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How to Reduce Skype Background Noise

In this technology-driven world, a revolutionary service that changed communication on a large scale is the call conferencing service, Skype[1]. Skype is widely known and used as a means of online communication, especially for conference calls. And because it provides a large reach at a next to nothing or free rate, with free video and audio calls, its popularity and worldwide use are always at an all-time high.

However, like for most applications, there’s often a downer or a bad feature, and while most people can overlook or get around that feature, some have a harder time. For Skype, that bad feature is a particular issue that constantly interferes with your conference calls or any call in general.

This issue is simply background noise, whereby, noise from pets or kids around, and even from clicking your keyboard distracts you and interferes with the conversation you’re having, generally disrupting the quality of the Skype call.

 

With the advantage of communicating with your friends and family via free conference calls, video chats and free voice chats, most people seem not to mind the background noise and simply try their best to ignore it. But let’s face it, how long can you really ignore unwanted noise drowning out your voice in a conversation consistently?

Ultimately, you’ll get to a point where you can’t take it, but not to worry, there are several ways you can reduce skype background noise. Now, before we highlight the simple ways to reduce background noise in your calls, we have to talk about the noise cancellation feature Skype provided.

Skype’s Noise Cancellation

For an app to be better and constantly helpful, it gets updated with algorithms to rectify whatever issue its users have complained about. This was the view when Skype added their noise cancellation feature, to ensure a noise-free user experience, by cancelling out background noises. Additionally, Skype’s noise cancellation can’t be turned off in the current version to ensure high-quality calls, according to Skype.

However, this has led to a problem with using Skype, as not every background noise needs to be filtered out. Some times, certain background noises are utilised or displayed in a call for several reasons, but when the background noise like a music note is cancelled out, then there’s an issue. In that regard, it’s probably best not to turn it on in the first place, rather use simpler methods to cancel out the unwanted background noise.

Tips To Reduce Skype Background Noise

  1. Properly Setup Your Environment

A simple but sure way to filter out and reduce any background noise from affecting your call is to take note of your environment and make certain changes. Now, while this doesn’t seem like a method of use, it is, as little changes can largely affect and stop noise from interfering. However, you should note that the little changes you make to the environment, to filter out or minimize noise is largely based on the particular environment you are in. Notwithstanding, below are examples of certain minor changes you can make to reduce background noise.

  • Make your calls away from the air vent and general airflow.
  • Cut out outside noises by shutting your windows and doors.
  • Redirect your fan away from your microphone.
  • Turn off your TV or any such device during the call.

  1. Make Use of Headphones

The next method you can make use of, for squashing background noise is simply wearing headphones on your calls. Ordinarily, your microphone picks up sound from various background factors, which are amplified and passed in and out over the call, creating echoes and other noise disturbances, like the Larsen effect.

Although Skype has algorithms in place to suppress and cancel out echoes, the best method to tackle this particular noise issue is by simply using a headphone. Wearing a pair of headphones will stop your microphone from picking up sound from the background, as well as effectively eliminating the echo.

  1. Microphone Setup

Another way to prevent your calls from being affected by background noise is to properly set up your microphone. Like setting up your environment, you should also pay attention to how you set up your microphone, especially since if wrongly placed or positioned it can lead to more noise interference. In that regard, here’s what you should know about setting up your microphone.

  • Microphone Positioning

A feature of most microphones is an aspect called directionality, which suggests the best angle and direction that a microphone can better pick up sounds. Certain microphones even input controls for directionality. Therefore, if your microphone has the aforesaid feature, then finding the best position to pick up sound isn’t that hard.

However, if you have a cardioid microphone, that is, a microphone that picks up sound from a single direction, then you need to consider positioning more. On that note, you should ensure the cardioid microphone faces towards you during calls, while sources of background noise are behind it.

  • Vibration

Microphones, especially a desktop microphone are highly susceptible to vibrations. Hence, a loud knock to your desk or a kick or any form of vibrations will ultimately affect your call, most likely with an unpleasant loud thud bouncing on your ears. Now, the best way to deal with microphone vibrations is to ensure your microphone is solidly placed on a stable surface. Furthermore, you ensure the surface you mount your microphone on doesn’t wobble one bit.

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, when it comes to stopping or reducing background noise interfering with Skype call, the simple measures given above go a long in ensuring you achieve that goal. Also, apart from the measures given above, a final recourse you can apply is making use of external noise cancelling and blocking apps that work with skype. These apps ensure you don’t hear any unwanted noise distracting you from your Skype conversation.

Glossary

[1] Skype – Link