Windscreen vs. pop filter: Which one do you need?

When you’re recording, streaming, or podcasting, your sound quality is crucial. To ensure good sound quality, you need to use a windscreen or pop filter. But what are they? What do they do? In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between both accessories (windscreen vs. pop filter) and when you might need each one.

What is a windscreen?

A windscreen is a type of microphone cover that helps to reduce the sound of wind and other environmental noise. They are typically made from foam or mesh and fit over the microphone head. Many microphones come with a foam windscreen which is intended to catch the noise of your breath, plosives (hard consonant sounds like “p” and “b”), and other air being expelled from your mouth when speaking.

windscreen vs. pop filter - foam windscreen

Windscreens are especially useful for outdoor interviews or vlogs where there may be a lot of background noise (like the sound of cars passing by on an otherwise quiet street). They can also help prevent saliva from damaging sensitive microphone parts during recording.

Another type of windscreen that has been popular lately is the furry windscreen, also known as windjammers. These are made from a soft, furry fabric and are designed to reduce wind noise even more than foam windscreens. Furry windscreens can be good for reducing noise from air conditioners or other fans in the room.

windscreen vs. pop filter - flurry windscreen

As you can see, different types of windscreens are used for various purposes. If you’re making a lot of outdoor recording or a lot of noise in your environment, you’ll want to use a windscreen.

What is a pop filter?

A pop filter is a type of microphone cover that helps to reduce the sound of “p” and “b” sounds (known as plosives). They are typically made from mesh or fabric and fit over the microphone head. Pop filters work by deflecting the air from your mouth away from the microphone. This prevents the explosive noise created by these consonant sounds from reaching the mic and ruining your recording.

windscreen vs. pop filter - pop filter mesh

Pop filters are handy for people who have a loud voice or tend to make many popping noises when they speak. If you’re doing a lot of podcasting or streaming, you’ll want to use a pop filter.

Pop filters are not meant to be used in place of a windscreen. They are designed to help reduce plosive sounds, but they will not do anything to reduce the sound of wind noise. Pop filters are commonly used in closed spaces, like a recording studio, whereas windscreens are commonly used outdoors.

Windscreen vs. pop filter – Which one is more expensive?

Both windscreens and pop filters are relatively affordable accessories. You can purchase a good-quality foam windscreen for around $15 and a furry windscreen for about $25. Many microphones already come with a foam windscreen included.

Pop filters typically cost between $20 and $30. But the price can skyrocket if you purchase a more expensive model for professional use.

Can I use a windscreen for streaming/podcasting?

Yes! You can use a good-quality foam or furry windscreen for streaming and podcasting. They will reduce the pop sounds of hard consonants (plosives) and any background wind noise. However, they won’t block them entirely as a pop filter does.

However. if you’re serious about streaming or podcasting, then I would recommend purchasing a pop filter as well. They will help to reduce plosive sounds even more and give you a cleaner-sounding final product.

Besides, if you’re recording indoors, you don’t need to worry about wind noise, so a pop filter and windscreen will be equally effective in protecting your microphone from saliva and plosive sounds.

On the other hand, you can’t use a pop filter to block wind noise. For that, you’ll need a separate foam or furry windscreen.

Can you record/stream without a pop filter or windscreen?

You can record and stream without using any microphone cover at all! Some people choose to forego these accessories because they feel their voice sounds better when it’s not covered up with fabric or mesh.

windscreen vs. pop filter - streaming

However, the sound quality may suffer if there are plosives in your recording. This is especially true for outdoor recordings where there could be some background noise.

If your budget allows it, I recommend purchasing a foam or furry windscreen and a pop filter. This will give you the best possible sound quality for your recordings and streams.

Windscreen vs. pop Filter: Which one is better?

The bottom line is that both windscreens and pop filters are essential accessories to have if you’re doing any recording. They each serve a different purpose, and they both work to improve the overall sound quality of your recordings.

Which one you need depends on what kind of environment you’ll be recording in and what type of sounds you want to reduce. If you’re unsure whether or not you need a windscreen or pop filter, ask someone who’s been in the audio production business for a while. They’ll be able to help you make the best decision for your specific needs.

Let us know in the comments below which type of microphone cover you use and why! We’d love to hear from you.

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