The Secret Weapon For Better Sounding Voice and Video Calls

In today's ever-connected world, voice and video calls have become the cornerstone of business communication, allowing us to collaborate, connect, and conduct business in the office, at home, or on the go. However, these calls can be hampered by an annoying, and aggravating thing called background noise. 

For those who work in a busy office, this could be the sound of coworkers. And if you work from home, then you know how distracting the sounds of barking dogs, and children's noise can be. And let’s not overlook the hybrid worker who calls their office anyplace they might be at any given moment, that could be the local coffee shop, a busy airport or anywhere in between.

Background noise can significantly impact the quality of communication at many levels; missed information, frustration, reduced productivity and unprofessionalism can all stem from a noisy call environment.

Fortunately, there are several technological solutions available to help eliminate or at the very least, minimize distracting background noise, so you have more effective and better quality voice and video calls. This blog gives you some hardware and software solutions designed to help reduce the distractions, and frustrations associated with workplace noise.

Headsets and Conference Phones - A Good Place To Start:

headset and conference phone images

Headsets and conference phones are the first line of defense against noise in the workplace. They're popular because they’re readily available, highly affordable, and to a certain extent, a good first step towards eradicating unwanted noise.

  • Headsets:  These offer a personal noise reduction solution that’s ideal for individuals working in busy environments. Many headsets come equipped with built-in passive noise cancellation (PNC) features. PNC utilizes physical barriers to block out ambient sounds, often achieved through specially designed ear cups that create a snug seal around the ears.  Headsets with microphone booms also help capture your voice more clearly, minimizing the impact of background noise on your end of the call.
  • Noise Canceling Microphone: Most business headsets today come equipped with a microphone that’s designed to reduce unwanted background noise. As you might imagine, some models perform better than others, but those that excel are fairly effective at reducing noise.
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC):  Some advanced headsets incorporate Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. ANC employs sophisticated microphones that detect external noise and generate sound waves that essentially cancel out the unwanted noise before it reaches your ears.  ANC significantly enhances noise reduction, creating a more focused and peaceful calling experience for the person wearing the headset. Unlike a noise canceling microphone, that’s designed to remove noise for your callers, ANC removes noise for you so you're not distracted by the sounds going on around you, allowing you to maintain concentration.
  • Conference Phones:  For group calls or situations where a headset solution isn't ideal, conference phones offer a noise-reduction option.  Many conference phones integrate microphones that utilize noise reduction, echo cancellation, and full duplex audio. Some conference phones utilize a single omni-directional microphone that’s designed to pick up voices in a full circle radius. Others may use several microphones that are gated, meaning it detects the location of the voice and opens up the microphone serving that area, while shutting down the others until someone in the other zones begins talking. Conference phones can be a good solution for noise reduction, but like headsets, it largely depends on the effectiveness of the specific model.

The Advantages of Hardware Solutions:

Headsets and conference phones offer several distinct advantages:

  • Easy Integration: Most headsets and conference phones connect seamlessly via USB or Bluetooth to your computer or phone, requiring minimal setup, training and expertise.
  • Noise Reduction: These devices may provide noise reduction, offering a tangible solution to eliminate background noise from your environment.
  • Improved Focus: Headsets, particularly those with ANC, can significantly reduce distractions from background noise, allowing you, and your callers to remain focused on the conversation thereby eliminating frustration, distractions and enhancing productivity.

Software As A Solution To Noise - Introducing neep:

neep noise canceling software graphic

While hardware solutions like headsets and conference phones do provide background noise reduction, they have limitations. Noise-canceling headsets primarily focus on blocking out noise in your immediate environment.  They have zero impact on noise originating from the caller's end of the conversation, also known as "far-end noise." Additionally, headsets without Active Noise Cancellation that solely rely on passive noise cancellation, might not effectively suppress all background noise frequencies.

Here's where neep noise cancellation software steps in to give you better sounding calls. neep is a software solution that utilizes advanced algorithms to further enhance the clarity and professionalism of your voice calls:

  • Far-End Noise Reduction: neep tackles distracting noise not just from your environment but also from the person you're talking to. It effectively filters out background noise like keyboard clicks, traffic sounds, or even conversations happening in the caller's environment.
  • Voice Isolation and Enhancement: neep goes beyond simple noise cancellation. It utilizes sophisticated algorithms to learn, then isolate your voice from competing background sounds while enhancing the audio quality of your voice.This ensures your voice is transmitted clearly and professionally during calls.
  • Platform & Device Compatibility: neep works seamlessly on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and integrates effortlessly with your existing audio devices like headsets, conference phones, and webcams. So, no changes to your operating system, or communication devices required.

