How to Set Up your Home Office Audio for Virtual Meetings

With remote working growing in popularity in recent years, many people are finding themselves in need of converting a portion of their living space into a home office. 

As virtual meetings are becoming more common, having a comfortable, well-equipped, professional, dedicated space in your home is essential for remote working. 

This guide will walk you through what you need regarding audio equipment, how to set it up, and how to get the most out of the gear to get your home office ready for virtual meetings. 

Some Statistics…

As technology improves over the years, remote working has become increasingly popular in the United States, particularly over recent years, due to many companies migrating to remote work setups due to the pandemic. 

Pre-pandemic, around 3.4% of the US workforce engaged in remote work. This figure jumped to 33% during the early stages of the pandemic and later increased to 55%, with numbers growing daily. 

Choosing An Appropriate Environment

The first step in setting up your home office for virtual meetings is to select an appropriate location in your home. We recommend keeping an eye out for the following…

A Quiet, Distraction-Free Space

enough from a kitchen, living room/home theater, or any other section of the home where others gather and make noise – if you have the space, distance yourself from such distractions, preferably behind a closed door. 

Lighting Considerations

You ideally want a well-lit environment for working from home, as artificial light puts unnecessary strain on your eyes and will tire you out sooner. Natural light is great for all types of reading, typing, and writing and also allows your image to appear professional when presenting yourself in virtual meetings.  

Furniture Choices

Choosing comfortable furniture, including a desk, office chair, and possibly a couch, is critical. Since you’ll spend a long time in the office, ergonomic furniture will only aid your health and stamina, promoting greater productivity. 

Setting Up Your Home Office

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate environment, you can gather everything you need to do your job before adding to the environment to enhance your creativity workflow and build a professional-looking workspace for virtual meetings.

When it comes to creating a professional environment, this depends on what kind of work you do and what tools and equipment you need on hand. Still, we generally suggest keeping clutter to a minimum by investing in space-efficient storage equipment and creating a distraction-free background for video calls and meetings, either by choosing a space with a blank wall or by hanging a sheet/curtain behind you. Additionally, you may want to consider adding a plant, painting, or another prop for visual interest. 

As for lighting, as discussed, plenty of natural light is ideal for your eyesight health and to ensure your face is well-defined in virtual meetings. If this is not possible, investing in a desk lamp or overhead light is a good way of providing a well-lit meeting environment. Avoid bright lights behind you, as this will make it difficult for others to see your face. 

Gathering the Necessary Audio Equipment

Having the appropriate audio equipment will help your clients or coworkers hear you better if you’re engaging in regular virtual meetings. The level of audio gear you need for virtual meetings will depend on what work you do, how many meetings you engage in, and how professional your technical setup needs to be. Regardless of what you do, there are several pieces of audio equipment you should consider investing in: 


A high-quality microphone is essential to any virtual meeting setup, as it allows your voice to be heard easily and clearly at all times. There are a wide range of microphones to choose from, including:

Built-in microphones on your computer: While these aren’t always the best quality, they are often good enough to get the job done for an entry-level home office setup. 

Microphones on headsets: Investing in headphones or earbuds with a built-in microphone can help you jump ahead using as little gear as possible. 

External microphones: If you’re looking for professional sound quality, an external microphone is your best bet. There are office-style microphones on the market, which are designed to connect to your computer using a USB input but mostly don’t offer top-notch audio quality; however, for most virtual meetings, they should suffice. 

Headphones or Earbuds

A quality pair of headphones or earbuds will allow you to hear your coworkers or clients more precisely. There are several things to look out for when looking for when checking out headphones for office work, most notably:

Comfort: A comfortable pair of headphones or earbuds that fit you as they should allow for longer and more productive working hours, provide you with better sound quality for your virtual meetings, and enhance your listening experience if you enjoy listening to music or podcasts while working.

Connectivity: A pair of headphones or earbuds for home offices should be compatible with a computer via USB connection or a headphone/auxiliary output on your desktop or laptop. There are wireless options available, such as Bluetooth connectivity, which are great for comfort since you don’t have a cable dangling over your workspace, but come with a set of cons:

  1. They need to be charged: You don’t want your headphones or earbuds to die halfway through the workday, so you’ll need to monitor battery levels.
  2. They can introduce latency issues: Older Bluetooth versions may be prone to introducing latency (time-based delay between signal transmission and receipt), which can become annoying during virtual meetings. 

Onboard Microphone: Many office-focused headphones and earbuds come with built-in microphones, eliminating the need to invest in separate gear for your home office. Another advantage to a built-in microphone on your headset is your hands are available for typing, drawing, or other tasks during your meetings. These microphones vary greatly in sound quality and noise-cancellation properties, so watch for this. 

