A man wearing a white shirt adjusts a pop filter in front of his microphone. Voice Over

How To Position a Pop Filter With Your Microphone

A good-quality microphone is a primary tool for any voice actor. However, the key to a crisp and clear voice over isn’t left to the microphone alone. You’ll need a pop filter to avoid the annoying pops and clicks that appear while recording. 

Read on to learn about pop filters, including how to position a pop filter with your microphone, how this tool helps voice actors and some of the best options on the market. 

What Is a Pop Filter?

A pop filter is a microphone accessory that voice actors can use to cut down on unwanted popping, clicking, and hissing sounds. 

When we talk, our mouths, throat, tongue, and lips all work together to create the sounds we want. When pronouncing certain letters, known as plosive consonants, airflow is blocked, so letters like p, b, and k are more pronounced. 

In everyday conversation, this goes unnoticed, but when recorded on a microphone, the additional popping and clicking sounds can become a significant nuisance and detract from your work. 

A pop filter helps reduce or eliminate these distracting pops, clicks, and hisses. The filter sits in front of the microphone and consists of metal or nylon mesh that helps reduce unwanted high-end and low-end noise. 

How To Position a Pop Filter

Here’s a step-by-step guide to correctly position your pop filter:

1. Examine the Pop Filter

Once you’ve taken the pop filter out of the box, you should see that on one end is a clamp with a screw and on the other is the pop filter. 

2. Grab Your Microphone Stand and Position the Clamp

Next, you’ll need to grab your microphone stand and set it in front of you. If you have a long-armed or boom style microphone stand, you’ll attach the clamp to the arm of the stand. If you have a standard or short microphone stand, you’ll attach the clamp to the base of the stand.

3. Position Your Pop Filter

Before fully tightening the clamp, you’ll need to ensure the pop filter is sitting correctly in front of your microphone. The mesh filter should sit fully in front of the microphone with a six-inch gap between the microphone and the pop filter. You can also use three fingers to measure the gap. Fully tighten the clamp. 

4. Use Your Pop Filter

Once your pop filter is perfectly positioned, you can use it! To get the most precise sound, try to maintain a four-to-six-inch gap between your mouth and the pop filter.

Why Voice Actors Need a Pop Filter

Most voice actors nowadays work out of a home studio most of the time, so ensuring you’re getting the highest quality sound with minimal effort is critical. A pop filter is an inexpensive tool that can help maximize the professional quality of your voice acting. 

In voice acting, speaking clearly and cleanly is often the ultimate goal. 

Best Pop Filters for Voice Actors

Here are some of the best pop filters out there for voice actors:

Best Pop Filter for Beginners: Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter

If you’re new to voice acting and looking for something basic that works well, the Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter is your best bet. 

The pop filter is cheap, so you’ll be able to get the perks of a pop filter without breaking the bank. This filter may not last as long as another choice, but it’s well-reviewed, and you can start in voice acting with better quality sound. 

Best Pop Filter on a Budget: Nady MPF-6 Pop Filter

If you’re looking for a quality pop filter to use in voice acting, are relatively experienced, and looking for a deal, the Nady MPF-6 Pop Filter is excellent. The filter is relatively inexpensive but extraordinarily well-reviewed and well-known in the industry. 

Best Pop Filter for Professionals: Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter

For professionals that need a sturdy, long-lasting, professional pop filter, the Stedman Proscreen XL Pop Filter is a perfect choice. This piece is an industry favorite among voice actors and singers.

Best Wraparound-Style Pop Filter: PEMOTech Pop Filter

Most pop filters are gooseneck-style, meaning they have a clamp attached to a long, adjustable arm. With cheaper pop filters, a gooseneck arm can get loose fast, and you can have trouble correctly positioning the pop filter. 

The wraparound-style pop filters solve this issue, as there’s no long arm to adjust. The drawback is that you must ensure the filter will fit your microphone because you cannot easily change it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding pop filters for voice acting: 

Does a pop filter reduce background noise?

No, a pop filter does not reduce background noise. The pop filter reduces the pops and clicks that occur in regular speech, reducing close-contact noise. Soundproofing and windscreens can help cut down on any unwanted background noise. 

Does a pop filter help with breathing noise?

A pop filter can help reduce breathing noise within reason. A lot of breathing noise comes through in recording due to poor breath control and incorrect microphone placement. If a microphone is too close, it can pick up all the littlest noises and slightly distort them. 

If you’re doing breathing exercises and positioning your microphone correctly, a pop filter can help eliminate any lingering breathing noises in your recording. 

Does a pop filter change your voice?

A pop filter can help eliminate popping and clicking sounds that impact the microphone, but the filter does not have any warping or distortion effects that will change your voice.

Outside of sounding clearer and removing unwanted mouth sounds, the pop filter shouldn’t impact your voice’s tone, impact, or clarity. 

Final Thoughts

Getting high-quality sound is the primary goal for voice actors, and luckily, there are many tools to help get your voice overs as clear and crisp as can be. Pop filters are just one of the many ways you can help improve the professional quality of your voice acting. 

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to improve your voice acting!

What’s your favorite pop filter? Let us know on TikTok or Instagram!

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  • Avatar for Moichi
    March 2, 2023, 5:57 pm

    In Japan, this filter is used to prevent saliva from flying off and sticking to the condenser microphone unit, as pop noise is often produced when Japanese people speak near the microphone. Even experienced voice-over artists are educated that this filter is necessary to protect the microphone unit from direct moisture.