One of the essential characteristics of sound is its quality. The quality of a sound, whether poor or good, can easily be detected by its hearer, and this tells a lot about how well the sound is received and judged.
Quality sound plays a crucial role both in visual and audio recordings. No matter how good your visuals are, without quality sound, it’ll be difficult to tell your story well. Great audio connects the viewer to the content, while poor-quality audio creates a disconnect that affects the receptivity of the content.
When your audio devices have poor quality sound, they become less fanciful, and the message is less receptive. To produce quality sound, you should first understand what it means.
What’s Meant By Quality Sound?
Quality pertains to how good or bad something is. Sound quality is an assessment of the accuracy or intelligibility of the audio being produced from an electronic device. It refers to how well sound reflects its various qualities, such as pitch and timbre, in balanced and accurate proportions, such that the output is adequate. Sound can either have excellent or poor quality.
The quality of any sound can be measured by using gauging tools or through the response of a human listener. Sound quality differentiates one sound from the other. However, quality sounds have their defining characteristics. Such sounds are accurate, completely audible, do not sound tinny or muffled, and are free from crackling and clipping distortions.
Quality sounds also have a low background noise level and are free from excessive echo or reverb (unless deliberately included). They maintain consistent volume levels throughout, even with multiple speakers. With these features in mind, it becomes easier to detect if a sound has quality or not.
What Factors Affect Quality Sound?
Several factors militate the sound of your audio devices. Unless you’re versatile with these factors, it’d be difficult to achieve the sound quality you want. Some of these factors include:
Many contrasting microphones are accessible, but not all will suit your recording purpose. In most circumstances, your decision of which microphone to use will be restricted to those available to you. Whatever the case is, your choice of microphone will affect the quality of your sound. A good microphone will help you transmit better sound; a bad one will do the opposite.
Headphones are an essential part of the audio production process. They help receive and transmit sound from the speaker to the recording device and vice versa. Good headphones increase your chances of producing quality sound, while bad ones make it harder. When you buy headphones, always check that they’re not faulty. A clogged driver and damaged cables are a few factors that can cause poor sound quality with headphones. The quality of sound is often affected by the quality of microphones in use.
The environment where sound is recorded is another factor that influences sound quality. A noisy environment leaves your recording filled with many distortions and background noise. The presence of fans, refrigerators, furnaces, cars, open windows, phones, and other electronics can make an environment noisy and less conducive for recording.
Regardless of whether you’re at home or work, there are a couple of variables to consider when choosing your space. The more modest the room, the better it is for recording. Ponder how reverberation functions affect your recording, and you’ll see the rationale. It’ll be best if you stay away from all interruptions and interferences. Be in the room utterly away from a TV turned on or somebody busy with other activities. Ensure the children realize they can’t come meandering in.
How Can You Improve Your Devices’ Sound Quality?
Being familiar with the factors is one way to understand the sound quality of your audio devices, and to improve it is another thing. Here are some great tips that will help:
- Use Audio Precision Analyzers
Audio Precision analyzers can quantify the audio performance of sound devices. They show the frequency response of the sound, level of harmony, noise, and intermodulation distortion. With these devices, you can develop and produce sound. They help refine the performance of your sound and confirm if it’s meeting the precise specifications. With the feedback from the device’s analysis, you can adjust the sound until excellent quality is achieved.
- Invest In The Right Microphone
Microphones are the most crucial element of quality audio, but audio device users don’t need fancy, expensive ones. If you record a monologue or interview-style podcast in an office or room in a home, a dynamic microphone is what you need. You can use a clip-on microphone, a table microphone, or voice recorders. Whatever microphone you’re using, ensure it suits your recording purpose. When using the mic, ensure you place it at an appropriate distance.
- Invest In Good Headphones
A good headphone gives clear audio feedback. It produces bass as low as 15Hz and audio with a pitch as high as 25,000Hz. Good headphones usually have an airtight seal which provides the listener with the experience of a perfect bass. They are also made with good sound sensitivity, which helps the user to detect even the slightest change in the volume of sound.
The headphone’s sensitivity is crucial because it helps regulate the magnitude of the sound so it won’t be too high or too low. With good headphones, you’ll be assured of the right level of sound you’re producing and make adjustments when necessary.
- Invest In Good Speakers
When it comes to sound recording, suitable input devices must complement good output devices. Speakers are output devices that give feedback on sound. After recording, you must hear what you’ve recorded through good speakers.
There are various speakers available today; however, you must choose the one that gives a great listening experience. You should ensure that your speakers have enough inputs for every connection to be made. They should also have a comprehensive frequency response and create a good sense of width, depth, and height of sound.
- Eliminate Background Noise
The sound quality improves significantly when most of the background noise is eliminated. Technically, you may not be able to achieve an utterly perfect background, even in the quietest environment. However, you can adopt specific measures that’ll help minimize existing noise.
You can turn off all devices that may produce any distracting sound. You also have to make sure the people around you know you’re recording and take cognizance of the process. If you’re working in a separate room, put a sign on the door, so nobody enters without asking. We review the audio gear for you at Bring in the Noise.
- Boost Wireless Signal
With the emergence of wireless technology, it’s much easier to transmit sound via wireless connections. As good as this is, sound production and transmission with a poor-quality wireless signal can be exhausting. If the network signal is weak, helpful information is distorted, and it’s most likely difficult for listeners to hear and make sense of the conversation.
Without a fast internet, you find yourself huffing as you wait for your sound to reach its receiver. So, you want to aim for the best possible wireless signal provider. In situations where signal strength is weak, you may boost it for greater efficiency. Relocating your router, changing the channel and frequency, and upgrading the antennas are a few ways you can increase your wireless signal.
- Get Equalizer Apps
Equalizer apps help to isolate specific sound frequencies and either increase them, lower them, or leave them unchanged. These apps can be downloaded on your device. If you’re using an iPhone, there are great equalizer apps you can download from the store. If you’re an Android user, you may want to consider popular equalizer and bass boosters for Android.
These equalizers function by changing the color of audio signals and increasing treble frequency bands to make vocals more straightforward. They can also increase the bass frequency range to make sounds heavier and improve their quality.
- Get Rid Of Cable Noise
In sound production, noise can be produced due to cables rubbing against one another. Insulating material inside the cables can dissipate some amount of distorted noise. This noise can affect the quality of sound production as it can result in a change in capacitance between conductors leading to voltage difference.
Therefore, cable noise should be managed not to disrupt the sound production process. The more noise is eliminated from sound, the greater its quality becomes. Aside from noise from the environment, those from the cable should also be eliminated by ground shielding cables, moving wires away from sources of interference, or using conduits to shield signal leads.
By applying the tips above, it becomes effortless to improve the quality of your audio sound. Remember that the devices you use and the environment in which you’re recording are very much important. Whether you’re projecting your voice to an audience of one or one thousand, you must produce quality sound. Apart from making your sound pleasant to your audience’s hearing, it makes your message enjoyable and more attractive.