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Working Remotely Like a Pro - The Voice Quality

The problem with working remotely is kind of obvious, you are remote! This poses a number of problems:

  • You aren't in the office.
  • You might not have an office for clients to meet at.

Even if you are in an office and working with remote people, you are kind of remote! So these are good tips for you too!

So the obvious solution is the telephone. Now a days the telephone comes in a lot of different formats, the main ones I use are:

  • Apple iPhone
  • Skype
  • GotoMeeting

The important thing to keep in mind is that 99% of your important communication with others will be over voice. This means it's important to have decent speakers and a decent microphone. Video calls aren't going to help unless you and the other person know sign language. You want to make your voice heard clearly!

You want people to understand you, and you will want to understand people. So first some things that cost nothing, or next to nothing to improve your sound quality...

Tips that Cost Nothing

  • Find a quiet place. MacDonald's and Starbucks is not a quiet place. There is a lot of background noise.
  • Laptop speakers don't cut it usually. I'd say 90% of the people I talk to that are using laptop microphones and speakers, the sound is atrocious. Either the mic is just super condensed or too much gain, or I can hear the laptop fans kicking in and not the other person.
  • In your quiet place, there maybe things that are creating unnecessary noise that drive people crazy. Some of these are fans, fish tanks without enough water in them, traffic noise, TV or radio in the other room.
    Try to solve these. Put water in the tank, turn down the fan, make sure it isn't blowing on the microphone. Learn to use mute, treat it like Push to Talk.
  • If there are echoes, the easiest solution is to add stuff to the room. It's amazing what a chair, or cheap plastic posters frames on the wall can do. Even a sheet hung on a wall can really reduce echoes.
  • If you are using a microphone point it away from the speakers.
  • Don't put your lips on the microphone. When you adjust the levels, do it from a comfortable distance.
  • If you are using a headset be aware of mic placement and breathing noise. If you are getting breathing noise move the mic away and adjust the gain.
  • If someone sounds awful, and you can't understand them... Let them know, they might not even know it's a problem! Better yet, help them fix the problem! When communicating all parties need to be heard clearly.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, don't do it right into the microphone!
  • When adjusting levels, small and slow works best.

Tips that Cost Money


  • The headset that comes with the iPhone works great with the iPhone, but plugging it into your computer and using it? The gain on the mic is too low, I have tried to tweak this in the mic settings on the PC to get it to sound better but without much luck.
  • Get the AirPods. These are blue tooth wireless headphones with a microphone that work with IOS10 or greater. The sound quality is amazing, and they are very comfortable. They really stick in your ears, that was my biggest fear. I haven't lost them yet. If you have a Mac you can probably use them with the computer. Maybe even with the PC. The range is pretty good, so you don't have to carry the phone with you.
  • Get the GotoMeeting App and Skype for your iPhone. This is very useful if you are mobile. The AirPods will also work with these applications.

Laptop or Desktop Computer


If you are working remotely or working with people that are remote, it's important that your voice is heard. There is a lot you can do for free to improve your voice quality. If you decide to make an investment and some of this may seem expensive, keep in mind $300 is a lot cheaper than a plane ticket. Over a year it will be cheaper than parking. If you have any setup questions, or ideas about working remotely please add some comments!

Stay happy working remotely and make your voice heard CLEARLY!