This article shares 5 essentials you need to start teaching or working from home
- Any desktop PC or laptop
- Webcam (preferably HD)
- External soundcard
- Studio headphones
- Condenser microphone
*there’s a link where you can order the last three products in South Africa at the end of this article.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the flippin’ annoying but necessary lockdown, has millions of people working from home. Teachers, salesmen, business executives, and retailers all have to embrace digital technologies to keep working. Unfortunately, many people were unprepared for a task of this nature, and have found themselves without the right equipment needed to teach or work from home.
Working from home is essentially streaming data (like audio, video, work documents, etc.), using the internet, to colleagues, bosses, customers, and suppliers. When it comes to live lessons, meetings, or recording content (like presentations, etc.) you ideally want to have the right equipment. This will make sure you sound good, look good, and the content you produce is of the aesthetic highest quality.
Let’s get something out of the way immediately. You can work from home quite comfortably using a tablet or laptop with a built-in microphone and webcam. The problem with these is that the quality of audio and video is not going to be great, especially when streaming or sending recorded videos.
The below equipment can enhance any existing tools you use, and improve the quality of your online interactions. So, for online working success, you’ll need a desktop PC or laptop. Something you can setup on a desk (along with your other streaming equipment).
Any computer running Windows 7 or higher will be suitable, but it should be mentioned that laptops have an advantage: They have built-in webcams. The issue is that these built-in ones are usually lower in resolution. If you ask us, we’d invest in a third-party HD webcam.
As mentioned above, a webcam can be built into a computer (in the case of laptops) or bought as a peripheral component. The higher the resolution of the webcam, the better the video quality you’ll be able to stream and record.
Before you go and buy the most expensive super HD webcam, it’s important to remember that the higher the resolution of your transferring video – the more you’ll use in terms of data. Our advice is to choose a webcam that has a resolution higher than 720p, and that fits into your budget.
Most computers have on-board sound modules, with basic audio capabilities. Recording musicians, who need to obtain the highest sound quality possible for their recorded music, rely on external soundcards – otherwise known as recording interfaces.
These cool-looking little boxes, like the USB-powered Scarlett 2i2, are potent audio recording tools that are widely used by music producers, gaming streamers, online teachers, and others. The nice thing about external soundcards is that they usually come with recording software included.
Headphones come in countless shapes and sizes, and can include built-in microphones (like the variety gamers use). Again, built-in peripherals are never of the highest quality, so we’d suggest rather investing in even better quality headphones that don’t have an added microphone (these are cheaper on average than the mic-included versions).
Ideally, you’ll want a set of professional studio headphones, worn by musicians when recording or editing audio tracks. This is also applicable to work meetings or online lessons, when it’s important to be able to hear clearly what the other person is saying – and equally important for them to hear you well.
If you want your meeting participants or students to hear you well, you’ll need to up your game in the recording department. Condenser microphones and studio headphones go together like wine and cheese, and ensure that your recorded or streamed audio is of high quality.
Musicians use condenser microphones in home studios, and often attach them to microphone stands for greater moveability (like when positioning the mic at a guitar’s sound hole or inside a piano cabinet).
The Scarlett 2i2 Studio pack is a value-for-money solution to quality concerns when it comes to teaching or working online. The bundle comes with the powerful 2i2 external soundcard (that is USB powered), a studio-quality condenser microphone, studio headphones, connection cables, and recording software.
ORDER THE SCARLETT 2i2 STUDIO HERE