3 Products To Improve Your Online Calls
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
In my previous blog I wrote about six simple ways to improve the quality of your zoom calls. The stipulation was that these wouldn’t require any purchases, just changes you can make to your set-up to get the most out of your online calls. If you’ve made those changes and feel like you want to take your production value to the next level, here is a quick list of items that you may find useful.
1. External Microphone
If you are looking to improve call quality, this is the big one for me. Have you had it where you are talking to someone and their voice starts to sound digital and glitchy? You will know just how much of a conversation-killer this is.
The reason this happens is likely due to them being too far away from their microphone. Your call software (whether it’s Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts) is probably recognising their voice as background noise, and therefore doing its best to remove it.
Having an external microphone such as the Movo UM700, allows you to be a comfortable distance from your laptop, PC, or Mac, whilst still having your microphone close by.
Ok i admit this is a bit of an obvious one. Your laptop doesn’t need to be too old before the quality of the onboard camera becomes shocking. The picture quality of my i5 Asus laptop webcam looks as though I’ve filmed myself with a potato.
If your laptop is slightly dated now, getting a Full HD webcam such as the Logitech C920 is a cheap and easy way to add quality to your image.
Remember what I wrote in my previous blog though, make sure the webcam is level with your eye-line to give the most natural look to your image.
In my previous blog (here) I spoke about situating yourself by a window to give yourself the best free light source possible. Now there are obvious downsides to this, namely the possibility of inconsistent lighting, and if you are making calls outside of daylight hours.
If you have enough space, and want to start your own little studio setup, a couple of light panels is a great option for this. I’m not sure this is entirely necessary if you are just making calls to your friends, but if since the coronavirus lockdown your work and business meetings have shifted to online, this could be a great option to really set yourself apart from the crowd. Along with a decent webcam and a solid microphone, you will be presenting yourself in a really professional manner.
These Neewer light panels are a great budget option. Place one either side of your laptop/PC, around 45 degrees left and right of your eye-line. Then raise them up so they are one of two feet higher than your head.
Make one light brighter than the other (on your best side!), so you still have a slight shadow on one side of your face. This helps add depth to your image.
If you would like help with lighting/ microphone placement get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org