The Importance of Clear Sound

After months of effort and dozens of prospect touchpoints, the big day is finally here. You scheduled a conference with the main stakeholders, prepared answers to any objections, and feel good about your chances of winning the deal. Until…

poor sound quality causes frustration 1

Poor Sound = Poor Results

Your audience has trouble understanding you because the audio is of poor quality, delayed, or distorted, distracting everyone from what was supposed to be an engaging and productive meeting.

If you think this scenario is unlikely, think again. Especially when working from home, it may seem acceptable to use just your laptop’s internal microphone and speakers—after all, you’ve tested the settings and they checked out, right? Wrong.

Built-In is a Bad Idea

While your computer audio output probably sounds good when watching, say, a YouTube video, this doesn’t mean that your voice (the input) is captured equally well. Here is a brief video to illustrate this point. Because your laptop’s built-in mic is located inside the device, it is not close enough to capture just your voice. It also picks up many additional sounds in the environment or even within the computer itself.

Accurately Capture the Conversation

Whether or not you’re using Traq365 to record and transcribe conversations—but especially if you are—a desktop PC or laptop’s standard input/output settings simply aren’t cutting it. Improving your sound will ensure not just a better experience for you and your buyer, but also provide an accurate transcription of the call. This makes it much easier to retrieve the sales intelligence later from Traq365 (or other call recording tool, should you use them) and get the results you’re looking for.
Below, we will look at some options for external mic, headphones, and headsets. But first, let’s look at additional factors that are likely to impact how you sound.

Background Noise

From lawn maintenance to garbage trucks and thunderstorms to barking dogs, the amount of ambient noise can be a nuisance to you and your audience. Here are a few recommendations to reduce noise levels in your environment:

  • Soft materials absorb sounds; try closing the drapes or working in a carpeted room
  • A smaller space is generally better than a larger one due to less echo
  • Sitting away from a noisy fan or A/C vent is also recommended

Video Conferencing Settings

Video uses quite a bit of bandwidth – so even in the age of broadband internet, compression is necessary to ensure the video conference doesn’t cause your internet connection to grind to a halt. Compression, however, can lower the sound quality for your audience, which is another reason to start with the best possible audio.
In any case, you may want to review your video conferencing settings and make adjustments based on your internet speed and other factors. For instance, here is a guide to your Zoom settings.

Ways to Sound Like a Pro

Now that you know the importance of crisp, clear sound, let’s look at ways to obtain it—without breaking the bank. Below are some recommendations for headsets as well as mic + headphone combinations under $100. Note that Traq365 is not affiliated with these companies in any way. Prices are listed at the time of writing and may vary.

Gear for How You Like to Work

Whether you are fully remote or not—or prefer to use a headset instead of a mic + headphones combination—there are countless options and price points. Here are a few top choices from our research, just to get you started.

USB Headset

Logitech is a popular brand of computer peripherals, and the Logitech H570E Headset is highly rated. The headset connects to your computer’s USB port and features a noise-canceling mic, inline controls (audio controls on the cable), and a padded headband.

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Audio Jack Headset

For additional flexibility, the ADAPT 165EPOS by Sennheiser wired headset can connect to either computers or mobile devices via an audio jack. Sennheiser is a well-known brand specializing in audio equipment and offering a vast choice of headsets, microphones, headphones and more.

External Mic and Headphones

If you are only looking to improve sound quality when working from home, you may like the combination of a standalone mic + Bluetooth headphones. When the day is over, you can connect your headphones to your personal mobile device and watch videos or listen to music.
For example, the Blue Snowball Ice USB mic is an affordable option, while the Zihnic Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones are highly rated, available in many colors, and cost less than $30.

Better Sound for Best Outcomes

A polished presentation, which looks and sounds great, is more likely to hold your audience’s interest and keep the sale moving forward. And, if you’re using a solution like Traq365 to accurately capture the content of each sales conversation, clear audio—resulting in more accurate transcriptions and recordings—is a gift that keeps on giving.

After all, details matter … and it’s best to capture all of them.

P.S. Bonus Video Tip for Laptop Users

Video conference after video conference, you are probably spending hours looking down at the computer’s camera at a less than ideal angle.
Here’s a simple fix to increase comfort and look your best on video calls: get yourself a cheap USB keyboard, then prop up your laptop on a stand or stack of books to make sure the camera is at eye level.