To improve your zoom, up your mic game.

Prof C Explains
2 min readSep 29, 2020

You can have a video-conference without video, but you can’t have a video-conference without audio.

Let’s face it. Our zoomified existence is tiring.

For lots of reasons, but one of the main reasons that we have such a hard time with zoom call after zoom call (or any service), is audio quality. Poor audio quality means that it takes more concentration to listen and understand — leading to less comprehension and attention. And a feeling a fatigue at the end of the day.

[For more on why audio is problematic and developments on the horizon, check out Why Do We Suffer From Zoom Fatigue? It’s All About The Sound. ]

Since starting the fall semester, I have been trying various ways to improve my audio quality. I have finally settled on the Wave 3 mic from the gaming accessory company Elgato, but along the way found a couple of good alternatives (a boom mic for example). Below are a series of recordings so you can hear from yourself, which mic yields the best results.

BTW, The phrase I am reading is one of the IEEE Recommended Practices for Speech Quality Measurements.

Relative locations of the microphones in my little home “classroom”

“Regular” Webcam

Logitech StreamCam Camera

Lav Mic

Boom Mic

Wave 3 Mic

Let me know what you have found that works best for your video-conferencing!

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Prof C Explains

J Scott Christianson: UM Teaching Prof, Technologist & Entrepreneur. Connect with me here: https://www.christiansonjs.com/