The Better The Audio, The Smarter You Sound

How Audio Quality Influences Perceptions

Have you ever wondered how audio quality influences a listener’s perception of a podcast? According to a study conducted by The University of Southern California, the higher the audio quality the smarter the host. Okay, it might not be that simple. There’s some more qualitative research involved, which you can check out here, but the gist is that when audio quality is high (vs. low), people judge the content as better and more important. They also judge the speaker as more intelligent, competent, and likable.

As our world becomes even more engaged online, audio quality makes a big difference — especially in podcasting. This is something that should be top of mind for folks across sectors, from B2C to B2B, quality effects engagement metrics, brand attitudes, marketing channels, sales teams, and leadership. As the study pointed out, audio messages that are difficult to process are less compelling. Because we associate the message with the messenger, a low-quality recording hinders our impression of the person. 

This is a need that is well recognized in large-audience contexts — think enterprise or entertainment production companies. As the podcasting market becomes more and more saturated, your audio quality must make you stand out. Consider implementing quality microphones in your studio or at your desktop; we like these

A quality microphone is an easy and affordable way to set yourself apart from your competition. If you feature guests on your show, make sure they too, have a quality setup. Lend or gift them a good microphone ahead of time, and your content and influence will only improve. Don’t forget that background noise and bad connections sound just as bad with a good microphone. If this is something you struggle with regularly, consider consulting a sound engineer before and after your recording.

Good audio is a crucial value-add. According to USC’s research 

Despite identical content, people evaluated their research and the researcher less favorably when the audio quality was low, suggesting that audio quality can influence impressions of science. 

Happy podcasting!

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