Photo: Volker Weber
Anyone who wants to come across well in audio conferences has to have a full, powerful voice that can convey emotions.
Technology sometimes gets in the way.
In a clubhouse room you notice this quickly because you only hear voices without being distracted by images.
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This is mainly due to the popular Bluetooth headphones, which reproduce music fantastically and suppress background noise, but are hardly suitable for making calls.
Apple's AirPods, the world's best-selling headphones, sound a bit like speaking through a pipe.
The iPhone user already has his best tool in his hand: Whoever speaks directly into the iPhone sounds better than with headphones without exception.
Current iPhones have three microphones.
The voice is picked up by the microphone to the left of the Lightning connector, which is often covered with the little finger of the right hand when making calls.
The microphone near the camera lenses picks up the ambient noise and subtracts it from the voice signal.
A third microphone in the grill above the display listens in the ear when telephoning to correct the sound.
The interaction of these three microphones creates a better sound than the AirPods.
Beware of the "Popp"
If you don't want to carry your iPhone around all the time, you have another secret weapon that is often carelessly put away.
Up to the current Series 12 iPhones, Apple always included a pair of EarPods, those cable headphones that have been Apple's trademark since the iPod.
Volker Weber, arrow to the right
Volker Weber, born in 1958, is a qualified industrial engineer from Darmstadt.
He advises companies on the use of IT technology and collaboration solutions.
Since 1992 he has worked as a freelance author for numerous publications.
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A volume control dangles from the right cable, into which Apple has built a microphone that dangles at the perfect distance from the mouth.
The sound spreads from the mouth in a spherical shape and reaches this micro after about 20 centimeters.
You should hold your iPhone that far away from your mouth when speaking into its microphones.
It is important to avoid the flow of air in front of your mouth, i.e. not to blow on the microphone, as this would cause annoying "pop" noises.
In quiet rooms, many iPhone users already have the perfect clubhouse setup without having to invest a single euro.
However, the iPhone microphones and those of the EarPods also record all the noises.
that spread through the room: rattling keyboards, slammed doors, even your own steps are transmitted to the audience.
This is especially true for the AirPods and the EarPods.
Street noise is an unbearable annoyance for the listeners, which is why you should avoid transmitting such background noises into chat rooms.
Acoustically fade out the surroundings
Current business headsets from EPOS, Jabra, Logitech and Poly suppress the soundscape of offices, and to a certain extent also that of apartments with a lot of background noise.
My personal favorite is the Jabra Evolve2 65 because it offers a successful combination of good sound in your own ears, a comfortable seat and a good microphone sound.
The headset suppresses background noise in one's own speech, the ears are only moderately shielded from the environment by soft cushions.
I find that more pleasant than the complete isolation through the active noise suppression of many other headsets, which involuntarily makes you speak too loudly.
If you want to make phone calls outside, only more powerful solutions will help.
Poly offers the Voyager 5200 UC, which mercilessly filters out anything that doesn't sound like a human voice.
In addition, its microphone shields wind noise very well.
Since the Voyager only sits in one ear, you perceive your entire surroundings at the same time and are not surprised by approaching vehicles.
You can actually use it to make calls while cycling without the person you are speaking to being bothered by wind noise.
However, as the background noise increases, the filter becomes harder and harder and the voice appears increasingly artificial.
Just try it out
But why do expensive hi-fi headphones often sound so bad in conference calls?
This is mainly due to the Bluetooth technology, because of which the headphones can only transmit the signal from the microphones in poor quality.
You can use it to answer a call, but you shouldn't put on such headsets specifically for making calls.
If in doubt, just talk to a friend on the phone and ask how you sound with and without the headphones.
Incidentally, this also applies to conferences on the PC.
Modern laptops have up to four microphones, which are able to transmit voices better than a headset.
And if you do use a business headset, you should definitely use the included USB connector for the connection to the PC and not the Bluetooth connection of the PC.
Because, as small as they may be, these plugs enable noticeably better audio quality.
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