How to Keep Your Voice Calls and Audio Chats Crystal Clear

Whether you are chatting with your family on Skype or Hangouts, or playing multiplayer games and want your teammates to hear you, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure clear audio playback.

Making sure you speak loudly and clearly is important on any internet phone or video call, whether you are talking to friends on Skype or Hangouts, video chatting with colleagues when you work from home, or talking to your team in a multiplayer game. … Either way, the intermittent, choppy sound is annoying at best and painfully reducing the time spent with friends – or socializing with colleagues – painfully. We’ve shared some tips for improving your video , but here are a few things you can do to make you heard.

Take control of your environment

The first thing you can do without spending any money at all is to look around and assess your surroundings. Try to match the audio problems that other people may be reporting to your environment. Do your coworkers complain about echoes when trying to record in a huge open-air loft? Maybe you have an enclosed space, but it’s noisy or right under the air vent, so no matter how close you get to the microphone, all you can hear is the rumbling air. Hopefully you have some control over these factors and we have some tips for customizing your space in our guide to the basics of making music.

For example, if you are in a room where the walls are too reflective, consider hanging blankets or other dense material on the walls to reduce the echo. If possible, move to a carpeted or quieter room to record or call, block the air vent in that noisy room, or do your best to bring the microphone closer to you. Put on headphones – even in-ear headphones – so your teammates can’t hear their voices – or the sound from your computer – echoing off your walls. If you can, you can add soundproofing to your space in the form of wall art.

Update your audio drivers

Depending on your operating system, the first thing you should do is update your audio drivers. This may seem like a small thing, but don’t underestimate it. If you’ve been using the same old USB microphone for years – and it worked for you – you might be surprised to find a driver update that fixes some sound quality issues in apps released after you bought it. for example, in newer versions of Skype. , Hangouts, or whatever voice chat app you prefer.

Even if your microphone drivers are not a problem, consider audio drivers for your motherboard or sound card. Since most people tend to use their motherboard’s on-board audio chipset instead of a separate sound card, you probably never bothered to install drivers for it at all. The built-in drivers are usually sufficient, but if you have audio quality issues or just want to improve your audio, see if there is an update for your operating system. In most cases, this is as easy as going to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and filtering by model number – you can see if drivers released after you bought the board are available. Try it – you might be surprised (I was!)

Dive into sound settings

Always familiarize yourself with the sound settings in the applications you use. If you have a favorite voice chat app for games (or use the app built into your favorite games), or prefer Skype or Google Hangouts, make sure you dig into their options, make sure your microphone and audio outputs are configured. up and test them. This should be taken for granted, but you’d be surprised how many times the best sound is just a click in the Skype settings.

Even on Windows, you can raise the levels of a microphone that comes in too quietly, adjust the sampling rate on the connected microphone, and disable any other unnecessary audio devices that might compete with your primary microphone. If you can, try recording your own audio using Audacity or another audio recording app, then play it back to hear how you – and your surroundings – sound. Then you will have a great idea of ​​how other people think about your sound.

Upgrade your microphone or headset

For many, the obvious update if your sound sucks is the new microphone. If you are using the built-in microphone on your computer or your webcam, this might make sense. Of course, there’s no reason these built-in microphones can’t sound good, but if you’re having trouble or your sound sounds terrible and echoes to the people you talk to, that might be your culprit. We have several suggestions for great desktop microphones or great sounding headsets with microphones , whichever you prefer. If you’re looking for purely casual video calling and gaming, a headset is fine, but if you’re recording audio, making a podcast, or making those calls frequently, a dedicated desktop microphone might be fine.

Of course, an expensive microphone doesn’t guarantee great sound quality, but a good microphone can help solve environmental problems you can’t control. A good cardioid condenser microphone, placed in the correct position and close to the mouth, can make the slightly echo sound in space more intimate. Nothing can rule out planes landing at a nearby airport or a cargo truck passing outside, but they can minimize that a little. Finally, if you have a new microphone or have multiple audio inputs connected to your computer, check which one is active every time you start a call or record a show. Even if you’ve set your beautiful default condenser microphone all you need is an app update or some other system issue to revert the default settings back to your crappy webcam microphone instead, and you’ll never know it until Someone will not mention that your sound is not all not as good as usual.

Buy or make a pop filter for your microphone

Whether you have a headset or a separate microphone, we can’t underestimate the value of a good pop or noise filter attached to it. We showed you how to make it using an embroidery hoop and tights , or from a few sheets of printer paper , but honestly, you can just buy it for a few dollars on Amazon . A small microphone foam on your headset or attached to your microphone will reduce noise, wind, or any other distracting sound if you’re not speaking directly into it. Professionals don’t just use them because they are professionals – you can clearly hear the difference.

If you’re really serious about noise reduction, you can build a portable microphone booth like this one , or buy the equivalent on Amazon . It will definitely keep out the noise, but it can get in the way of your table while you are playing or chatting with your Skype friends. These types of portable booths are useful for people who mainly record, but if you use your microphone for multiple purposes – games, video calls, voice calls, etc. – this may be too much. However, you may want to consider installing a small amount of soundproofing material behind or around the microphone and placing the microphone on the microphone stand. This way, you can bring it close to you when you need it and benefit from soundproofing.

Use wired Ethernet whenever possible

In general, if you are engaging in a VoIP call or multiplayer game, you need to use wired Ethernet if at all possible. The last thing you need to do is use Wi-Fi just to have your computer compete with other devices for a consistent, stable connection, or for multiple applications on your computer (especially if you’re playing) to compete with each other. If possible, consider switching to a wired connection, especially if sound or a stable connection is important.

Of course, if you’re stuck on a laptop without an Ethernet port, you’ll have to get by. Get as close to the access point as possible, close all other resource-intensive applications on your computer, and try a single task. In general, there is nothing wrong with Wi-Fi, and as speeds and routers improve, the distinction between wired and wireless things like video calling and gaming will diminish entirely. However, if sound quality is important, at least stick to wired connections for now.

These are just a few of the general things you can do to improve your internet sound quality. If you’re lucky, you don’t have to run out and spend a lot of money to achieve significant audio improvements. However, if you did everything right and just can’t shake the steely, stuttering sound when you join a group chat or call your friends, hopefully these tips can help.

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