How to Get the Best Audio Quality in Your Videos

Written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

Do your smartphone or tablet videos sound terrible?

Try recording in your car.

Or in a closet.

Or in a conference room.

Or in just about any enclosed space where there’s a lot of padding and furniture. These places tend to be small and well insulated—two of the essential elements to better video audio, according to Lenovo’s video specialists.

When the Companion team sat down with expert videographers Chris Uy and Tarik Laham, we learned some interesting shooting tips. Say goodbye to vertical videos. Get the best lighting outside during the "Golden Hour". 

And one of our favorites: Record in an enclosed car with the engine turned off. (But not for very long. Or during a hot, humid summer. Or icy winter.)

O.K., so maybe shooting in your vehicle will only work in a limited number of circumstances. But the larger point here will apply in most video recording situations: You don’t need access to fancy equipment or an expensive recording studio to start capturing better audio with your smartphone or tablet.

That’s because the tiny camera within your Lenovo mobile device offers some truly advanced video technology. Some small and simple adjustments to your recording environment are often all it takes to start improving sound quality.

The first step is to find a quiet area.

Any enclosed, well-insulated space will do. A bedroom with lots of fabrics. A hallway with rugs. An Audi with leather seats. The goal is to find a place where sound waves won’t be able to bounce off walls and create echoes.

Then get close to your subject.

The nearer your device’s microphone is to the person you’re shooting, the easier it’ll be to pick up his or her voice. Get your smartphone or tablet as close as possible without creating an extreme close up shot.

Turn off the radio.

The less ambient noise, the better. Wait for the barking dogs to walk off into the distance, close whirring air vents and hold off on adding music until you’re in the editing stage. Take whatever steps you can to minimize sound pollution before you start filming.

Add an external microphone.

In situations where someone will be speaking directly to the camera, an external microphone may be in order. One affordable option is a lavalier microphone (like this one) designed specifically for smartphones. Or you could place a second smartphone close to your subject and use its voice recording app. Just be sure to give yourself extra post-production time to correctly sync up your separate audio and video tracks, and use a compatible device so the video file types are similarly compressed.
Of course, it doesn’t always make sense to shoot behind a steering wheel or next to closet supplies. For everyday filming, there are other pro tips you can use to improve the quality of sound on your videos. The following suggestions from our videographers will apply whether you’re recording a tutorial for your company’s customers or videoing family at the beach:
  • Be aware of where the microphone is on your device. Aim it toward your subjects and make sure people aren’t speaking away from it or directly into it.
  • If you find yourself in an empty room or expansive space full of echoes, use insulation. You can soundproof the walls with blankets or empty egg cartons, throw rugs on the floor or even drag in a sofa.
  • Cup your hand around your device’s microphone to shield it from undesirable noises.

Most of all, be aware of the sounds surrounding you each time you record. Audio can make or break a video, but just a few simple considerations can make all the difference.

Come back next week to read expert video editing tips from Lenovo videographers!

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