Zoom is optimized for meetings, not music. The filters that cut out background noise and echos can disrupt the audio quality. Adjust the settings below, and ask your listeners on the other end to do the same—this will make a huge difference in the audio quality. From the desktop app, go to the audio settings and:
- Test your microphone level while playing/singing. If the meter maxes out, lower the Input volume.
- Uncheck “automatically adjust microphone volume.”
- Click the Advanced button.
- Check box for “Show in-meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone.”
- Suppress Persistent Background Noise: Disable
- Suppress Intermittent Background Noise: Disable
- Echo Cancellation: Auto
These audio settings are on the desktop app only—unfortunately, you can’t make these changes on mobile or iPad apps.
Other tips for best sound quality on Zoom include:
- Use headphones on both ends.
- Loud instruments can overload computer and phone microphones. If your sound is highly distorted, ask the person playing to back away from the mic.
- External microphones make a huge difference in sound quality. Use an audio interface with a studio mic if possible. The most affordable and convenient option is a USB mic. The Shure MV5 USB mic provides good quality, EQ settings, and comes with a lightning adapter for Apple.
This information is adapted from an article by Steve Treseler, a Seattle-based saxophonist, teaching artist, and author, on medium.com.