5 Top Tips for Ensuring Quality Audio During a Meeting
Audio quality is an essential aspect of holding a successful online meeting. If you are unable to communicate with the other meeting participants, you are unlikely to have an effective meeting. Here are 5 common audio problems that arise during virtual meetings as well as solutions for resolving them. By following these tips you will be able to ensure that your next meeting runs smoothly and efficiently.
1. Delay in Audio
Problem: Audio delay is a gap of several seconds between one participant speaking and the rest of the participants hearing what that person said. Some degree of audio delay is normal and certain platforms will even intentionally include audio delay to avoid feedback problems. However, these intentional delays should not be longer than one second.
Solution: Some meeting platforms are not intended for larger groups of participants and therefor may not be appropriate for a larger meeting. It is important to research the platform you are using ahead of time, or have an external webinar provider set up your meeting in order to avoid such problems. Sound delay may also be the result of a poor internet connection on the participants end. You should encourage participants to use a hardwired connection and test their audio ahead of the meeting to prevent such problems.
2. Audio Echo
Problem: Audio echoes can occur when multiple devices within a close proximity to one another are tuned into the same meeting. It is difficult for meeting platforms to differentiate and block out the sounds being emitted from one device’s speakers to the microphone of another device.
Solution: Avoid having participants join a meeting on multiple devices from the same room or location. If possible, have participants in the same location use one device to jointly attend the meeting.
Problem: Feedback can be heard in the form of high pitched sounds or crackling during a meeting. This happens when the microphone picks up sound coming from the meeting and then amplifies and outputs the signal from a speaker, which is picked up again by the microphone causing a looped signal.
Solution: Using a headset can prevent feedback as the sound is being emitted directly to your ears and should not get picked up by the microphone. This also removes any other background noise. It is a good idea to test your headset before the meeting to make sure the microphone and earpieces are in a desired position for speaking and listening. This should also reduce the probability of encountering feedback. If you do encounter feedback during your meeting, temporarily mute and unmute yourself to stop the feedback. You may have to turn down your volume to avoid this happening again.
4. Connection problems
Problem: It is essential to have a solid and reliable internet connection to avoid connectivity issues. A poor internet connection can result in disconnection from the call or even prevent you from joining at all. You may also experience poor sound and video quality due to a weak connection making it difficult for other participants to hear you and vice versa.
Solution: We recommend using a hardwired internet connection or at least a fast Wi-Fi connection. It is recommended to test the speed of your connection prior to the meeting at speedtest.net. You should have a download speed of at least 25 Mbps, and an upload speed of at least 5 Mbps. Bandwidth limitations may also be an issue. If multiple devices on one network are connected at the same time it may cause connectivity problems. When possible, avoid having other devices active on your network during the meeting.
5. Hollow sound
Problem: Hollow sounds can occur when multiple people speak at once. The software is unable to effectively process the sound coming from more than one microphone simultaneously, causing distorted sound. This may also occur if a participant’s microphone is too far away from them and is not picking up the sound fully.
Solution: Avoid having multiple people speak at once during a meeting. This can be achieved by having a moderator or system in place to coordinate speaking order. It is also important to ensure that you are using a high quality microphone and that it is located close enough to you.