British microphone manufacturers Aston have developed a name for themselves in recent years by delivering microphones that are unique in both design and sound. It’s not just their microphones that are changing the classic design principles in the studio, as seen with accessories like their Halo reflection filter and now, the new line of pop filters, the Aston Shields. There are three combinations available in the range, and I got to test out a couple of them that cover all the options on offer.
This is the basic model, the ‘GN’ standing for goose neck, which allows for ease of placement. The long goose neck is terminated in a sturdy crocodile clip allowing you to fit it to just about any microphone stand in a moment. There’s no need to fiddle about with screw tighteners to adjust position or have it take hold. Plus, there’s plenty of tension in the grip of these clips to ensure the Shield is held in place, even when extended out away from the stand. You can use it with any microphone and suspension mount, with very little issue. The extended length of the goose neck also allows you to use this model with fairly large microphone suspension mounts and still be able to manoeuvre it around the framework without any contact.
This model incorporates both the pop filter and a suspension mount in one package. The suspension mount uses a similar series of grip pads to other popular universal suspension mounts, with the three rubber pads holding the microphone securely in place. But, unlike other types that require the rubber pads to be screwed into place to secure the microphone, the SwiftShield has two of the three pads connected to spring loaded arms. You simply squeeze the arms apart, slot the microphone into place, and release. These arms open up to allow a wide range of microphone sizes to be cradled within the SwiftShield, so it covers most studio applications.
With this model, the pop filter simply clips onto the framework of the SwiftShield, so you can easily remove it for room recording and add it back on for close instrument or vocal work. The lightweight pop filter, the same as used in the Shield GN, has a curved face that wraps around the microphone for coverage at a greater angle. Its metal screen allows sound to pass through clearly with a precise high frequency response, but it certainly reduces plosive sounds that cause popping and overdriving of the microphone’s capsule. Whether used by itself or in combination with the suspension cradle, this is a solidly built pop filter made with audio quality in mind. What better way to get the most out of your Aston microphone, or any other microphone you wish to use with it.
Hits and Misses
Sturdy build quality
Holds position when set in place at any angle
Easy application with spring loaded clips in both designs