresh load of air. That air is used to make the sound of your voice. Most of the time, the air trickles out gently, but a few sounds (like “P” or “B” or “T“) cause large puffs of air to go forth all at once.
When these puffs reach a nearby microphone, the excess air creates a “POP” sound as the sensitive mic element gets overloaded.
To combat this, a foam windscreen or a mesh pop filter can be used. The foam windscreen is especially effective for handheld mics used outdoors. It’s always in position, and it will reduce noise from any breeze that may come by.
Foam windscreens are also popular in the studio, but they tend to slightly reduce the highest frequencies. So, a mesh pop filter is preferred.
Pop filters are available for side-address or end-address mics. The side-address filters usually have their own gooseneck that mounts separately to the mic stand. The filter is then positioned in front of the mic. If the mic is moved, the filter has to be re-positioned.
Foam windscreens and nylon pop filters should be cleaned or replaced periodically, especially around flu season. You never know what the user before you may have left behind.
A metal screen pop filter is easy to clean with a disinfectant cloth wipe, so it doesn’t need to be replaced. Our favorite metal screen pop filter is the REPOP family (available in colors to match the RE20, RE27ND, and RE320 mics, as well as PR40 and PROCASTER). REPOP is our favorite because it’s our own design. We like it a lot.
“Peter Piper prefers peanut butter…”
No more pops. Nice…