Virtual meetings are the new in-person meetings. Even in-office teams often rely on technology to connect with each other. One of the top ways to ensure a flawless, professional virtual meeting? High-quality sound.
Whether you’re having a regular 1-1 or giving a company-wide address, audio quality can make or break your virtual meeting.
To help you put your best audio foot forward, here are some tips for how to sound your best in meetings.
Why does your audio quality matter for meetings?
As a remote team leader, you likely spend a lot of time in meetings – what you have to say matters. For your team to concentrate on your message, you need to sound your best. That’s where audio quality comes in.
No one likes to repeat themselves, let alone because your technology decided not to cooperate. Having a quality audio setup allows your team to hear you clearly. This way, they can focus on what you’re saying, rather than your technology woes. Studies have shown that better audio quality actually makes your listeners find you more credible and trustworthy!
Audio quality is also important if your meetings and events are being recorded. You want to make sure that every word is crisp and clear in the recordings.
Choosing a microphone for your remote office
The microphone built into your work-issued laptop might be adequate, but why stop there?
Whether you’re using your remote home office stipend or treating it as a must-have work expense, quality audio should be high on your WFH upgrade list. When choosing a new microphone for your next virtual meeting, here are some things you should consider.
You may be thinking, “it’s audio, so why does the type of microphone matter?” While the sound quality is the top consideration in a mic, you should 100% consider what you’ll be using the mic for.
The style you choose should be comfortable for you to use regularly. Constantly taking calls with clients? You might prefer a hands-free headset. Regularly leading company-wide meetings? A desk or podcast mic might be better for your needs.
You should also consider what style will be the least distracting for you and your audience. In all likelihood, your virtual meetings also include video. So while a full studio setup might improve your audio quality, you (probably!) don’t want to look like you’re about to record your next hit album.
Microphone connection type
Most quality microphones require more than just turning your sound on and off. Some use USB connections, some offer bluetooth, and some use XLR connections.
Before choosing a mic, you should make sure it’s compatible with your computer. For example, mics with XLR connections tend to offer superior sound. But you’ll likely need additional tech, like a pre-amp, in order for it to connect to your computer.
Often referred to as ‘polar pattern’, different microphones are designed to pick up different types of sounds at different angles. This makes sure your audience can hear you and not everything else going on around you.
Depending on your home office set up, you may want something more or less sensitive to background noise.
If you work in a closed space (like a dedicated room in your home), you might like a mic that can pick up more sounds. This way, if you need to move around your space, you’ll still have clear audio. However, if your workspace is open concept, you may want something that focuses on one sound direction. This might mean you have to speak directly into the mic for that perfect audio, but it will help muffle all those sounds in the background.
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Our top picks for high-quality meeting audio
There are endless options for microphones out there. Unless you’re moonlighting as a music producer or a DJ, choosing a microphone for your next virtual meeting can feel daunting.
To make it easier, we’ve rounded up some of our faves, so you can roll into your next town hall sounding better than Beyoncé. (Or at least infinitely better than you did last week.)
Quality microphones on a budget:
You don’t need to break the bank to improve the sound quality in your meetings. Here are some of our top picks for microphones on a budget:
- Amazon Desktop Mini Mic – At under $50 this simple mic is adorable but packs a punch. Bonus: It’s USB compatible.
- Hyper X Solo Cast – Excellent sound can be affordable with this desk mic. The best part? You can tap to mute yourself on your next call!
Microphones for the less tech-inclined:
Not all of us enjoy the benefits of 24/7 tech support, so sometimes you need a microphone option that is quick and easy to set up. Here are some of our top picks for easy-to-use microphones.
- Blue Yeti USB Mic – Compatible with most computers and softwares. This mic is the ultimate plug-and-play option.
- Shure MV5 Mic – Not only is this desktop compatible, the lightning connection alsomakes it possible to connect to your iPhone or iPad.
High-end microphones to splurge on:
You work hard. Sometimes you deserve to treat yourself. Why not make it a microphone? Here are some of our top picks for microphones that are worth the extra dollars.
- Heil PR-49 Dynamic Studio Microphone – This studio and commercial quality microphone is worth the the splurge if you find yourself constantly in virtual meetings. Be aware that this requires an XLR mic plug.
- Shure MV7 Podcast Mic – With both XLR and USB compatibility, you’ll feel like a star with this app-enhanced mic.
Always putting your best audio foot forward
With so much of our workday revolving around virtual communication, having high-quality sound is more important than ever – whether you decide to upgrade to all the best gear for remote work or just give your microphone game a boost. We promise you’ll feel more confident in your next meeting knowing you sound your best!