Whether you want to improve Zoom call quality or record your voice for a YouTube video, podcast, or something else, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best sound from your microphone. There are many different ways to do this, from simple tweaks to your environment to investing in high-quality equipment. We show you some easy ways to make your voice sparkle.
Turn on some headphones
By far the easiest way to improve your sound quality during video calls is to plug some headsets into your PC. The main reason for this is that it cancels out the sound of other people on the call coming out of your speaker and going straight into your microphone and back to everyone listening. This is one reason why you sometimes get echoes or ‘responses’ on Zoom calls.
It’s almost impossible to get really good sound when you can hear the garbled voices of others demanding that ‘Jackie Weaver, you have no authority here’ in the background.
Another advantage of using headphones is that many headsets come with built-in microphones, which can be of better quality than your laptop’s built-in microphone.
Reduce the noise in your room
Along with that, you’ll also want to get rid of any other extraneous noise that could ruin your sound. So make sure you turn off the TV or radio, close any open windows, ask other family members not to play loud music or shout during calls.
Also, turn off any fans or air conditioners in the room, bribe the dog with juicy bones, and oil your squeaky office chair.
If you have no control over whatever is making the noise, consider using an app (for Windows and macOS) such as Krisp. It’s free for ‘occasionally remote professionals’, which means you get 240 minutes of usage per week.
Use a dedicated microphone
Let’s face it, most standard microphones and webcams in laptops are pretty basic. Adding a dedicated standalone microphone can instantly give your sound a huge leap in quality. You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on professional-grade microphones to improve your existing setup, as a cheap USB microphone can at least let you speak directly into it, which reduces the sound. the natural echo of the room that you get when talking to your laptop or PC at a distance.
We’ve put together a guide to some of the best microphones for streaming and podcasting, but if you feel they’re too expensive, something like the USB Ture Plug and Play microphone could be a good choice, yes. priced at £23 on Amazon UK at the time of writing. US customers can opt for the slightly flashy-looking EIVOTOR plug & play USB desktop microphone that will set them back $15.99 from Amazon US.
One thing to note about more expensive microphones is that they generally come in two types: dynamic and condenser. As a general rule, a condenser will give you a deeper voice but pick up more background noise, while dynamic microphones focus on capturing the sound directly in front of them, so you there will be less white noise but misses some air around the room. You can get excellent results from both, but you’ll need to consider the noise level of your environment when choosing a new microphone.
Adjust microphone settings in Windows
Windows has a number of different settings that you can use in Windows to adjust your sound quality. They are easy to use once, of course, you know where they are.
Open the Start menu and search for Dashboard. Select the top result, then navigate to Hardware & Sound > Sound and choose record navigation.
Here you will see the settings for the microphone that is attached or built into your PC. Mark one with a checkmark next to its name, then click Characteristic button.
Choose Levels and check what input is currently set. An important factor is Microphone booster increase signal strength through software. However, if you increase the volume too much, it can cause digital distortion that reduces the quality of your sound.
Try adjusting both The checkered microphone and Microphone booster settings to see if it improves your results. Ideally, you’ll want to increase the level of the incoming ‘natural’ signal (via the Microphone option), while reducing the software-enhanced sound.
If you also see a tab named Improvethen you can also explore settings here, pay special attention to Soundproof this option can be quite useful in clearing signals.
Hopefully with all these tweaks, your audio will be loud and clear the next time you fire up your audio recording or video calling software on your PC.
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