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What’s the Difference Between a Foam Cover Mic & Pop Filter?

Some of the issues in audio recording are unwanted sounds. Whether speaking or singing, rogue noises can obtrude on your audio, making it flawed or completely unusable.

Even if you invest in the best microphone, there is a probability the result of your recording will not be perfect because sometimes they cannot regulate unwanted noise.

To solve this problem, artists use pop filters and foam mic covers to screen out extra noises, which results in clear audio. However, each item functions differently and is not used in the same situation. 

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Each one functions better with particular microphones.

To help you determine which one is the best for your needs, we will discuss foam mic cover vs. pop filter and when they are best to use.

Which Filter is Better: Foam Mic Cover vs. Pop Filter

While both a mic cover and a pop filter eliminate unwanted noise produced by wind blowing on the microphone, they have some differences.

If you choose between a foam and a pop filter, comparing the two is crucial and determining their differences.

What is a Foam Mic Cover?

A foam mic cover, also called a windscreen, is a porous and polyurethane cylinder fitted on a microphone’s grille. 

Its purpose is to block out the sound of the wind to produce flawless audio. Foam mic covers are about half an inch thick.

Some mics are manufactured with custom-sized foam mic covers. There are also universal foam mic covers that can fit over various microphones. They are affordable and portable and protect the mic against moisture.

A foam mic cover eliminates low-frequency interference caused by bursts of air. It will also hinder air from all sides instead of only the front.

Foam mic covers are ideal for outdoor recordings or presentations that have to sound clean and free from wind noises. This is the best option if you are in a situation that is a one-time opportunity and it is impossible to do over.

Advantages

  • Pairs with omnidirectional mics
  • Minimize extra background noise
  • An excellent choice for working outdoors to capture sound with less wind interference
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • Less effective in reducing plosives compared to pop filters
  • Some high frequencies are absorbed by the foam, making the sound of your recording dull
  • The foam dries out eventually, and the flakes may fall off into the microphone.

What is a Pop Filter?

A pop filter is a device that looks like a lollipop placed between a microphone and the person talking or singing. Its purpose is to filter plosives or the popping sounds produced when you expel sharp gusts of air.

Condenser mics are more prone to plosives compared to other mics.

Pop filters also minimize fricatives or sibilance. Sibilance is the hissing sound caused by pronouncing or singing an Sh or S sound.

This device is excellent for indoor use to eliminate plosives and sibilance when utilizing voiceover microphones. Your audio may sound amateur and abrasive if you do not use a pop filter. 

They are essential when doing high-quality voiceovers, YouTube videos, and podcasts that will keep your listeners engaged.

Advantages

  • It minimizes sibilance and plosives.
  • Get rid of issues with low and high-end, which makes the recording easy to edit.
  • Safeguard the microphone from saliva, which may corrode it
  • Easy to use
  • It helps users stay the proper distance from the mic when adequately placed.

Disadvantages

  • Less effective in reducing background noise compared to foam mic cover.
  • May suffer from the proximity effect
  • It blocks your face if you are doing video work
  • Some metal pop filters whistle
  • Difficulty seeing the copy if you are doing a voiceover work

Buying a Microphone Filter? Here Are Some Things to Consider

Microphone filters have various features and characteristics, and each type has different uses. To ensure you are buying the right one for your need, consider these essential factors:

  • Size

Microphone filters come in different sizes. A smaller mic filter may be the best if you have a more miniature mic. Also, keep in mind that larger filters may weigh down your microphone. 

Thus, you should make sure the size of your microphone filter fits your mic properly.

  • Installation

Ensure the filter can be installed easily and stays put.

  • Shape

Curved filters can accommodate performers who move freely and provide more microphone coverage. While flat filters are more affordable; however, you have to be careful when singing or speaking directly into the mic to avoid creating plosives.

  • Materials

Microphone filters come in various materials, and every material provides different results. Woven nylon filters produce a more classic sound, while metal mesh filters offer a more modern style.

Choosing the Right Mic Filter

Foam mic cover and pop filters are valuable devices in recording audio. Whether creating music or recording a voiceover, it is best to have the right equipment for quality results. 

If you are unsure which to use, this article should point you on the right track.

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