The Best Microphone Pop Filters

The Highest Rated Microphone Pop Filters

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Regardless of how good your mics are, if you don't keep plosives in check, your recording sessions could be ruined by them. Fixing plosives in post is a pain to do and things like this are better prevented than fixed.

A good pop filter not only helps manage plosives, it also keeps harsh sibilance in check. Hygiene is also a very important thing especially in recording studios. A pop filter prevents stray droplets of saliva from hitting your mic. Pop filters can be cleaned regularly.

Stop consonants (also called "plosives") force air to move faster, which hits the mic's diaphragm hard enough to cause unwanted signal clipping. Pop filters dissipate the air reducing its velocity, allowing for clean vocal recording even when using words that start with consonants like "P" and "B".

Thanks to the efficiency and practicality of their mechanical filtration, we still haven't found better alternatives to pop filters. Pop filters are positioned between the singer and the microphone to prevent fast-moving air from hitting the mic capsule.

For this 2021 edition, we have analyzed over 21,700 review and rating sources. From these sources, we have come up with a new lineup of the best Microphone Pop Filters including three new entries. For the budget section, we choose one pop filter that a lot of people in the home recording community praise for its incredible value for money.

The Best Microphone Pop Filters

Author & Contributors

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Dragonpad USA 6"

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 7450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
Dragonpad USA Pop filter

The Dragonpad USA 6" Pop filter is a simple, no nonsense pop filter with a 13", 360 degree gooseneck for positioning adaptability.

The clamping mechanism is designed to accommodate various types of mic stand shafts without scuffing or scratching them.

A dual layered filter prevents harder pops and plosives from overloading sensitive condenser diaphragms.

Features

  • Diameter: 6"
  • Gooseneck: 13"
  • Two-layer screen

Pros

"The Dragonpad USA 6" Pop Filter does what it's supposed to do" as noted by one reviewer that reflected many other similar sentiments. It's simplicity, affordability and effectiveness earn it a lot of happy reviews from users.

Cons

The 360 degree rotation of the pop filter unscrews the headframe of the unit.

Overall

The Dragonpad USA 6" just works for those who want an affordable, no nonsense pop filter.

Auphonix MPF-1

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 1050+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$24
Auphonix pop filter

Most manufacturers of pop filters have clamps that generally fit with the standard mic stand, but are not compatible with desktop USB microphones like the Blue Yeti for example.

The clamping mechanism on the Auphonix MPF-1 was designed to be near-universal and compatible with desktop USB mics like the aforementioned Blue Yeti.

It features a double mesh filter design and comes in a round shape that is 6" in diameter (also available in a smaller 4" version). It also features an adjustable gooseneck for precise and stable positioning.

Features

  • Double Screen Mesh
  • 6" Diameter Filter Screen
  • Adjustable Gooseneck
  • Designed for the Blue Yeti Microphone
  • Also works with other desktop mics

Pros

Reviews for the Auphonix MPF-1 generally mention how affordable it is. Several newer reviews have shown that users appreciated the mounting options for desktop USB microphones as other pop filters in this price range don't usually clamp onto them.

Cons

The rubber cushion/pad on the clamp may wear over time as reported by some users. Not having adequate padding may cause the clamp to come loose or scratch your microphone's enclosure.

Overall

For home recording setups centered around USB Microphones, the Auphonix MPF-1 is an affordable and versatile pick.

Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$36

The PS-6 Popper stopper offers 20db to 30db of plosive reduction.

The material also filters out around 3db at the 8kHz to 9kHz range to reduce harsh sibilance.

This makes it great for louder singers or more high-frequency sensitive microphones.

Features

  • Diameter: 6"
  • Gooseneck: 14"
  • Four-layer screen

Pros

Users like the amount of attenuation it offers for even the most intense vocals. While not transparent, users say it's their go-to filter for more aggressive vocal styles. It is also said to be easy to set up by several reviewers.

Cons

Some people didn't like the fact that the high frequencies have some attenuation. Singers with lower registers and deeper voices do not benefit from it. The filter itself is slightly more opaque than most and may obscure the singer's view of the mic and lose track of where to position.

Overall

For ease of set up and ability to stand up to the most aggressive of vocal styles, the PS-6 Popper Stopper scores high marks for reliability. Bear in mind that the filter may color the sound to the detriment of singers with mellower tonalities.

Stedman Proscreen PS101

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$40
Stedman Proscreen PS101 Pop Filter

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Microphone Pop Filter.

The Stedman Proscreen PS101 is the standard size metal pop screen from Stedman.

It features a 4.6" metal screen filter that directs air downwards and away from the mic pickup point while keeping the sound as transparent as possible.

The 13" gooseneck makes positioning easy and the clamp size easily accommodates various mic stand shaft diameters.

Features

  • Diameter: 4.6"
  • Gooseneck: 13"
  • Metal screen

Pros

One of the biggest pros of the Stedman Proscreen PS101 is its transparency. Many users like how their mics sound the same without any high frequency roll-off usually associated with using pop filters. The airflow directing design also kept sibilant sounds from being selectively filtered (a usual occurrence with fabric based filters) making them easier to spot and de-ess in post should there be the need to do so. Having a metal filter also makes the PS101 very durable compared to fabric filters.

Cons

Unlike fabric filters, some saliva might still pass through the filter and onto your mic. While the filter itself is washable, your mic isn't as noted by a user. So have this in mind when using the filter with more aggressive sounding singers.

Overall

The Stedman Proscreen PS101 is a unique and minimal pop filter that does the job differently from most. The result is a transparent sounding upper range capture for your mics while effectively reducing lower plosives. Get it if absolute transparency is desired. If you need a larger filter, the XL version is also featured below.

Stedman Proscreen XL

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$69
Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter

The Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter features a 6" diameter filter that's made using a material that they designed and patented.

