How to improve video and sound in Zoom?

How can sound and image problems be solved when using Zoom or other video-conferencing apps? Sound and light are of primary importance when using applications such as Zoom, yet these two aspects are usually neglected by new users to video-calling.

How to sound good on video

With video-conferencing, online meetings, or when teaching online, the quality of the sound is important and can be optimized in a number of ways. Sound is in fact the more important issue. It is said that people don’t mind watching an interesting, but poor-quality video, but are unforgiving when the sound is poor.

First, use a quiet, but not empty room to take part in a meeting, or do a lesson; a good set of headphones with a microphone is usually compulsory for teachers. Otherwise, invest in a lavalier mic that clips onto your collar or even to a camera. The alternative is to spend more money on a mic with a stand.

If there is an echo when using Zoom it is usually due to another mic nearby that is not muted.

In Zoom the Audio can be adjusted to suppress background noise, so for example, if some participants find themselves in a crowded area, or if someone’s mowing the lawn, the audio can be adjusted to “high” and that’s going to suppress the amount of background noise. But again, I think just go with auto. Earpods or good-quality headphones are preferable for participants in meetings class situations, teach in a room, or where it is quiet.

Background noise can be muted in audio settings. Sound can be improved in “secret” settings that are revealed in the text.

No sound or camera on entering?

Enable audio and video Zoom settings

The most common problems that new users of Zoom experience, are that they do not have sound, or cannot get the camera/ video to work.

When responding to a meeting ID to join a Zoom meeting, the blue ‘join with computer audio’ setting in the pop-up must be checked. Do not close this pop-up. Participants usually first enter the Waiting Room from where the Host allows them to enter. On entering the meeting, check the speaker and camera options on the left side of the taskbar to activate audio and video.

Conversely, the person sending the Meeting Invite must prompt invitees to enter with video and audio on, but in the case of a large meeting, participants will be entering with audio muted.

In the case of an error message popping up saying that the sound/ camera cannot be activated when clicking on these said buttons, then the problem is either with the PC’s settings, or that the camera is in use by a mother application that needs to be closed. (Closing other applications will ensure a better internet signal.) Make sure to allow apps access to your camera is turned on, or in the case of multiple speakers and mic, that the correct devices have been selected.

Tip: While waiting to join a meeting, users can check on Zoom if their audio and camera are working.

How to improve your image on video

How can one look better on video during online meetings using Zoom or other apps? Number one is good lighting and secondly to have the camera on eye level and not looking up your nose. The second problem can be solved by putting the laptop on books or something, or alternatively, a good webcam can be attached to the top of the screen. When using a phone for recording, the ideal is a tripod with a light ring.

Always face the main light source, in the case of a window for natural light. Never sit with your back to a bright light source behind you. A lot of new and affordable light options recently became available such as lighted mirrors, clip-on selfie rings, ‘lume’ cube-ring lights, and video conference lighting with adjustable brightness and light temperature settings that can clip onto a laptop, or even be used with a phone.

A very practical and affordable source for video lighting is clip-on video conference lighting.

How to make additional sound and video settings

People who use Zoom premium options to make videos can make Advanced Settings to improve picture and sound quality. See the following link for example.

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