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Why Audio Experience Matters for Video Conferencing Tools
Dolby.io

As the world still battles the COVID-19 pandemic, web conference tools have become essential for team communication. According to a survey by Lifesize, 78% of companies use video conferencing frequently to host meetings.

Web conferences, however, don’t always have a good reputation among employees. Over 67% of workers don’t believe that they’re getting value from their online meetings.

So why don’t employees feel like they’re getting the most out of their conference calls? The biggest culprits include a poor-quality video and audio experience, which hurts productivity and collaboration.

Hollywood movies know how to leverage the powerful effect of optimizing audio and video for a better experience. And guess what? It’s no different when it comes to building your web conference tool.

Poor Audio Experience Turns Users Off

Low audio quality is what could make or break your web conference tool. After all, even with the best video quality, your web conference platform is useless if customers can’t communicate on it correctly. Some of the most common issues that come with a bad-quality audio experience include:

Distracting Background Noise

Frequent background noise during conference calls leads to poor communication between users. Nothing kills productivity more than one person on the call asking, “Can you please repeat what you said?” because of outside disruptions. Background noise can also cause users to either mishear or miss vital information during the call, which further worsens collaboration.

On top of that, ambient distractions can create stress in individuals. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, background noise releases cortisol and increases stress levels. It makes it difficult for users to concentrate and think clearly, which is not the type of audio experience you want to offer to customers.

Cross-Talking During Conferences

Another frequent roadblock to productive video meetings is cross-talking. It happens when multiple people are speaking at the same time and creates friction during conference calls.

Here’s how it goes: two people are speaking until they realize they’re talking over each other. Each person then has to pause and ask the other to “please go on,” which creates an awkward moment.

Reducing cross-talking during conferences is key to making calls feel more natural. Users will feel like they’re talking to someone face-to-face, not through a screen.

Audio Glitches

Sometimes, poor connection issues can get in the way of delivering high-quality audio. The result is a glitchy audio experience that makes it difficult to communicate, and there’s often no choice but to cancel or reschedule the meeting. Even worse, they could decide to hop on a different web conference app.

Not only does productivity take a big hit, but users are also frustrated, especially if it’s something that frequently happens. Without solid network resilience, your web conference tool has no way of minimizing audio glitches.

Loss of Speaker Credibility

Along with miscommunication issues, a low-quality audio experience comes with a loss of credibility for the speaker. According to a study published in SAGE Journals, audio quality can influence whether people trust the information they’re hearing.

The study tested different video conference calls: one with high-quality audio and the other with low-quality audio. Once each call was over, the participants had the task of rating each conference.

It turns out that people viewed the speaker’s research and discussion less favorably when it had terrible audio — even though both video calls were on the same subject.

4 Audio Factors That Enhance the Video Conferencing Experience

These audio issues can be a major headache to deal with for your users. However, the good news is that you can overcome them by optimizing your tool’s audio correctly.

1. Spatial Audio

Spatial audio has the power to separate overlapping voices and overcome cross-talking for more natural conversation. It makes users feel like everyone is in the same room and creates a movie-quality audio experience.

That way, even if multiple people speak simultaneously, you can hear them all clearly. It also helps reduce listener fatigue and makes video conferences less of a headache.

2. Noise Reduction

If you want to enhance your conference app’s audio experience, eliminating background noise needs to be one of your top priorities. Customers will be able to put all their focus on what others are saying and avoid distractions.

With noise suppression technology, your web conference tool automatically eliminates any distracting noises during your customer’s call. The audio will be loud and clear even if users are in crowded environments, such as their commute to work.

3. Voice Processing and Loudness Correction

An excellent web conferencing experience must come with seamless audio for each speaker. The best way to achieve this is through voice processing, which combines dynamic audio leveling and voice detecting to maintain consistent user levels.

It plays a vital part in making the video conversation flow smoothly and resemble real-life interaction. Your conference tool will identify who is speaking in the call and keep other sounds away. On top of that, the listener will be able to hear everything they need to hear.

4. Advanced Network Resilience

A quality web conference tool should be able to maintain good audio even if network issues arise. With advanced network resilience, you’ll be able to maintain communication at all times and make conversations move smoothly.

You can say goodbye to audio glitches or network issues getting in the way of a productive conference call.

But Don’t Neglect Video Quality

Delivering an excellent experience to your audience consists of meeting their expectations. As technology continues to improve, so will customers’ image standards.

So if you want to build the best product for your customers, you can’t settle for subpar video quality. Your product must be the full deal, with a high-quality audio experience and excellent video quality. Here’s why:

Shows Body Language and Facial Expressions

Body expressions reveal more than just words alone. Over 93% of communication between people is non-verbal, which is why adopting high-quality video should remain a the top of your list.

Without video, you’re missing out on countless clues such as facial expressions, body language, and posture that show you how the other person truly feels. Customers won’t get the full picture, and it’s going to make communication feel empty.

Helps Create a Real-Life, Face-to-Face Interaction

As much as web conference calls are now a part of our “new normal,” one common complaint (especially from the education sector) is that they don’t feel like real-life interactions.

When you combine high-quality video with a top-notch audio experience, you’re creating an immersive experience that feels like a face-to-face interaction — even if you’re thousands of miles away.

It’s essential for remote teams that don’t meet in real life to collaborate on projects more effectively. As a result, you’ll naturally see an increase in team productivity and engagement.

Enables Better Collaboration

While audio is vital for communication and hearing others correctly, it has limited collaboration capabilities. Video provides access to extra features that improve the collaborative experience.

For example, if you’re onboarding a new employee and want to show them how to use a tool, you can share your screen to explain the steps. If you’re hosting a large conference, you can share a PowerPoint file to better present your topic.

Don’t Let Bad Audio Stop You

So which is more critical to your web conference tool: the video or audio experience?

The answer is, you need both. By optimizing your audio and video quality, you’ll deliver the right conferencing experience for your customers.

With the Dolby.io Interactivity APIs, you gain access to a comprehensive range of communication tools you can instantly integrate into your app. Not only will you stay on quality in regards to audio and video, but you’ll also build your web conferencing software much faster.

The best part? Our APIs comes with multiple levels of security for your tool. We are GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2 compliant, so you can focus on what truly matters. Start your free trial today and learn more.

Tags: noise-reduction, spatial-audio
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