How to Enhance the Audio Experience When Working From Home

17th May 2021

The increase in remote working has created a necessity for clear and effective audio when joining video conferences from a home office. Investing in products that provide a high-quality audio experience is essential to your productivity and the ability to collaborate effectively with clients and colleagues.

Audio for a high-tech home office

Working from home brings its own set of disruptions and challenges. It can be very distracting when you struggle to hear, or the other meeting participants cannot clearly understand you during a video conference. For these reasons great audio is more important than ever before.

According to a recent survey by Illuminas, commissioned by Shure Incorporated, poor audio impacts a third of all virtual meetings. Four out of five video conferencing frustrations stem from poor audio quality – background noise, echo, audio cutting out and being unable to hear other meeting participants are all factors.

Choosing the right computer microphone or ear/headphones with a microphone is a critical factor to ensuring that you sound professional and can hear every detail during your home video conferences.

Use this step-by-step process to choose the best audio equipment for your home office upgrade:

Step 1: Upgrading your microphone – your laptop mic isn’t good enough!

Start by upgrading your computer or laptop with an external microphone. The microphone provided by these devices is omnidirectional, which means that it picks up all the noise in the room, including echo and reverb. It can also make you sound far away or “tinny” compared to high-quality headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone. The microphones on ear/headphones are designed to be directional so that they pick up your voice and the nuances of your conversation more effectively. They can also be placed much closer to your mouth so that your voice will be heard louder.

You can also choose an external USB microphone that sits on your desktop. This will significantly enhance the audio quality of your voice that is being sent to the people on the other end of a video conference. Shure’s MV5C Home Office Microphone is a directional microphone, which will naturally be more sensitive to what is directly in front of it. That means your voice will be prioritized over off-axis sounds, like noise from your environment, and with Speech Enhancement mode, automatic equalization will further boost vocal frequencies for clear, consistent speech.

MV5C Desktop USB Microphone

Step 2: Flexibility – Mobile, desktop, or both

Many of us have created make-shift offices in our apartments or homes. This can cause problems if you have limited space and will influence the type of audio equipment you require. If you are making audio or video calls from a mobile phone you will need to choose a Bluetooth pair of headphones like the AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones or wired earphones like AONIC 215 Sound Isolating™ Earphones for use with your device.

If you are working with a laptop or computer you can choose ear/headphones with a mic or a desktop USB microphone for video conferences. Desktop USB microphones like the MV5C are compatible with software video conferencing applications like MS Teams and Zoom, but they do not work with Android or iOS devices for video conferencing.

Step 3: Keep it simple with direct connections

Whether you are using ear/headphones or an external USB microphone, you may not want a lot of equipment cluttering your desk. Wired earphones with a microphone can be connected directly to your computer’s headphone input. Bluetooth equipped headphones help you join video conferences without the constraint of cables and up to 30 feet of range.

A USB microphone offers simple set up that only requires one cable to plug directly into a port on your computer, helping you to join meetings instantly. Position the mic on your desk to fit your work style and sound great from any seating position.

Step 4: Tuning out background noise 

Home offices can be noisy at times, so it’s well worth investing in ear/headphones that offer sound isolation or noise cancelling technology that will help you enjoy clear and intelligible audio without being distracted by disruptions from your domestic environment.


Aonic 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Step 5: Make yourself comfortable 

If you’re spending a large amount of your working day on video calls you need to make sure your ear/headphones are comfortable, easy to use and provide great audio quality. Make sure any model that you choose is suitable for use over long periods with high-quality audio that does not force you to strain to hear your meeting participants.

“A USB microphone often provides the best remote working audio solution in a quieter environment. It also allows you to take a break from your headphones and listen through your computer’s internal speaker or an external speaker of your choice.

With so much great technology available to enhance your home office audio, connecting from wherever you are is easier than ever.”

Written by Andrew Low

Andrew is Manager, Global Marketing, Integrated Systems. When not focussing on audio technology, he can be found in the basements of London pubs playing his guitar, badly. A London resident for ten years, Andrew took the leap across the pond after studying at the School of Audio Engineering’s NYC campus.