Poor Audio Quality May Cause You to Lose Podcast Subscribers

We all know that audio quality plays a crucial role in delivering quality episodes. It is also a defining factor when attracting potential subscribers and keeping them on your list.

The question is - do you really know how significant your audio quality is to your listener?

If you look at podcast subscriber forums and reviews, many listeners wish that there is a separate review or star-ranking for audio quality. 

That is how vital your sound quality is to your audience.

This week, I walk you through several factors that contribute to having poor audio quality. Knowing these considerations could save you and your show from podfading caused by the unsubscribed audience.

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Let’s start with the most obvious…

Sound Quality

As the host of your show, you need to know the best way to take care of yourself - and your voice - so you can sound great behind the microphone.

Are you aware that the beverages you consume actually affect the overall sound you produce?

In my conversation with Iris Hanlin of Hanlin Audio for our episode: Simple Strategies to Improve Your Podcast Audio Quality

One thing people might not think about when they’re getting ready to record is what kind of beverages they’re consuming. - Iris Hanlin
— Iris Hanlin

Depending on what you drink before recording, some beverages can cause you to cough or clear your throat. Some drinks also cause your vocal cords to dry up.

So, how do we resolve this dilemma? 

Hydrate. Drink lots of water to lubricate your vocal cords and sound fantastic on the microphone.

Volume Levels

Have you listened to a podcast where you had to turn up the volume when the host speaks just to find yourself throwing your headphones away because of the super loud guest audio?

I know I have.

Interview episodes can be tricky since two (or more) parties take part in a conversation.

Record these interviews in one file, and you would need to look for a sound engineer that could work miracles for you.

Having two separate tracks - one for you and one for your guest - is ideal. It makes editing out unnecessary sounds easier, like coughing or sneezing, and allows the editors to adjust the volume to the right level.


Transitions also play a crucial role in your audience’s listening experience.

Having some background music, especially for intros and outros, can either keep your audience entertained or annoyed. Some podcasters use music to cue the transition from content to commercial. Others use specific spiels to prompt the listener about the transition to the different show segments - the commercial and show proper.

Failing to execute this transition smoothly and clearly could result in a confused audience. Your listeners may fail to follow your line of thought because of poor transitions. They may even get furious if you continue the chatting and fail to consider that someone else is actually listening.

Remember, your audience is not you. Make sure to make your listeners' listening experience worth their time.

Irritating Sounds

If you have been tapping your foot since forever, bear in mind that something as simple as this can impact your sound quality.

Your microphone can detect this, including other things such as tapping a pen, lip-smacking, yawning, and sniffing. 

How else can you turn your listener off faster than the Flash could run? 

The sound of the floor fan, bumping your microphone, drinking, eating, sounding like you’re recording your podcast from a tin can, as well as having tons and tons of fillers (your uhms and ahs and like) are some of the quickest ways to say goodbye to your audience.

Stop, Look, Listen

Pause and think about other things that can contribute to the poor audio quality of your podcast. 

Look around inside and outside your recording room. Close your eyes and take note of what you can hear.

The bird box by the window, airplanes flying overhead, even the jiggling dog tags when your dog approaches you are some of the things to take care of before hitting the record button.

Podcasting is a performance. Podcasting is supposed to be an excellent auditory experience for your listeners. Prevent your audio quality from being the biggest turn off of your show and start working on a sound quality that could get you that five-star rating.

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