Wind noise can really shatter the illusion of a field recording, so windscreens are a boring but essential part of every kit. I’ve been testing windscreen options for a few years, so I’ll park that knowledge here.
I’m primarily testing windscreens that are small, practical, and relatively inexpensive or DIY. I’m not interested in on-camera dialog, so concealment doesn’t matter. I just want something I can take out of my bag in a reasonable wind and get a great recording. Most of the items below are furry covers that fit over the foam that usually comes with a mic. They are known as windjammers, dead cats, dead kittens, etc.
A blimp is a larger cage that completely surrounds the microphone. They are much more expensive (and effective) than the options I list in this table. I don’t intend to test blimps here, but I’ll add them if I come across them.
- Best Lav Windjammer
Movo WS10m. A sleeper. It’s cheap and more effective than the expensive options from Rycote and Bubblebee.
- Best Stereo Windjammer
The Rycote windjammers in a variety of sizes are well-made and they perform great.
- Best Budget Stereo Windjammer
The Zoom WSU-1 works very well on a variety of recorders and stereo mics, and is cheaper than similar Rycote options.
DIY Note: If you are inclined, you can make windscreens that are more effective than the options above. All you need is fake fur, a sewing machine, and some time. See the table below for more info..
Mic Windscreen Comparison Table
(Click the header row to sort. Shift-click for secondary sort.)
|Name||Size/Type||Cost (each)||HF Cut @ 10kHz +||Wind Effectiveness
|Window Air Conditioner foam||Raw Material||0.5 dB||Very open foam, might be useful for interior of blimps?|
|Spandex||Raw Material||0.7 dB||Intended as outer layer for DIY blimps|
|Sports Mesh||Raw Material||1 dB||Intended as outer layer for DIY blimps|
|Foam Windscreen||Raw Material||0.5 dB||1||A catch-all entry for the foam covers available for all microphones. Makes a good base layer for fur, but otherwise useless outdoors.|
|Rycote Windjammers (various)||Stereo||$40 – $100||3 dB||5||The practical “gold standard” for effectiveness and minimum attenuation. I’ve used several models and they are all good.|
|Auray WRW-H4N||Stereo||$35||7 dB +||4||B&H “house brand” windjammer intended for small Zoom recorders. Effective, but major HF cut. Avoid.|
|Zoom WSU-1||Stereo||$30||2 dB||4||Long fur with inner lining. Great balance of effectiveness and HF response.
Zoom h1n: fits over foam.
|Chromlives Wind Muff for Zoom H1||Stereo||$13||8 dB +||2||Avoid! Insane HF roll-off and minimally effective.|
|Movo WS9||Stereo||$15||3||Zoom h1n: fits over foam.|
|Bestshoot Deadcat Wind Shield for H1n||Stereo||$10||3||Zoom h1n: fits without foam.|
|Rycote Lavalier Windjammer||Lav||$23||3 dB||2||HF cut similar to larger Rycote windjammers, but effectiveness is worse than cheaper options.|
|Movo WS-RD10||Lav||$5||5 dB||Rubber insert to fit nicely on 10mm capsule, but weird midrange resonance and steep HF cut disqualifies it.|
|Movo WS-G10||Lav||$5||5 dB (and steep cut above 10kHz)||2||2-piece set designed for specific mic, but sizes are useful for many others. HF cut disqualifies it, though.|
|Movo WS10m||Lav||$2||1 dB||4||(Sometimes listed as WS10n) Best commercial lav windmuff I’ve heard. Cheap, very effective and minimal HF cut.|
|Comica CVM-MF1||Lav||$3.30||2 dB (but steep cut at 15 kHz)||2||(Comes in black or grey) Nice draw-string closure, but not very effective.|
|Bubblebee Windbubble (size 4)||Lav||$27||2||Under-performed relative to price, didn’t bother to test HF cut.|
|Zramo 6-10 mm Muff||Lav||$1||2||Ineffective, Didn’t bother to test HF cut.|
|DIY Lav (Alaskan Husky)||Lav||$ 1 (varies)||3 dB||5||Made with “Alaskan Husky” fur from Big Z Fabrics, which I found to be the best of several fake fur options. Larger, but more effective windjammer than any commercial options I tested.|
- I used REW software to plot a sine sweep with a speaker and a 10mm omni mic capsule to determine how each windscreen alters the frequency response of the mic. The table shows the amount of high-frequency reduction around 10kHz, along with any notes about other frequency anomalies.
- For lavalier windjammers and raw materials, I set up a 10mm omni capsule at 0.5m from a fan running at a constant speed to produce 5-6 mph wind speed at the microphone. I made test recordings of each sample with matched gains, then compared the recordings subjectively to assess effectiveness. A rating of 5 means that I would happily record with that setup, and any wind noise would be minimal or nonexistent.
- For stereo windjammers, I did a similar test with a Zoom H1n recorder. Note that the directional mics on the Zoom are naturally more wind-sensitive, so I haven’t found a windjammer that I would rate as a “5”. It really requires a larger “dead air” space like a blimp would provide.