You must have seen most professional broadcasters or YouTubers use some kind of mesh or cloth device in front of their microphones when they are recording. This is known as a pop filter and it is used to filter out the plosive sounds your mouth makes when you say words containing Bs or Ps.
With that out of the way, the next biggest question becomes which type of pop filter to use? Shall we go with a mesh metallic pop filter, one of those cool ones? Or should we go with the traditional nylon cloth pop filter?
This article will try to shed light on what are the main differences between these types of pop filters and if there is any benefit with going with one over the other. So let’s jump right straight into it.
Table of Contents
What Is A Nylon Pop Filter or Windscreen?
Nylon pop filters are typically made of expandable woven nylon fabric material similar to the material used in ladies’ skin socks. This material is very soft and very expandable and is almost the perfect barrier for plosive sounds and blasts of air that come out of your mouth when you record very close to the microphone.
What Is A Metal Mesh Pop Filter or
Metal mesh pop filters on the other hand are typically made of a mesh of metallic wires forming a net. The type of metal used is going to be different in various types of pop filters. Usually, premium materials are used for more expensive variants, while cheaper materials are used in lower level pop filters.
The mesh is similar to the one covering the top of a microphone. So if you have a condenser or dynamic microphone in front of you that comes with a metallic mesh over it, the pop filter will basically be something similar but stretched out and straight in the shape that gives some coverage to the front of the microphone.
What Material Is Best For A Pop Filter?
Both metallic mesh pop filter and nylon fabric pop filters do a good job in reducing the amount of plosive sounds captured by your microphones capsule. On closer inspection, however, you’ll see that the holes on a mesh pop filter are visible to the naked eye, while it’s almost impossible to see through the individual holes on nylon cloth.
This means that less air from speaking bursts will go through a cloth filter when compared to a mesh metallic one. The less air that can pass through your pop filter, the cleaner the recording will be. So while in theory, they are both effective at the work they do, the cloth or nylon material is slightly more effective at its job.
How Metal Mesh Pop Filters Are Better Than Cloth Pop Filters
Here below are some ways in which metallic pop filters are better than their cloth counterparts.
1. Metal mesh pop filters diffuse the blast of air from the mouth and try to break it and redirect it before it hits the mic capsule.
2. Metal mesh pop filter is typically built better, are stronger and more robust. They tend to survive for much longer use. Cloth filters on the other hand also do last long but are more prone to damage, say for example something sharp breaks through the nylon cloth which is very thin and light.
3. Metal mesh pop filters are typically used for more premium microphones. This is because they are also more expensive to produce and give a sense of luxury.
4. Metal mesh pop filters are easier to clean and maintain. As long as you don’t use harsh solvents that degrade metals, a quick wipe with some warm water, soap and microfibre towel will result in the clean nice smelling fresh pop filter.
They are also easier to disinfect, as you can use a light mild disinfectant to pass over them and get rid of viruses and other types of bacteria. A similar level of cleaning for a nylon cloth windscreen will involve washing it and then allowing it to dry.
How Nylon Cloth Filters Are Better Than Metallic Mesh Pop Filters
To keep this fair, here are some ways in which cloth filters are better than their metallic mesh counterparts
1. Nylon cloth pop filters block the air blasts and are very effective at reducing plosives. In most cases, they are much more effective than their metallic counterparts. This is because the holes in the cloth are tighter together when compared to the holes in the metallic mesh variants.
2. Nylon cloth pop filters are quite light when compared to the bulky heavy metallic ones. This means less weight on your microphone holder or arm.
3. Nylon pop filters are cheaper and more readily available. This means you could get a hold of one quite quickly and start gaining the benefits of using the pop filter in front of your microphone’s capsule.
4. Nylon pop filters are also easier to DIY or make by yourself at home. All you need is a pair of female nylon socks and something round with a hole in the middle to make a shape of the pop filter, and you’ve got yourself a functioning DIY kit.
So that brings our article on the main differences between mesh metallic pop filters and nylon cloth pop filters to a close. Thanks for reading all the way down here. We really do hope that this article has helped you get closer to a decision on which type of pop filter to buy for your microphone.
One being fancier and easier to maintain than the other, in the end, both types of pop filters will work almost equally. The specific type you choose will depend on your needs and the specific type of use case you have.
All the best with your microphone recording sessions.