4 Benefits of neep Software:

cup of coffee, pencils and text that says "advantages" followed by the numbers 1 through 4
  • Enhanced Clarity: neep removes distracting background noise from both ends of the call, creating a crystal-clear communication experience.
  • Professional Voice Quality: By learning, isolating and enhancing your voice, neep ensures you always sound your best on calls.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: neep integrates with your existing operating system such as Windows, Mac or Linux and your current audio devices, so there's no hardware expenses to take advantage of the benefits of neep.
  • Enhances your audio files. neep can also be used to enhance the sound quality from your audio files such as Podcasts. So there's no need to use third party software when neep has the functionality built-in. 

The Ultimate Noise Reduction Solution: A Powerful Tandem

man wearing headset with imaginary bubble around his head

While headsets and conference phones offer noise reduction capabilities, they can't address all noise issues.  For the ultimate solution, consider pairing your preferred noise-canceling headset or conference phone with neep noise cancellation software. This powerful duo creates a virtually noise-free communication environment, giving you better sounding, more productive voice and video calls.

Here's how this combination works:

  • Headset/Conference Phone: Reduces some of the background noise in your environment and captures your voice clearly with a microphone designed for professional sound quality.
  • neep Noise Cancellation Software: Eliminates distracting noise from your background and the caller's end and further enhances the clarity and quality of your voice transmission. Basically, giving you better sound quality, and no noise on your voice or video calls. Even if your audio device doesn't remove background noise, neep will, so you're free to use whichever audio device you prefer regardless of it's capabilities.

Choosing the Right Headset With neep

top down view of two feet amongs arrows going in multiple directions

Now that you have a better idea of the power of combining hardware and software for eliminating noise, let's explore choosing the ideal headset:

  • Comfort: Prioritize a headset that has a design that you feel would be comfortable; there isn't one type that's right for everyone, so select your preferred style. This could be an on-ear model, or one that's worn over the head covering one, or two ears. There are even models that can be worn behind the neck, with others that can switch between wearing styles, called "convertible" headsets. Choose carefully because comfort is highly important.
  • Sound Quality: Opt for a headset with a professional grade microphone designed to provide high quality audio so you sound good to your callers. Read reviews, or better yet, request a free demo from your headset vendor so you can try the headset prior to buying it. This gives you the opportunity to know in advance if the headset you're considering meets your sound quality expectations. And if your vendor won't allow you to try it, then you may want to consider finding a different vendor to work with.
  • Noise Reduction Features: Look for a headset that features a noise canceling microphone, passive noise cancellation, or even better, Active Noise Cancellation. These are features that will enhance your audio quality and allow you to keep your concentration when noise is present in your background.
  • Connectivity: Choose a headset that's compatible with the devices you plan to use it with. If a computer, that would be via a USB connection, which there are two types; USB-A, and the newer USB-C, with some headsets including both. So before buying, make sure the USB connector matches the type of USB port on your computer. If wireless is your preferred type of headset, you'll find models that connect via Bluetooth, though there are some that are DECT that may offer other connection methods.
  • Add neep: When you add neep to your preferred audio device, you’re stepping up your voice and video call experience to a whole new level. You and your callers get better sound quality. So when noise is the problem, I’m here to say that neep is your ultimate solution. Find out for yourself by going to neep.com for a free trial.

Elevate Your Calls

graphic saying Level Up

By understanding the limitations of hardware noise reduction and the additional benefits offered by neep software, you can achieve a truly exceptional communication experience.  Invest in a comfortable, high-quality headset with good noise cancellation features.  Then, unlock the power of neep to eliminate distracting noise, enhance your voice quality, and ensure crystal-clear communication on both ends of the call. With this dynamic duo, you can say goodbye to audio frustrations and hello to clear, professional, and noise-free conversations.

Have Questions, or Need Some Help?

customer service agent smiling while working at desk in office setting

Headset Advisor has been assisting customers with their communication needs since 1994. Our team of professionals are available to answer any questions, or assist you in finding the perfect, compatible communication solution. Or, if you have questions about our neep software, or would like some help getting it set up and configured, we’ll be happy to help there too. So don’t hesitate to contact us for support.

Background noise canceling microphoneBackground noise cancellationBest active noise canceling headsetNeep noise canceling softwareNoise canceling softwareOffice noiseOpen office noiseOpen plan office noise

Sound like a pro on every call, even if your dog is barking in the background

Eliminate background noises for your microphone with Neep's AI-powered noise cancellation.

Try neep Free

Sound like a pro on every call, even if your dog is barking in the background

Eliminate background noises for your microphone with Neep's AI-powered noise cancellation.

Try neep Free

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