Digital audio courtesy

November 19, 2021
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When have you checked your mic? Recorded yourself and listened to your own voice? This is so simple but yet omitted area.

Most people have poor audio quality in the headsets they use for work. It does not bother you since you’re not hearing it but it certainly makes it hard for the people on the other end.

This is not just a technical issue. Often, it’s hard to figure out what people are trying to say. You are not comprehensible because of the audio quality.

There are many possible issues. Sometimes it’s the echo in the room. Or you’re using the same audio source for the microphone and speakers without isolating them from each other.

This week I was attending two large webinars that were those non-profits flagship annual events. What was the issue with both of them? The audio clipped so badly that you could not hear what the speakers were saying. The video does not matter unless you can read lips. Audio comes first.

You don’t need to become an audio engineer to master the field. Just focusing on the basics will get you far.

To get you started I recorded five different audio sources to compare. Four of them were done at the same time, and only one was done separately due to technicalities.

There’s no audio processing done except loudness normalisation.

Which sound do you like the best? When you’re doing the comparisons try with different audio devices. They sound different from your Bluetooth headset, over the ear headset, loudspeakers, computer default audio or from your hifi stereo.

These are the microphones I used: Shure KSM8 dynamic mic, Rode Lavalier, Beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset, iPhone 7 (the default built-in mic) and Airpod Pro.

Notice that different mics pick up different things, and some of them can distract your listeners even though you’re not paying any attention to them.

Here’re the audio samples:

If you want to know which one is which see the next sentence. ˙ǝʌoqɐ pǝʇsıl sɐ ɹǝpɹo ǝsɹǝʌǝɹ uı ǝɹɐ ʎǝɥʇ