Which audio settings should I select in Zoom to improve my audio quality?

The optimal audio settings depend on the type of microphone you are using and your surroundings. It is therefore advisable to book a test call by sending an email to As a rule of thumb, it is best to set Background noise suppression to Low for headsets and to High for external USB podcast microphones. To do this:

  • go to Settings and select the Audio tab
  • clear the Automatically adjust microphone volume check box and speak into your microphone, manually adjusting the input level to between 75% and 90% or as required during sound checks
  • set Background noise suppression to Low if you are using a headset
  • set Background noise suppression to High if you are using a unidirectional USB microphone (podcast mic)

Screenshot of the audio settings in Zoom

Activating Original sound for musicians will only be effective if you are in a quiet environment without too many smooth, hard surfaces that reflect sound (such as bare walls and glass windows). It is important to minimise background noise in that mode too, so if you are using an external USB microphone and activate Original sound for musicians, you will need to mute your microphone when typing, shuffling your papers or having something to drink.

Regardless of whether you are using a headset microphone or an external USB microphone, it is important to use headphones to listen to the meeting as external speakers often generate feedback.