Arnt Gulbrandsen
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Video conferences are really about audio

I use Movi and Videxio a great deal for work. They're good. Says rmz: it's the first video conferencing system whose primary function isn't to suck.

The biggest problem with Movi is that it can be difficult to understand what people are saying, particularly when they're far away from the microphone(s). Most people seem to use headphones, but sometimes when we're hacking we keep the connection up for hours. Wearing headphones for hours is not for me.

So I thought, how about getting some good speakers and seeing if that helps with comprehension? And it does. I have to keep the volume low to avoid feedback problems, but I hear and understand even when the volume button is just a shade above zero.

A clear productivity benefit. Maybe one day I can stop flying so much.

The ones I got are called Genelec 6010A. Genelec is a Finnish manufacturer of studio monitors and suchlike. When I plugged the 6010As into my minimac's headphone output the result was foggy and muddy, but when I use USB and a Nuforce Icon μDAC-2 their sound quality is more than good enough for video conferences.

A new gadget: Nuforce Icon μDAC-2 amplifier

My neighbour is putting up another concrete building and I don't like noise.

For the past few days I've used a Nuforce μDAC-2 together with Bose QC15 headphones. I tried the QC15s alone, but they don't suppress the construction noise very well on their own. They do better when fed music.

The μDAC-2 does well. It's not exactly highend (for context: I think Musical Fidelity makes highend gear, and I consider most Bose devices to be overpriced beep-beep gadgets). But it also doesn't offend me like most computer audio gadgets. It's pleasant, and allows me to work in complete disregard of the $#$@# concrete mixers. Well worth the price.