Imagine joining a webinar and the first thing you hear is static. Then, when the host speaks, the audio is so low that you wonder whether there’s something wrong with your speakers. Finally, as the icing on the cake, you start hearing loud, distracting sirens in the background. It’s only natural that you reach for the exit button while making a mental note to never join another webinar with that host ever again.
Although there are various factors to consider when preparing for a webinar – such as lighting and your internet connection – audio is one of the most important. Attendees will likely stick around even if they can’t see you perfectly, but they’ll surely leave if they can’t hear you. There are a few strategies to improve your audio – using sound-absorbing curtains to reduce echo and closing all windows and doors to minimize background noises are just a few examples. However, not even the most sound-proof room will help if you have a lousy microphone.
Recommended Microphones for Webinars
Sudotack Professional Studio Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Condenser Microphone
Samson Meteor USB Studio Microphone
Headset vs Microphone
Everyone has a headset lying around the house – even if it’s the cheap earphones you got for free with your smartphone. One of the biggest perks of using a headset is that it sits comfortably with the microphone close to your mouth, allowing you to multitask while speaking. Plus, top-tier headsets (like gaming ones) offer noise-concealing features without being too expensive. But the downside is that many headset microphones just don’t have the ideal audio quality for hosting online events.
In comparison, standalone microphones are larger and are usually made of better internal components, which means that you get higher-definition audio – making your voice clearer. Additionally, they eliminate background noise better, giving you a crystal-clear audio experience.
Still, there are various types of microphones to choose from. Dynamic microphones are the ones pop singers use to belt out those high-pitched notes that give us goosebumps. They’re a better fit for loud sounds and live settings, meaning that they aren’t the best option for webinars. On the other hand, condenser mics are more sensitive and capture quieter and more complex sounds – perfect for speaking in your normal voice to a wide audience of attendees.
Microphones don’t all connect to your computer the same way either. XLR microphones offer better quality than USB ones, but they need an audio interface to work. While this makes sense for professional musicians, the improvement you get doesn’t make up for the trouble of setting so much equipment up when you just want to host an online event.
Finally, there are wireless microphones. Of course, these allow for more movement, but the quality takes a dip because the audio has to be compressed to be transmitted to your computer. So, if you host webinars at your desk, a USB-wired microphone is your best option.
Best Tips To Improve Sound Quality in Your Webinars
Getting an excellent microphone is the most important step to improve your sound quality. However, to guarantee crystal-clear audio you may need to go the extra mile. We recommend using microphone accessories to minimize distracting sounds. In case you can’t get a foam cap until your next webinar, make sure to turn off your air conditioner before starting the session. Plus, it’s best to have your microphone far away from the computer, especially if you have to type anything during the webinar. A boom arm is perfect for this, as you can raise the microphone to sit right next to your mouth.
Where you’re going to host the webinar is also important. The best solution would be to record in a sound-proofed studio. Of course, that isn’t an option for everyone, but you can still improve your room’s acoustics and get rid of that echoey sound by having sound-absorbent curtains, a rug, and enough furniture to fill the room. Finally, follow best practices – like putting your phone on silent, closing all windows and doors, and testing your setup to ensure everything is working properly before you start your webinar.