Updated: September 23, 2020
Google Meet, which is available to all users of Google Workspace and consumer Gmail users, is an easy to use online meeting application. As do all meeting apps, Meet supports camera, audio and screen sharing.
As far as audio hardware goes, there are a number of options. Some work better than others, depending on the environment the meeting host or attendee is in.
Keep in mind that just one attendee who introduces too much ambient noise can degrade the meeting experience for all attendees.
1. Computer microphone and speakers
This is a viable option if you are in an office with a closed door. Computer microphones can pick up a lot of background noise. Using your computer’s mic and speakers in a coffee shop will likely create a distraction during a Google Meet meeting.
2. Apple AirPods & Google Pixel Buds
Apple AirPods [ad] and AirPods Pro [ad] can be paired with any bluetooth compatible computer or mobile device. The microphones in AirPods tend to not pick up as much ambient noise as a computer’s microphone.
3. USB Headset
A USB headset works across PCs, Macs and Chromebook. A headset with a noise cancelling transmitter will block out ambient noise.
A wireless business headset to consider is the Plantronics Savi 8200 Series [ad]. This headset has USB, bluetooth and desktop phone connections.
A wired business headset with USB/USB-C and 3.5 mm connections is the Plantronics Blackwire C5220 [ad].
4. Headphones and a USB or XLR Microphone
This combination is effectively a podcaster’s setup. If you want your voice to come across clearly and authoritatively, a studio quality microphone is a great option.
A dynamic USB microphone like the Rode Podcaster [ad] is a great option.
There’s also the Shure SMB7 [ad] XLR mic that is used by podcasters Joe Rogan and Marc Maron. Shure makes the MVi Digital Audio Interface [ad], which provides some extra options (including a Lightning Connector) on top of a straight XLR to USB cable.
A desk boom [ad] for the mic is a plus as it lets you view your screen from a natural position.
5. Dial in from a mobile phone
All the options above are VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which means audio and video is on the same connection.
While dialing in from a mobile phone means that an attendee will have two connections to the meeting, this may be the best available audio option in some situations.
6. Join the full meeting from a mobile phone