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With so many people working from home, Zoom meetings, Skype calls and Google Hangouts have quickly become primary forms of communication. Poor audio quality on conference calls slows down productivity and makes you look unprofessional, which is why it’s crucial that you sound your best.
While they may be convenient, built-in laptop microphones are the absolute worst option for conference calls. In this blog, we’re breaking down all the reasons why you need to stop using your laptop microphone for Zoom meetings, as well as the best USB microphones for professional-sounding conference calls.
Built-in laptop microphones make it hard for others to hear you on conference calls
In order to discretely fit inside your computer, built-in laptop microphones are extremely small, which limits their ability to accurately capture sound. Most laptop mics also boost harsh midrange frequencies to help vocals “cut through” other sounds, which can be difficult to listen to for extended periods of time.
Laptop microphones are typically placed near the keyboard or webcam and often amplify the sound of your typing to the point where it drowns out your voice. And since you can’t move the mic closer to your mouth, you’re forced to hover a few inches from your keyboard in order for people to hear you—not the best look for videoconferences…
Even when you’re not typing, built-in computer microphones still capture a lot of noise. Since the mics are so far away, they use what’s called an omnidirectional polar pattern, which is a fancy way of saying they pick up sound from all around them. Because of this, they pick up every little bit of background noise, like barking dogs, crying babies and your neighbor’s lawnmower.
Snowball iCE USB microphone delivers crystal-clear sound for Zoom meetings
USB microphones are an affordable, easy-to-use alternative to built-in laptop mics. Microphones like the Yeti and Snowball series offer broadcast-quality sound to ensure your voice is always heard loud and clear.
Yeti is the more versatile option with onboard controls and a built-in headphone output, while Snowball is the more streamlined, compact option. Both feature adjustable pickup patterns, including a cardioid setting which helps reject unwanted background noise for a clear, focused vocal sound in any environment.
Yeti and Snowball also include custom-designed desktop microphone stands so you can place them anywhere you want for optimal sound quality. And with plug-and-play connectivity on Mac and PC devices, setting up is as simple as plugging in a USB cable.
For more info on how to improve the sound of your conference calls, check out our blog on how to make professional-sounding conference calls from home.