Improving videoconferencing audio quality for remote workers

I’ve been working remotely for about five years full-time. Over that time I’ve talked with colleagues pretty much every work day, so being able to communicate clearly by audio has been crucial. Bad quality audio can quickly turn a good conversation into a frustrating one when you struggle to hear the speaker, or keep needing to ask them to repeat themselves. Videoconferencing is lower bandwidth than in-person communication; I’ve tried to get as good quality when videoconferencing so I can catch as much of what the other person is communicating.

I studied as a musician, and accumulated several pieces of audio gear and knowledge about working with audio which have been very useful for working remotely. A friend asked me for advice about getting some audio gear so I sent him an email. That turned into a post on our company wiki, and now I’m posting it here publicly.

In my experience, for remote videoconferencing to work well, the following things are very beneficial:

Improving audio quality when video conferencing

Here are some tips in rough order of importance for improving audio quality when videoconferencing. You can keep going down the list with diminishing returns of audio quality, stop whenever you and/or your team is happy with the quality you’re getting.