While they did not give the exact details, some have described the filter material to be more like metal, that louver plosives to stop them from reaching your microphone while keeping the sound uncolored. The company describes the material to be easy to clean and reliable.

Other features include a 13" flexible gooseneck and a nylon-tipped clamp that is meant to avoid scratches on your mic stand.

Finally, the Stedman Proscreen XL Pro Filter commands a premium price relative to many others, but it is still able to satisfy most of its users and achieve one of the top ratings.

Features

  • Diameter: 6"
  • Gooseneck: 13"
  • Nylon-tip clamp
  • Angled filter openings that force the plosive energy downwards away from the mic
  • Washable filter

Pros

The Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter continues to get great feedback, with many reporting that it exceeded their expectations both in terms of performance and value for money. Many report that the unique material of this pop filter works well, resulting in cleaner recordings, while others found the adjustability and reliability to be well worth the extra investment.

Cons

Speaking of investment, a few users found the price to be too high for a pop filter, but they are easily overwhelmed by those who say otherwise. A small number of users said that it doesn't stop hard / loud plosives well with some reminding that proper vocal technique is still required to get the most out of this premium filter.

Overall

If budget is not an issue and you're looking for a reliable non-fabric mesh, then this American-made high-quality pop filter is highly recommended.

Mikrofonen Hakan P110

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$99
Mikrofonen Hakan P110 Pop Filter

The Mikrofonen Hakan P110 is a premium pop filter for those who demand absolute transparency with their vocals.

The specially designed hydrophobic foam not only keeps plosives at bay but it also protects your microphones from moisture and saliva that may corrode and damage them.

Features

  • Replaceable hydrophobic foam for moisture wicking
  • Transparent Filter and Mount prevents tonal coloration
  • 1" Mounting clamp and flexible gooseneck

Pros

Although the manufacturer states the filter does not "color" the sound, one user mentioned her voice sounded clearer and higher in fidelity than usual. Clarity is a recurring comment in reviews.

Cons

Some found it too expensive for a pop filter - this is aimed at the premium end of the market.

Overall

The Hakan P110 by Mikrofonen is a top of the line pop filter that's great for people who want absolute clarity with their vocal recordings.

JZ Microphones JZ PF

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$119
JZ Microphones JZ Pop Filter

The JZ PF has a unique wave pattern on the filter mesh that the company designed to "reduc[e] unwanted reverberations, and kill the pops and blows effectively".

The mesh is mounted on a 17.7" long gooseneck.

Features

  • Diameter: 3.75’’
  • Gooseneck: 17.7"
  • Wave pattern filter distributes wind pressure to mitigate plosives

Pros

John Baccigaluppi from TapeOP magazine mentions in this review that "...The JZ PF is one such product — the best, most well-designed, and well-built pop filter I’ve ever used." Several user reviews also state the pop filter made them use fewer processing steps during the mixing phase because the voices sounded more controlled. The pop filter was effective in fixing the issue of plosives at the tracking phase without sacrificing low-frequency clarity.

Cons

The actual filter is small so singers that move around a lot may not benefit from it. Pricey.

Overall

Sometimes the best way to get great vocal tracks is to fix things as close to the source as possible. For some, it's the room, or the mics, or even the kind of cable. For many users, the JZ PF helped eliminate problems of plosives and clarity early on that they didn't have to use more processing than needed in the mix. This alone makes it a great investment if the budget allows.

Things to Consider When Buying a Pop Filter

Filter Material

Most manufacturers choose to build their pop filters using nylon or other fabric materials, usually because they are cheaper and more importantly they get the job done. Others utilize woven or perforated metal, of which some claim to provide improved clarity and transparency, specifically in the upper frequencies. There is no definite answer as to which is better, many experienced users still prefer nylon mesh material, while more premium builders prefer metal.

Filter Diameter

The standard filter diameter that many pop filters follow is 6", but there are smaller ones, with 4" being the most common among them. The bigger the pop filter diameter is, the more room for movement the vocalist has. This allows for natural body movements while recording, instead of being strictly in one position which can sometimes kill inspiration and vibe. Smaller pop filters are ideal for small mics and small recording spaces, they are also lighter, which reduces the stress on the gooseneck, resulting in increased stability.

Gooseneck Quality

The length, flexibility, and stability of the filter's gooseneck plays a very important role in positioning the filter. You don't want a filter that droops and requires constant adjustments, and you also don't want a neck that requires too much effort to bend into position.

Mounting and Compatibility

Most pop filters come with clamping and mounting mechanisms that allow for secure attachment to mic stands, and they should be fine if you use stand-mounted mics. However, if you're using a desktop mounted mic, especially for home recording, you'll want a pop filter that can clip on the desk, or on the mic itself. Some USB mics might not have the mass to counterbalance the weight of the pop filter. In this case, choose a smaller pop filter with an adjustable clamp.

Another Way to Use a Pop Filter

I sometimes use pop filters when miking bass amps for slap bass players. This playing style usually has really fast speaker movements, and I usually use dynamic mics, but when using a condenser I like using a pop filter as a means to smooth out the sudden rush of air (transients) from the speaker.

Best Pop Filter Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the latest edition was published on August 3, 2021.

First, we looked for pop filters that are readily available from US retailers. We then made a short-list of 17 models and compiled related data about them, including user ratings, reviews, forum discussions, expert opinions. You can view our short-list in the Music Gear Database. The data we gathered for this 2021 edition tallied to over 21,700 sources. This large number of sources was then processed by the Gearank Algorithm to produce our rating scores out of 100. We selected the highest rated from the list to recommend above. For more information about our methods, see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Alexander Briones: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com using photographs of the Shure PS-6, Stedman Proscreen XL and Auphonix MPF-1.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

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