Pesto Blog

How to Effectively Take Calls in a Loud Room

Doug Safreno
Doug Safreno
Jun 30, 2021 - 2 min read
How to Effectively Take Calls in a Loud Room

Have you ever been on a conference call, and someone has very loud background noise? Have you ever been that person? Sometimes, it’s necessary or just more convenient to work from loud places, but loud background noise is brutal for the rest of the participants in the call.

I’ve spent a lot of time working in loud rooms, and I’ve come up with a system that works really well at cancelling 100% of background noise. In this blog post, I outline how to use the right headset and key software to block background noise so that you can take calls in loud rooms.

Key #1: Headset with Directional Microphone

If you’re taking calls off of your laptop mic, you’re in trouble. Your laptop microphone is designed to pick up everything in a large area around the laptop. Meaning, your laptop will pick up the most amount of background noises.

Laptops pick up sound from all directions

If you’re using AirPods or other headsets where the mic doesn’t reach your mouth, you’re probably also going to get background noise. These do a better job, but ultimately still pick up too much noise in loud rooms.

AirPods still pick up a lot of background noise

The best headsets, in contrast, are designed to only pick up audio from your mouth. They have microphones that are right next to your mouth and directed towards your mouth.

Headsets are designed to only pick up audio from your mouth

Here’s the headset I use. It’s a bit bulky and ugly, but it does a really good job of only picking up the right audio. Note that it only works for Windows. Here’s another one I’ve tested that works well for macOS.

Key #2: Background Noise Removal Software

If you have the right headset, that will take care of 90% of the background noise, but to deal with the last 10% you’ll need fantastic background noise removal software. This type of software takes the audio coming into your microphone and applies an algorithm, often times using AI, to remove background noise and keep the focus on your voice. These softwares work better when any background noise is soft, and in my experience, are virtually 100% effective when you have the right headset, since that background noise is already infrequent and soft.

I use and recommend Krisp. Krisp is easy to use and just way more effective than anything else I’ve seen. It uses AI to remove background noise and echoes.

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