You got yourself a Blue Snowball mic – so now the recording fun can finally start, right? Well, it depends. The problem is that even very good mics will record nasty popping sounds when you’re speaking close to them. The only real solution: A pop filter.
In this article, I’m going to explain to you what a pop filter is and whether you need one for the Blue Snowball. I will also present five possible pop filter options for the Blue Snowball and show you how you can set them up.
What is a pop filter?
A pop filter is a type of noise protection filter that is used on microphones. It is mostly used to filter out “plosives” and other popping sounds. Plosives are sounds like “p,” “t,” or “k,” which can cause a fast airstream from your mouth to hit the microphone. This often results in unpleasant popping noises or low rumbling sounds that make your recording instantly sound cheaper and less professional.
While you can also reduce popping sounds by moving away from the microphone, this will usually lead to a loss of sound quality and a change in the sound. Your voice will likely sound thinner since it will be mixed with the room sound. If you want your sound to be professional, this is not the way to go!
When you use a pop filter, your voice still arrives at the microphone, while the hard-hitting air gets stopped at the filter mesh. This means a pop filter can help you get rid of pops and create higher quality recordings.
Do you need a pop filter for the Blue Snowball?
There is only one situation in which a pop filter won’t improve your Blue Snowball recordings and that is when you don’t want to use the mic close to your mouth anyway. Maybe your desk or studio is set up in a way where you’ll be a foot or two away from the mic, or you have the mic below you on the desk and speak above it (but not into it). In these cases, using a pop filter might not be necessary.
However, in 99% of the cases, I would say getting a pop filter is a good idea. Why? First, setting your mic up relatively close to your mouth will give you the best results soundwise and using a pop filter is the only reliable way to prevent pop sounds in that scenario. Second, even if you don’t want to set up your Blue Snowball very close to you, there might be situations where a pop filter can help you keep your recording clean (for example, if you raise your voice or change your angle).
What should you look for in a pop filter for the Blue Snowball?
Obviously, the quality of the mesh will determine the effectiveness of the filter. Choosing between a mesh made of nylon or metal will probably not matter when you use the Blue Snowball (this is only relevant when you get into high-end audio gear). That said, if you use the cheaper nylon variety, a double mesh (as opposed to a single mesh) will usually be more effective.
The arm or “gooseneck” will help your pop filter stay in the right place. Having used plenty of pop filters, this is what sets apart many quality filters from the cheaply produced ones. If you want to attach the pop filter to the desk stand of the Blue Snowball, you will need an arm that can hold flexible positions.
It can be pretty annoying to work with a low-quality clamp. In the best-case scenario, you’ll spend more time screwing, and in the worst case, the filter might come off during the recording (this has happened to me!).
What’s the best pop filter for the Blue Snowball?
Luckily, most pop filters are pretty affordable today due to the huge competition on the market. For the following review, I picked five popular models that are used by thousands of creators every day.
Auphonix 6-Inch Diameter Pop Filter
Auphonix is a brand that seems to be very aware of the current microphone landscape. The double-layered mesh of the Auphonix 6-inch Pop Filter will stop all incoming plosives while the quality gooseneck makes sure that the filter always stays in place. The clamp feels quite secure as well. The only downside to this pop filter, in my opinion, is that it’s quite big and heavy at 6-inch diameter and about 300g (more than 10oz). If there were a 5-inch version of this filter, it would be ideal.
Dragonpad USA Pop Filter Studio Pop Filter
This pop filter by Dragonpad is one of the most popular budget-friendly filters on the market. Its double-layer mesh is very effective against all popping sounds caused by plosives and other mouth sounds. It is also pretty flexible and has the ability to turn 360 degrees.
Some users of this pop filer have reported that they had issues with the clamp – the screw wouldn’t stay very tight. There are also some customers who have complained that the filter doesn’t stay in its position very well.
InnoGear Updated Pop Filter
The InnoGear Microphone Pop Filter comes with a double-layer nylon mesh that will protect your mic from recording popping sounds. It is quite flexible and happens to be pretty popular with users of Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti microphones. While the mesh is solid quality, the clamp could be a little better. There have also been reports from long-term users who have complained about the low durability of the filter. This seems mostly to be an issue with people who use it very often. One thing I like about this pop filter by InnoGear is that it is quite light at only about 200g (7 oz.).
BC Master Pop Filter
The BC Master 5-Inch Pop Filter advertises the fact that it is built with modern USB microphones in mind. Indeed, it does its job well with a double-layered nylon mesh and a flexible gooseneck. One of the best features of this filter is the metal clamp that holds it in place. With a diameter of 5 inches, it comes in the ideal size to cover the Blue Snowball without being too big.
Since this pop filter is relatively new on the market, it’s a little hard to make predictions about its durability. So buy this one at your own risk!
Neewer NW(B-3) 6-inch Studio Pop Filter
The Neewer NW(B-3) is another pop filter that’s very popular with new YouTubers and podcasters. The double-layered mesh will make those pops and low rumble noises disappear. Unfortunately, it seems like the gooseneck can be somewhat loose in some positions. Also, the clamp has been described as weak by some users. This means that it might take a little extra work to get this pop filter in the right position. Additionally, some customers have reported durability issues with this filter.
Result: What is the best pop filter for the Blue Snowball?
All in all, my number one choice is the Auphonix 6-Inch Diameter Microphone. Its mesh does its job very well and the quality construction makes it easy to work with. As an alternative, I would recommend the BC Master 5-Inch Pop Filter.
How to set up your pop filter on the Blue Snowball
When it comes to setting up your pop filter, there are two popular options.
On the desk stand
To use it on the desk stand, simply put the clamp on the body (as opposed to the legs) of the microphone stand and tighten it. You can bend the gooseneck over the mic like in this picture:
Or you can bend it around sideways like in this video by TheSuperGamerss:
On a boom arm
A boom arm is a microphone stand that is typically mounted on a desk and can be swiveled into any position. Boom arms are super practically – especially if you do lots of recording. This is what they typically look like (this is the Rode PSA1, which I personally use):
If you use a boom arm, you’d typically want to clamp the pop filter directly to the arm and bend the gooseneck around the microphone like in this video:
And there you go! You’re one step closer to a professional recording setup. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about pop filters or how to set them up! Also, if you have used a pop filter before, let us know about your experiences!