How to Achieve Professional Podcast Audio At Home

Cole Raun | October 1, 2021 | inbound marketing

If you’re reading this, there’s probably a good chance you listen to a podcast or two and have thought about starting your own. From entertaining and engaging hosts, to the captivating tales they share, it’s easy to see why podcasts are continuing to rise in popularity.

Although anyone can start their own podcast, not everyone is ready to deliver the audio quality essential to listener enjoyment. Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your at-home audio quality is up to professional podcasting standards.

Listen to Yourself

Before recording your first episode, record yourself first and check your microphone’s sensitivity levels. Studio microphones are often more sensitive than one you’d have at home, so optimize your microphone levels to hit at the middle of your audio meter. Too high or too low will lead to distortion in your recordings.

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Adjust your audio levels while wearing a pair of headphones. Headphones not only provide better sound quality than most speakers and audio systems, but they also allow you to hear miscellaneous background sounds more clearly. 45 percent of podcast listeners use headphones when consuming podcasts, so take time to hear how your show will sound to your audience. 

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

In addition to considering your microphone levels, take a look around your space and make sure your acoustics aren’t causing too much reverberation or additional noise. Record in a room with softer surfaces like cushions, curtains, or carpets. Don’t shell out hundreds of dollars for wall padding when insulating foam and pillows do the trick for sound isolation. 

In fact, according to NPR, comforters or other heavy fabrics are perfect to hang over windows and doors for sound isolation. Take this a step further and check to see if your A/C unit is blowing air into your mic, or if an appliance like your fridge is creating distracting noises. Try to record in a room that minimizes these external and distracting noises.

Warm Up Your Voice

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There is more to good sound quality than just your microphone and set up. The key to everything is the sound of your voice. Podcasting naturally requires a lot of speaking, and you can prepare your voice for this task by using a couple of tried-and-true methods from broadcasters.

If you suffer from dry mouth, drink some apple juice or water. If you’re nervous, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. And for those who stumble through their words or phrases, try repeating what you’re saying 5 times while sticking your tongue out, then try to say it normally after.

NPR Announcer Jessica Hansen recommends trying to refrain from filler words such as “um” and “uh” by breathing in “deep and low as your host or guest is speaking.” This allows your mind to be calmer and clearer when you speak again.

Continue to Find What Works

These are just a few tips you can use to get your podcasting perfect for the ears of your listeners. Be open to new ideas and use the resources you have creatively. While you may not have the highest quality studio audio at home to start, these tricks will help your podcast achieve a distinctly professional sound. Experiment with your setup and find what works best for your audio. You’re already ahead of the game!

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