by Anthony 

May 29, 2021

Trying to minimize the noise around you when on a Zoom call can often seem impossible. Whether it be other family members, pets, or your neighbors, it’s like every sound is magnified when you’re trying to get your point across in a work call. So does Zoom pick up all this background noise?

Zoom does pick up background noise. However, Zoom also applies automatic noise suppression on your calls in an attempt to reduce background noise and focus on your voice. This built-in noise cancellation feature is enabled in both Zoom’s desktop and mobile apps.

If the automatic noise suppression in Zoom isn’t enough to drown out the background noise in your house, you can override the setting and use one of three manual settings - either low, medium, or high.

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How to Access Zoom’s Noise Cancellation Settings

Access Zoom’s noise cancellation settings by clicking on the Settings icon, in the top right corner of the Zoom desktop app and choosing Audio from the menu. Next to each setting, is an explanation of the level of noise each option will remove, with High said to block out a dog barking. 

Noise Cancellation settings in Zoom

Before you can use the High setting, Zoom will need to download an additional audio enhancement.

Unfortunately, these additional noise suppression settings are only available in the desktop version of the app. If you are using the mobile app or Zoom in a browser, you’ll have to make do with Zoom’s automatic noise suppression technology.

How to Disable Noise Cancellation in Zoom

In some instances, you may find that noise suppression is actually making it more difficult for others to hear you. This is often the case if you are using a professional microphone instead of the one built into your laptop or desktop computer, or if your environment is already fairly quiet.

To disable noise cancellation in Zoom, enable the option to use “Original Sound” in Zoom’s audio settings. This will stop any form of noise suppression so the people on your Zoom call will hear exactly what is picked up by your microphone.

Original Sound setting in Zoom

Just be aware that whilst this might make your voice easier to hear, it will do the same for everything else going on around you. If you decide to enable ‘Original Sound’ you also have the option to use Echo Cancellation and Stereo Audio.

Having enabled Original Sound in Zoom’s settings, when you are next in a Zoom meeting, you’ll see an additional setting in the top, left corner of the window that will allow you to turn Original Sound on or off. Enabling Original Sound turns all noise cancellation off, and vice-versa.

Turn on Original Sound in a Zoom Meeting

The Zoom mobile app also has the Orginal Sound option, which you can enable by clicking on the Settings icon, choosing meetings, and clicking the option to enable “Use Original Audio”. 

Zooms original sound setting in mobile app

You can then click on more, when next in a Zoom meeting on your phone, to access the option to turn off automatic noise suppression and enable original sound.

turn off noise suppression in Zoom meeting

How to Remove Background Noise in Zoom - using Krisp.ai

If you’re still not satisfied with Zoom’s built-in noise suppression feature then it might be worth trying a great little app called Krisp. Krisp can be downloaded for free from Krisp.ai and works by applying noise reduction A.I. to your default microphone. It works on both Windows and Mac and has a free tier to its pricing structure which caps out at 2 hours of audio per week, after which you’ll need to pay. What’s more, you can also use it to remove background noise in Teams, Google Meets, and all the other video conferencing apps.

The Krisp Website

How to use Krisp.ai to remove background noise in Zoom?

To start using Krisp, browse to Krisp.ai and click on Get Krisp for Free. You’ll be asked to provide an email address and you’ll receive a verification code. Download the app for either Windows or Mac and install it in the usual way. Once installed, Krisp adds an icon to the system tray in Windows, or the menu bar if you’re on a mac. Clicking on ‘Get Started’ will sign you in to your Krisp account. Krisp then automatically applies noise reduction to your computer’s microphone.

Krisp microphone settings

 If you have more than one microphone installed on your computer, you can select it from the drop-down menu.

You can also enable Krisp on your speakers, which might be useful if you’re in a meeting and you want to reduce the background noise being generated by other people on the call. 

How to use Krisp.ai in Zoom

To use Krisp in Zoom, open up the Zoom app and click on the Settings icon in the top, right corner of the window.  Choose the Audio settings, and change the default microphone to be Krisp. You can do the same for the speakers. In a meeting, confirm you are using Krisp, by clicking on the arrow next to the microphone icon.

Set Zoom default microphone to Krisp

Final Thoughts on Zoom’s Noise Cancellation

Although Zoom automatically applies noise suppression, it does not completely remove all ambient noise and, therefore, Zoom will pick up some background noise. If Zoom’s automatic noise suppression isn’t sufficient, you can also manually set the noise suppression in Zoom’s settings to either low, medium, or High. However, you may find the greater the level of noise suppression applied to your microphone, the harder it will be for others to hear you when you are speaking.

If you want to disable noise cancellation completely, you can do so by enabling, “use original sound”.

Finally, if you want to try an alternative to Zoom’s built-in noise suppression feature, I highly recommend trying Krisp.ai.

Did You Know Microsoft Teams Has Similar Noise Cancellations Features To Zoom?

If like me you switch between both Zoom and Microsoft Teams, depending on who you’re meeting with, then you may be interested to know Teams has similar noise suppression settings. In your team’s meeting, click on the ellipsis icon in the menu and choosing Device Settings. Here you have the option to switch from Automatic to either low or high, or you can disable noise suppression altogether.

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