Video conferencing has quickly grown in popularity, and for good reason. With more people working remotely, online conferences have seen a huge spike in use.
While video conferencing is a powerful tool for communicating online, its dramatic increase in popularity overshadowed the benefits of audio-only conferences, leaving many with the impression that audio-only meetings are no good. But we think differently. There are a handful of benefits and drawbacks that come with both communication options, and we’re here to get to the bottom of it all.
In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of both audio conferencing and video conferencing and find the best times to use either option.
Advantages of Audio Conferencing
Video conferencing has grown into a global phenomenon overnight. While people all over the world have easily adopted online conferencing software into their daily lives, audio conferencing is still the preferred method of communication for many.
There are a handful of benefits that come with audio conferencing, some that make it much easier and more efficient over its video counterpart.
Audio is flexible
Conferences that occur using audio only are much easier than facilitating a video conference. In addition to its straightforward functionality, audio calls avoid the element of using video software or apps and make it simple for people to communicate ideas.
Audio calls can be made with or without internet, without cameras and without the troubleshooting struggles that come with video. What’s more, most people are already familiar with audio-only conferences, making this form of communication much more accessible when compared with video.
Higher Quality Calls
Video conferencing involves a large amount of data that’s transferred across a network at a rapid pace. In contrast, an audio-only conference removes the need to transfer that data and focuses on providing the highest-quality audio experience. Networks have a much easier time transferring audio data when compared with video data.
As more people move to video conferencing, they’re met with a handful of security complications. Many have experienced “Zoom bombings” or other invasive experiences that threatened to release private information.
On the other hand, audio conferences are incredibly secure, making it extremely difficult for perpetrators to hack into a call and disturb its participants. Audio conferences ensure greater conferencing security over options that include video.
If you’ve ever been on a video conference, you can attest to the hurdles that come with setting up a workstation that appears professional.
In contrast, an audio-only conference avoids the initial visual set up and focuses straight on the task at hand—communicating information at an efficient rate. Audio conferences are just plain quicker than video calls and much easier to accomplish for all involved stakeholders.
Advantages of Video Conferencing
Though audio conferencing still covers the bulk of communications, many have turned to video conferencing out of sheer enjoyment and functionality. Video conferencing helps facilitate better communication and deliver a more personal meeting experience. Video conferences also a handful of benefits that make it the choice for many online conferencing users.
Video is Personal
When you hop on a video conference, you can see everyone who has joined the call with you. You can view how other guests look, respond to body language and communicate more information to others by simply turning on the video feed. While audio is an excellent way to communicate using voice, video adds a second, visual element that enhances the experience for everyone.
As the meeting progresses, attendees can respond to body language with greater attention to detail. Are your guests glancing off screen? You may want to ask your guests questions to keep them engaged in the conversation.
Video conferences give hosts the opportunity to engage with their guests with greater context, adapting to body language and tailoring conferences to meet the demands of those on the call.
Hear me out—in the previous section, we mentioned why audio-only formats have better audio when compared with video conferences due to the strength in connection and transfer rate of data. However, when there isn’t an issue with connectivity and audio comes through crystal clear, video conferences get an additional boost by allowing participants to read a person’s lips as they speak. This is especially true for those who are not native English speakers.
This visual engagement accompanied with the audio experience enhances the brains ability to interpret language and improves a person’s ability to receive information. While audio-only formats have better audio when connectivity is questionable, video comes out on top when it comes to sheer performance.
Audio-only conversations can leave a disconnected impression on your guests. Video adds another, personal element that supports the team atmosphere and holds everyone on the call accountable for paying attention and staying engaged.
Video conferences can be used on weekly stand-up meetings in many ways to build stronger teams. In addition to getting to see the faces of other members of your team, you’re more likely to get to know your team better and relate on a personal basis.
When should you hop on an audio-only conference instead of using video?
Audio conferences are still incredibly important for everyday use. If you’re looking to get a quick update on a project or communicate crucial information to a colleague, an audio-only conference will work just fine.
On the other hand, video conferences are best used on a semi-regular basis to keep communication strong and to improve team spirit. Video conferencing can also be used for speaking with new contacts for the first time and leaving a strong impression on guests.
If you want to enhance your team collaboration and become an expert in interpersonal communications online, you’ll want to know when to use audio and when to turn on the video feed. Make sure to consider our article on your next conference call and choose the best option that suits both you and your guests.