Web Meetings: Choose an Appropriate Microphone

This article covers choosing an appropriate microphone for small, informal web meetings, and applies to any desktop video conferencing software, such as Google Video Calls (Hangouts), Go To Meeting, WebEx, Skype, etc. 

If you need advice on microphones for webinars or large events, contact the Service Desk at [email protected]


  • Use the built-in microphone. Laptops usually have adequate built-in microphones for web meetings. Test yours to make sure it will suit your needs. If you are getting too much background noise, switch to a headset like the one described under Desktops below.
  • AND Use headphones. Unless you are in a closed room by yourself, good practice is to use headphones or earbuds to prevent distracting those around you.


  • Use a USB headset.
    • A headset focuses the microphone on your voice and cuts down on background noise. There are many on the market.
    • Some desktops do not have built-in microphones, so an external microphone is needed.
    • Technology Training uses these headsets in their classes.

Mobile devices

  • Use the built-in microphone.

Hybrid meetings

A hybrid web meeting is when you have two or more people physically located together meeting with one or more separately located people via a web meeting technology.

  • Use a USB conference microphone or USB conference speakerphone (example conference speaker phone). Have one computer in the room designated for sound - use this for both microphone and speakers. All other computers should have their mics muted and speakers turned off.
  • OR have everyone in the group equipped with USB headsets with microphones.

Additional Information

See Web Meetings: Choose an Appropriate Camera.