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15 Best De-Esser Plugins For Better Sibilance Control

My Top 15 Best De-Esser Plugins For Better Sibilance Control

Managing sibilance to achieve a good vocal mix is very important. As an audio engineer, I know how crucial it is to tame those harsh, hissy sounds that can ruin an otherwise perfect vocal recording.

Vocal sibilance can be a major headache, but thankfully, the right de-esser plugin can make all the difference. We have an impressive lineup of de-esser plugins that leverage cutting-edge technology to ensure your vocals are smooth, clear, and professional.

Whether you’re dealing with subtle sibilance or more pronounced issues, these plugins offer powerful solutions tailored to your needs. Here are my top picks for de-esser plugins, each with unique features to help you tackle sibilance effectively.

1. Antares Vocal De-Esser Plugin

Antares Vocal De-Esser AI Plugin GUI

The Antares Vocal De-Esser stands out with its AI-powered sibilance control, offering a custom-trained model that uses machine learning to detect and manage sibilance in real-time. This plugin maintains the natural vocal tone while efficiently removing harsh “ess” sounds, making it an indispensable tool in both studio and live settings. With its intuitive interface, separate controls for soft and hard sibilants, and a solo button for monitoring sibilance, it’s designed for seamless operation.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Antares Vocal De-Esser

2. SSL DeEss Plugin

SSL DeEss De Esser Plugin

The SSL DeEss plugin is a precision tool for reducing sibilance and controlling high-frequency content. Its relative threshold algorithm allows for effective de-essing across varying input levels. With features like automatic auditioning, a built-in “Brighten” control, and mid/side processing, it provides flexibility and high-quality de-essing. Thanks to its carefully designed presets, it’s particularly useful for different vocal types and instrument processing.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: SSL DeEss

3. Klevgrand Esspresso Plugin

Klevgrand Esspresso Best De-Esser Plugin

Klevgrand Esspresso offers independent control of detection and suppression frequency ranges, providing precise sibilance management. The plugin’s fast frequency response view and multiple filter modes ensure professional results, making it ideal for balancing the mix without distorting the “S” sounds.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Klevgrand Esspresso

4. Softube Weiss Deess Plugin

Softube Weiss Deess Best De-Esser Plugin

The Softube Weiss Deess combines the renowned sonics of the Weiss DS1-MK3 hardware with modern digital flexibility. It features two independent bands and excellent visualization tools, making it easier to address complex sibilance issues. Its low-latency mode and extensive control options make it suitable for both tracking and mixing applications.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Softube Weiss Deess

5. FabFilter Pro-DS Plugin

Fabfilter Pro-Ds De-esser Plugin

FabFilter Pro-DS has an intelligent ‘Single Vocal’ detection algorithm that accurately identifies and attenuates sibilance. It offers both wide band and linear-phase split band processing, along with look-ahead options and detailed visual feedback. This plugin is versatile and user-friendly, providing comprehensive sibilance control.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Fabfilter Pro-DS

6. Waves Sibilance Plugin

Waves Sibilance VST Plugin For De-essing

Waves Sibilance uses Organic ReSynthesis technology to reduce sibilance while maintaining the original vocal tone. The plugin provides variable frequency range, zero-latency for live performance, and clear visual feedback, making it an effective tool for precise de-essing.

Buy this plugin at Waves: Sibilance

7. Waves De-Esser Plugin

Waves DeEsser Plugin - How to use a de-esser plugin

Inspired by vintage de-essing gear, Waves De-esser offers a straightforward interface with presets tailored for different vocal types and full mixes. It includes wideband and split modes, making it versatile for a range of applications, from narration to music production.

Buy this plugin at Waves: De-Esser

8. IK Multimedia T-Racks De-Esser Plugin

IK Multimedia T-Racks De-Esser VST Plugin

The IK Multimedia T-Racks De-Esser features multiband capabilities, allowing precise control over sibilance without affecting the entire mix. It excels in managing high-frequency content on vocal tracks, hi-hats, and cymbals, making it a versatile addition to any audio engineer’s toolkit.

Included in T-RackS 5 MAX Bundle by IK Multimedia (At Plugin Boutique).

9. UAD Precision De-Esser Plugin

UAD Precision De-Esser VST Plugin

UAD Precision De-Esser provides smart, transparent filter processing to address sibilance and high-end issues. Its features include split mode, modern band-pass, traditional high-pass de-essing, and a solo mode for precise frequency targeting, making it ideal for both individual tracks and full mixes.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: UAD Precision De-Esser

10. Slate Digital Eiosis e2DEESSER Plugin

Slate Digital eiosis e2DEESSER Best De-Esser Plugin

The Eiosis e²DEESSER from Slate Digital is equipped with a powerful frequency analysis engine and an intuitive interface, allowing for precise and natural de-essing. It’s particularly effective on vocals and percussion, offering advanced control with minimal adjustments.

Buy this plugin at Slate Digital: Eiosis e2DEESSER

11. Brainworx SPL De-Esser Collection Plugin

Brainworx SPL De-Esser Collection Best De-Esser Plugin

The Brainworx SPL De-Esser Collection includes two analog code plugins that emulate classic SPL hardware de-essers. These plugins feature Auto Dynamic De-Esser technology and mid/side stereo mode, providing precise sibilance reduction while preserving the original character of the audio.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Brainworx SPL De-Esser Collection

12. Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser Plugin

Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser Best De-Esser Plugin

Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser offers both de-essing and dynamic EQ functionalities, providing detailed visual feedback and advanced controls for precise frequency management. Its auto level tracking and versatile settings make it suitable for both mixing and mastering applications.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser

13. Black Salt Audio DSR Plugin

Black Salt Audio DSR Best De-Esser Plugin

Black Salt Audio DSR is designed for simplicity and effectiveness, with only two main controls for threshold and range. It delivers transparent, musical de-essing, optimized for low CPU usage and zero latency, making it perfect for real-time applications.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: Black Salt Audio DSR

14. sonible smart:deess Plugin

Sonible Smart Deess Best De-Esser Plugin

Sonible smart:deess uses AI to analyze and balance sibilance, offering advanced spectral processing for a natural sound. It identifies and processes individual phonemes in real-time, providing intuitive control and refined sibilant shaping.

Buy this plugin at Plugin Boutique: sonible smart:deess

15. Techivation T-De-Esser Plugin

Techivation T-De-Esser Best De-Esser Plugin

Techivation T-De-Esser features specific side-chained frequency bands for detecting and managing harsh sounds. Designed for low CPU usage, it offers GUI scaling, undo/redo options, and an A/B switch for comparing different settings, making it a versatile and efficient tool.

Buy this plugin at Techivation: T-De-Esser (Free & Paid Versions)

Final Thoughts

These de-esser plugins bring something unique to the table, catering to different needs and preferences. From the AI-powered precision of the Antares Vocal De-Esser to the intuitive simplicity of the Black Salt Audio DSR, there’s a plugin for every scenario.

I frequently rely on FabFilter Pro-DS, Waves De-Esser, and the latest Antares Vocal De-Esser in my mixing projects. Investing in these high-quality de-esser plugins ensures that your vocal tracks are polished and professional, making them ready to compete at the highest levels.

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