Whether you are having a video conference with a colleague, chatting with friends, or recording content for public consumption, the quality of audio recording is always important. Here’s how to get clear, clear audio recording and minimize background noise on a Windows PC.
Basic Tips for Clear Audio Recording
Before you explore software features, you should follow some basic best practices for clearer audio recording. Here are a few quick tips:
Use Headphones: If your microphone makes a sound from your speakers, plug in headphones to eliminate echoes.
Use a Special Microphone or Headset: Many laptops have an internal microphone that is of sufficient quality. Sure, they work, but that’s all that can be said for them. Try attaching a specific microphone or headset to your PC.
Remove or Move From Background Noise: Close the window, move away from air vents, go to a room that is not too noisy, close applications that cause your laptop fan to spin, move your microphone further from your mouth so that others cannot hear you breathe, and generally think about how you can avoid noise. Consider swapping the noisy mechanical keyboard for something quieter while on the phone. Consider turning off yourself when you are not talking.
How to Enable Noise Reduction in Windows
Like Windows 7 before, Windows 10 offers several integrated microphone options that will help with microphone background noise. The exact choice available depends on the sound hardware in your PC and your manufacturer’s audio driver.
This option is found in the traditional Control Panel. They are not available in the new Settings application. To find it, open the Control Panel from the Start menu and go to Hardware and Sound> Sound.
Click the “Recording” tab in the Sound window, choose your microphone device, and click “Properties.”
Click the “Level” tab. If you are dealing with background noise, try lowering the Enhance Microphone option – maybe to +10.0 dB, not + 20.dB. This makes the microphone more sensitive, which means it will be easier to listen to you, but it will also capture more background noise.
After reducing the microphone boost options, try adjusting the microphone volume to 100. If you lower the boost settings and the microphone is quieter, increasing the volume here will make it easier for people to hear you.
After changing a few settings, click “Apply” and test your microphone again to see if it helps.
Finally, click on the “Upgrade” tab. This tab might not be available – depending on your PC’s hardware and audio drivers.
If there is an “Noise Suppression” or “Noise Canceling” option, activate it. Other options here can also help reduce background noise – for example, on this PC we tested, there is an “Acoustic Echo Canceling” option that will help reduce the echo caused by the speaker if you are not wearing headphones.
Click “OK” to save your changes and close the window.
Use Noise Canceling Software or Features
A popular communication tool is an increasingly sophisticated noise canceling feature that works on calls. Some software programs promise to eliminate background noise when recording any application on your PC. Here are some tools that you can use:
Google Meet: Google added noise cancellation to Google Meet on April 22, 2020. Google Meet will automatically filter out background noise.
Zoom: Zoom has default background noise suppression turned on by default. To check this option, open the Zoom settings window from the menu, select “Audio” in the sidebar, and click the “Advanced” button. You will see the “Suppress Background Noise,” “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise,” and “Echo cancellation” features. These audio processing features are all set to “Automatic” by default, but you can disable them or set them to be more or less aggressive.
NVIDIA RTX Voice: With the NVIDIA RTX Voice application installed, you can activate the “Remove Background Noise” feature that uses machine learning and the power of the NVIDIA GPU to remove background noise from your microphone in any application on your system. According to NVIDIA, this software only works on systems with NVIDIA RTX GPUs. However, Ars Technica reports that it can work on PCs with older NVIDIA graphics hardware.
Disputes: Disputes now have the power of the innate voice suppression feature by Krisp.ai. To activate it during voice chat, click the Noise Suppression button at the bottom left of the Discord sidebar and activate “Noise Suppression.”
Krisp.ai, available at Discord for free, also offers software products that can allow noise cancellation in any application – such as NVIDIA’s RTX Voice software, but for PCs without any software. It has a free rate that offers 120 minutes of free noise cancellation every week, but you have to pay $ 3.33 per month after that.
Many other video conferencing applications also have built-in noise cancellation features. You may be able to configure it from the application settings window. If you use an old-fashioned video conferencing tool that doesn’t have built-in noise reduction, your organization might be better off switching to a modern solution that does it.
Consider the Noise Canceling Microphone
If nothing works properly, you might need a better microphone. Some microphones are designed to filter out or reduce ambient noise. For example, they might have two built-in microphones – the main microphone to record your voice and the secondary microphone to record ambient noise. They can then filter out ambient noise. They are often marketed as “noise canceling microphones.”
Even if you don’t pick up a microphone specifically designed for it, a better quality microphone might be a big improvement in audio quality compared to the built-in laptop microphone or old headset that you have.