Noise Cancellation Features: If you’re unable to completely isolate yourself to build a home office, a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds can help you zone in on your work by eliminating background noise ranging from people talking, televisions/music, and traffic noise, among others. 


If you aren’t too keen on wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds all day, a couple of good speakers can take the pressure off your head/ears while still providing a detailed and immersive experience. Speakers appropriate for virtual meetings can vary significantly in price and style, depending on what you’re looking for:

For virtual meetings only: A pair of desktop computer speakers will be fine. These generally connect to your device via USB or headphone/auxiliary output and take up very little space. 

For virtual meetings and music: If you’d like to kill two birds with one stone and grab a pair of more professional speakers, we recommend investing in a set of bookshelf speakers. These speakers are classy, compact, and fabulous for music and other applications. There are a pair of bookshelf speakers for any budget, listening preference, and décor style. 


While a webcam is more audiovisual than audio equipment, it is still an essential part of the home office setup for virtual meetings. Although most modern laptops come fitted with an onboard webcam, if you’re using an older machine or a desktop, you’ll need to invest in a webcam so those on the receiving end can see you during your meetings. 

This is, of course, optional, as most meetings can be conducted only via voice calls. However, it’s always handy to have it as an option. Some modern webcams also come fitted with built-in microphones, eliminating the need for additional equipment to conduct virtual meetings. 

How Much Should I Be Spending?

What you spend on setting up your home office for virtual meetings depends on how many meetings you’re engaging in, which affects the level of quality you should be investing in. We can break the setups down into three price categories:

Entry-Level: ($30-$50)

At the most basic level, we’d suggest getting your hands on either a headset with a built-in microphone, a standalone desktop mic, a pair of speakers, and a webcam (optional). This system allows your voice to be heard, your picture to be seen in enough detail, and you to hear your colleagues without interruption. 

If you’re looking at the all-in-one option (a webcam with a built-in microphone), these can be picked up for between 30 and 70 bucks. 

Intermediate ($40-$90)

An intermediate virtual office system is an upgrade of the entry-level gear by simply improving the quality of the microphone, webcam, and speakers. Here, you can expect improved voice and picture quality for yourself and those receiving your calls. 

Professional Level ($100 and beyond)

If you’re engaging in regular, lengthy meetings where comfort and quality are essential, we recommend investing in what we’d refer to as the ‘advanced’ or professional level of equipment. This setup involves a pair of bookshelf speakers, a high-quality webcam, and an upgraded microphone. 

Some Virtual Meeting Tips

Having meetings virtually can take some getting used to. Many people struggle to get the most out of a virtual meeting due to the lack of face-to-face or in-person contact. Information can sometimes be lost, technical issues can become distracting, and poor sound/video quality can cause one to lose focus. Here are some tips to get the most out of your virtual meetings and be prepared and professional, whether it’s a one-on-one or a larger team discussion:

Join the meeting link early.

Technology sometimes doesn’t work in our favor. By joining the meeting link 5-10 minutes ahead of time, you’ll be able to recognize and troubleshoot any possible issues you might encounter. Whether it’s something about your internet connection, microphone quality, or a broken link, logging on ahead of schedule helps you eliminate last-minute stress or missing out on crucial information. 

 Check your equipment before joining the meeting.

Giving your microphone, headphones/speakers, and webcam a quick test before logging on avoids troubleshooting during the beginning minutes of a meeting, causing frustration for all parties involved. Your audio and video equipment can be checked using your computer’s input/output settings functions most of the time. If not, there will be information in your relevant user manuals. 

 Avoid typing during the meeting.

Unless you’ve dialed in your noise-cancellation functions on your microphone brilliantly, we suggest using a notebook rather than a digital notepad for virtual meetings, as keyboard noise can distract others and even hurt or startle headphone users in the team. While we’re on the topic, any other sounds made by you or your surroundings will be amplified to the ears of those involved in the meeting with you, so selecting a quiet space is vital. 

Free up computer/internet strength during your meeting

We recommend running a virtual meeting with minimal additional applications open. Unless necessary, try to close unused programs, especially if they are CPU-hungry or require internet accessibility to work, as this can slow down the connection speed, resulting in delayed transmission or poor video and sound quality. 

Matthew Cox - Author
Written by
Matthew Cox

Matthew is an audio engineering graduate with a strong passion for post-production, recording engineering, and audio technology. Matthew is also an experienced musician with over a decade of experience in recording, touring, and performing. Matthew enjoys studying the inner workings of audio equipment and acoustics theory.

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