It’s been a year since we have become dependent and experts – to various degrees – when it comes to Zoom meetings. While the usual approach is to use your laptop webcam, the most crucial online meeting element is the audio quality. Except if you’re playing charades or attending a mime conference via Zoom, that is. This is why looking up the best gear for Zoom meetings can pay off.
You can improve the overall quality by investing in some basics here and there — a microphone and maybe a better camera.
In this article, we will talk about video conferencing setups and splitting them into budget tiers:
But first, some things to consider before we start talking about best gear for Zoom meetings:
What makes a great Zoom setup?
A couple of things:
Why is audio that important?
Most video conferencing software comes with some form of software background noise suppression.
Be it Zoom, Discord, Google Meet, or any other voice-call-enabled application, most of them come with software noise suppression. While this feature is useful, it can also be a drawback, sometimes resulting in poor audio quality. Most applications do allow the user to turn it off.
If you have a reliable microphone that captures your voice crisply, you can turn off the noise suppression setting confidently.
As a rule of thumb when it comes to audio, your whole sound quality can only be as good as your least performant device in the audio chain.
Of course, when talking about Zoom meetings, there’s not much of a chain.
It’s as simple as that: the quality at which other people hear you on a call is directly proportional to your capturing device’s quality.
Using headphones is a must when it comes to video conferencing. Why? Because your microphone – be it external or the laptop microphone – can pick up the sound from your speakers, so your interlocutors can hear themselves through your microphone with a delay.
Doesn’t video quality matter?
Well, it does. But isn’t it more important that what you have to say gets across instead of your gestures and facial expressions?
According to Stanford Researchers, the “video” in video-conferencing is responsible for “Zoom Fatigue”, so it should be treated responsibly and not be excessively used.
If you’re into that, video quality usually comes at a steep price, albeit you can cut some corners and still achieve good quality. Most reasonably-priced webcams are bad, and most decent webcams are expensive.
Tripods aren’t essential. They can improve the overall experience and can be useful under certain circumstances. The biggest gain would be a proper camera placement in this particular context, but that comes at the cost of the desk or floor space.
When looking for the best gear for Zoom meetings, put your money where your voice is
This article was written by Andrei and originally published on ThemeIsle Blog.