How to Improve Your Audio Quality on Zoom and Other Virtual Meeting Platforms

Author: Gina Cunsolo

Although we all hope the COVID-19 pandemic is on the way to becoming a repressed memory, some of the changes it brought are likely to remain with us for years, if not forever.

Consider how we conduct business. A few years ago, holding meetings via videoconference was reserved for situations where participants were located in different parts of the country or the world. But with social distancing standards now common and working from home a regular part of workplace structure, chances are that many office workers meet online several times a week. It's so prevalent that phrases such as "Zoom fatigue" have become part of our vocabulary, and we're giving awards to people with the most impressive Zoom backgrounds. There are dozens of columns online written by consultants advising business professionals on video conferencing protocols, with tips on everything from lighting to camera angles.

But as virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet play an increasing role in our work lives, users are often left frustrated with audio issues. Anyone who regularly participates in video conferences has likely experienced poor audio effects in the meeting process.

Audio quality is critical to conducting business in the virtual world. So when it comes to getting the most of online meeting time, here are a few tips on improving audio quality while meeting virtually.

Reduce background noise

The first step in improving zoom audio quality is to eliminate as much background noise as possible. If you're working from home, close the door to keep out the kids or barking dogs. Turn off electronic devices such as radios or televisions. Even the sounds of heaters or air conditioners can affect Zoom audio quality. If you're in the office, conduct your calls in a place where the chatter of colleagues doesn't interfere. Also, avoid empty spaces and those with laminate floors to minimize echo.

Optimize your platform's audio settings

Chances are your preferred platform has default settings for audio that work well in most situations. Still, some can be changed. When it comes to addressing Zoom audio quality issues, for example, clicking on the symbol to the right of the mute icon will bring up a menu, at the bottom of which will be an Audio Settings selection. There you'll be able to change settings for background noise suppression and the auto-adjustment of mic volume.

If bandwidth is an issue and visuals aren't critical to the meeting, consider turning off your webcam. If that doesn't resolve audio issues, you may need to dial in on the phone instead of using a microphone.

Still, while adjusting audio settings may help figure out how to improve the audio quality, it will only go so far. There's one sure way to improve audio quality in video conferencing sessions.

Use the right equipment

Face it; chances are the built-in mic and speakers on your laptop are likely not top-of-the-line. The most critical step one can take in addressing how to fix audio on Zoom or other conferencing platforms is to use equipment designed for those applications. When determining how to improve mic quality, consider what you've been using and see if an upgrade is needed.

For those on the go, a Bluetooth speakerphone might be just the ticket. The Yamaha YVC-200, for example, is one of the best Bluetooth speakerphones for conference calls on the market. It's designed to deliver professional quality audio, with a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 hours.

If you need a USB Speakerphone ideal for larger groups, the Yamaha YVC-1000 features separate microphone and speaker units for flexibility during audio, web, and video conferencing. Even better, the YVC-1000 is Zoom Certified, so you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues when using the Bluetooth speakerphone with the video conferencing software. 

A fixed external microphone setup can go a long way to improve mic quality for those using an office conference room with several attendees. Yamaha Unified Communications' ADECIA ceiling microphone & line array speaker solution helps overcome challenges with implementation, configuration, and room acoustics by providing all components required for a successful installation. The solution also includes automated technologies that reduce costs, complexities, and setup time. ADECIA automatically detects features, configures devices, and optimizes audio performance for the room environment - adjusting for reverberation characteristics, echo behavior, speaker/mic position, and more.

Also, don't forget the other side of the equation. Yamaha UC offers a variety of soundbars that deliver crystal-clear audio for all standard video conferencing platforms.

For more ways on how Yamaha UC can help provide the best audio quality for your application, reach out to one of our experts.