Listen To This…
USC Professor Norbert Schwarz, along with a colleague at ANU, conducted two experiments. In the first study, participants were shown two YouTube conference talks: one video with good sound quality, and another with poor. After viewing, they were asked to rate the quality of each. “As soon as we reduced audio quality, the scientists and their research lost all credibility,” said ANU Prof. Eryn Newman, who co-authored the study. The common beliefs held by participants were that the talk was worse, the speaker less intelligent, and the research less important.
For the second study, listeners were asked to evaluate two identical radio interviews from NPR’s Science Friday program, in high and low audio quality. Despite identical content, the researchers discovered that participants had unfavorable opinions of the research when audio quality was low, suggesting that audio quality can influence impressions of science.
In Audio We Trust
Unsurprisingly, clear online audio quality is vital for online meetings in which the audience may be tuning in from multiple channels, like computer speakers, VoIP, mobile, or landlines. And as we noted in a previous post, audio is the crux of a successful meeting. If you can’t hear or be heard, things fall apart pretty quick. For online meeting organizers, the relationship between clear online audio quality and credibility highlights the importance of ensuring high fidelity connections.
It’s not often we get a second chance at a first impression: sound can dictate whether or not a high-ranking business executive takes you seriously, or if that client with a huge budget decides to sign. So the next time you’re on a call, make sure you have the highest quality audio conferencing available. Because having crystal clear sound isn’t just a matter of convenience — it’s good business.