Pop filter and windscreen are terms that you often hear when buying and using a studio microphone. Are you curious why this is often talked about and why you need it? Then read right away!
To make the best use of a studio microphone, you need an audio interface or a soundcard, but often that is not all. To remove background noise, for example, they use an 'omnidirectional' microphone. And to prevent vibrations from rumbling of a table, desk or floor, you will soon need a shock mount.
With both an omnidirectional microphone and a unidirectional microphone, you cannot easily avoid 'pop' sounds. To eliminate this effect, you can use a pop filter. A pop filter ensures that the wind, which goes directly from the mouth to the microphone, is stopped and gently passing it to the mic so that it doesn't come too hard against the membrane of the microphone. The pop filter is often attached to the microphone arm/tripod so that it can easily be moved anywhere and is easy to use. Pop filters are usually for vocal recordings.
A windscreen is almost the same as a pop filter, but you place it on top of the microphone instead of in front. It is easy to use and is never in the way. A windscreen will dampen higher frequencies faster than a pop filter. However, it is also used during live interviews on television, so that all sounds of noise and wind are not picked up by the microphone.