Foam, Embroidery Hoop and Metal Pop Filters

Click to see details of foam filter breakdown.
Foam Pop filters
Have you ever used a foam pop filter on a high quality vocal microphone? If you have, you probably noticed foam does a good job on filtering out pops and sibilance but foam does not stop there. Foam pop filters rob your vocals of sonic details and clarity leaving vocals sounding dull. The better quality microphone used the more noticeable the difference between a foam filter and a Popless Voice Screens VAC? pop filter

“Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the Popless VAC 3.5c voice screen. It's built tough and the difference in sound quality next to a foam filter is night and day. The sounds a lot brighter and cleaner. Plus it looks awesome with my Rode NTK.:) Once again, thanks for a GREAT product!”

Russ McLamb, Chris-Mar Studios

Foam provides good protection from the outside elements but tends to deteriorate over time. The foam particles breakdown and can get deposited on your mic's diaphragm causing undesirable distortions.
Click to see details of foam filter breakdown.

Embroidery Hoop Pop Filters
Manufacturers of the common ‘embroidery hoop’ pop filters like Popper Stopper™ or Raxxess each provide one acoustic setting intended to work for everyone. This ‘one-size fits all’ pop filter design proves limited since the manufacturer decides how many layers of their acoustic material will work best for YOUR VOCAL.

This ‘one size fits all’ design ends up a compromise, over filtering for some vocalists with the results sounding dull and under filtering for others, letting through too many pops and or sibilance past the pop filter. VAC™ pop filters bring pop filter technology into the 21st century by adjusting to the individual's vocal characteristics.

Metal Pop filters
Manufacturers A sturdy metal pop filter made by Stedman/Royer entered the market a few years back. The Stedman pop filter uses a patented metal screen that redirects pops downward and away from the microphone. The Stedman, according to their literature, needs to be positioned correctly to keep the redirected pops from reaching the microphone.

The Stedman is available in one diameter screen size only and like the ‘embroidery hoop’ type pop filters is not adjustable. The filtering action seems about equal to using one of the VAC™ acoustic screens. An unsolicited quote from a user of both the Stedman and the VAC™ pop filter writes:

“I wanted to let you know what a versatile and superior pop filter you guys at Popless have come up with. I had just purchased one of the metal Stedman Proscreens and was disappointed that the Stedman was not filtering out enough pops and sibilance. I found the Popless Voice Screens Variable Acoustic Compression™ pop filters on the web and decided to order one of your new VAC-s6 shock mount adjustable pop filters and give it a try.

I set up my microphone with the Popless VAC-s6 for a test and was amazed with the results. The VAC™ pop filter simply outperformed the Stedman. The Popless pop filter drastically reduced pops and sibilance while sounding sonically superior to the Stedman pop filter. Needless to say, the Stedman went back to the store and the VAC-s6 stayed on the microphone. Thanks for a great product that works as advertised!”

Joe Fernandez, JMF Sound Engineering
Recent credits include:
Michelle Williams – Destinys Child, Percy Bady, Darius Brooks and Roy Davis Jr.

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