Microphone Audio Quality Examples
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Microphone Audio Quality Examples

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If using the voice client for dictation, audio quality makes all the difference between a good experience and a bad one.
Many factors can influence audio quality, including the microphone that you use, speaking too loud or too fast, or even background noise in the environment in which you're dictating. 
Below are some examples of good and of bad audio quality to help you identify audio problems and what causes them. 

 

 

 

The Good 

Example: Good Audio Quality

The audio on this recording is easy to understand, there is no loud background noise, no clicks or hums, and the recording is not cut off at the beginning or the end.


Example: Correct Microphone

The audio on this example was recorded with an nVoq-approved microphone. The recording is clear and easy to understand.

 

The Bad

Problem: Incorrect Microphone

The audio on this example was recorded with an microphone that was not approved for use with the voice client. The audio quality is poor, and there is a low signal to noise ratio.


Here's another example recorded with an microphone that was not approved for use with the voice client. Once again, the audio quality is poor with a scratchy noise included in every "S" sound.


 

How to Fix It: Exit the voice client completely and connect nVoq-approved audio equipment to your computer. (See our list of Recommended Microphones.)
Then launch the voice client again and run the Microphone Setup Wizard.

 

Problem: Human Background Noise

In this example you can hear the sound of people in the background talking or laughing which can result in poor dictation accuracy. 


How to Fix It: Use a noise-cancelling microphone, and make sure the microphone is in the correct position. If you still have problems, record in a quieter environment.

 

Problem: Machine Background Noise

In this example you can hear the sound of mechanical equipment running in the background which can result in poor dictation accuracy. A similar problem could occur from music playing on a computer or television playing in the background.


 

How to Fix It: Use a noise-cancelling microphone, and make sure the microphone is in the correct position. If you still have problems, record in a quieter environment or turn down the sound (i.e. music or television playing in background).

 

Problem: Jitter

Audio recordings with dropped packets (or packets out of order) are said to have "jitter". This can be caused by audio card or network issues. 


How to Fix It: Verify that hardware (sound card or audio equipment) connections are secure and then try restarting your computer. Verify the Internet connection speed using the voice client bandwidth test. 

 

 

Problem: Too Loud/Audio Clipping

If audio is too loud, it sounds distorted and is hard to understand. Recording information is missing or "clipped". 

 

How to Fix It: Make sure the microphone is in the correct position, not too close to the mouth. If necessary, move the microphone farther away from the mouth and run the Microphone Setup Wizard again. See Also: Audio Clipping video.

 

Problem: Too Soft

If audio is too soft, it can be hard to understand. There is a low signal to noise ratio, and the recording may not contain enough information for the voice client to recognize what was said.
 



 
How to Fix It: Soft audio is not always a problem. Check the user's recognition accuracy and, if needed, move the microphone closer to the mouth or speak up! Then run the Microphone Setup Wizard again.

 

 

Problem: Button Press Too Late

If the user starts speaking before pressing the dictation (or shortcut) button, the first part of the recording will be missed. If dictating, the first words of the dictation may not be recognized. If using a shortcut, the shortcut may be a mis-match or a no match.

How to Fix It: Instruct the user to press the button or hotkey about a half second before starting to speak. 

 

 

Problem: Button Press Too Early

If the user releases the dictation (or shortcut) button before he is finished speaking, the last part of the recording will be missed. If dictating, the last words of the dictation will be missed in the transcript. If using a shortcut, the shortcut may be a mis-match or a no match.

How to Fix It: Instruct the user to continue to press the button or hotkey for about a half second after he is finished speaking.

 

 

Problem: Speaking Rate Too Fast

Some users speak at a rate that is just too fast for the voice client to understand.

How to Fix It: Instruct the user to speak slower and to articulate. Encourage brief pauses between sentences and the use of punctuation. See Also: Best Practices for Dictation 

 

 

Problem: Speaking Rate Too Slow

Some users will say and word or short phrase and then wait for the voice client to display the transcript before continuing the dictation.

How to Fix It: Instruct the user to speak at a moderate rate with just a brief pause between sentences.