Zoom videoconferencing – optimizing audio

Many thanks to my colleague Cara Transtrom who told me about the team from New England Conservatory who recently published a report titled Special Report of the NEC Voice and Sound Analysis Laboratory | March 25, 2020 which compares several popular videoconferencing platforms in terms of audio quality. From that study: “The Zoom platform (with optional audio settings enabled) seems to provide the highest fidelity to dynamic range and frequency spectrum of the four platforms tested in this study.”

In this post, I will show you how to adjust your settings in Zoom so that you will be heard as clearly as possible when you sing or speak in a videoconference.

When you enter the Zoom room, click the arrow next to the microphone icon in the lower left portion of the screen. Then select “audio settings” as in the illustration below:

On the audio settings screen below, make sure that you uncheck the box for “Automatically adjust volume”. Then click the “Advanced” button at the bottom of the screen:

On this last screen check the box for “…Enable Original Sound…” and select “Disable” for the two settings for “Background Noise”:

In the upper left corner of your videochat screen, choose that option that let’s you use “original sound”. There will be different choices depending on your computer’s setup, but but you should have an option to use or not use “original sound”.

These settings will result in the most realistic sound being captured by your device. If you are a singer, this will help your teacher, coach, or audience a great deal in hearing you more accurately.


If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

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