How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison

You’ve just recorded your podcast episode or you’re done recording your interview, but then you listen to it and it sounds bad. Unwanted background noises make the recordings inaudible and the sound quality is bad. What now?

So geht es Nervige Hintergrundgeräusche entfernen USB und XLR Mikrofon Mikrofon Hintergrundgeräusche entfernen
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Remove background noise - make your audio file clean!

To clean audio, there are several tools – AI or not, they do have different results. We compared them and show you the 5 best softwares for background noise removal! Be aware, that every algorithm works differently, so different tools have different results, depending on the audio file

Lalal.ai (free for testing, then starting at 18$)

lalal.ai How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison

LALAL.AI* is a modern AI that can separate music from vocals as well as dialog from background noise. Not only can it remove relatively loud noise, but removing background noise of other kinds is also quite easy. We tested the tool and were pretty impressed. You can choose from three modes to determine how much noise and dialog you want to separate, but the rest is completely automatic. So you can simply upload the sound and download it again cleaned. However, the few setting options don’t give you any control if something doesn’t work as intended. Since Lalal.ai is a paid tool, we advice you to use it to remove background noises, which are hard to clean! You could even try to remove background music from your audio recording with their features.

Reduce background noise with your DAW (kind of free)

How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison - Audition Denoise

Many of the modern DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) do have a Plug-In that can reduce background noise like white noise. Sometimes they even offer reverb reduction. These tools do work for easy noise reductions, for example to reduce the noise floor in your audio track. This works great for podcasts, but these background noise removers do come with limitations when it comes to heaver unwanted noises. We tested the features of Adobe Audition, DaVinci Resolves “Fairlight” and Audacity. They are also reviewed in our podcast editing software article

Adobe Podcast Audio Enhance (free)​

Adobe Podcast Enhancer How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison

You can also try it with the Adobe AI, but Adobe has not given you a single option to make a setting. You can upload your file and hope that the tool does its thing. If the voice is not recognized or the recording quality is too poor, this tool will be of no use to you.

We have tested it a lot and come to the conclusion that the better the recording sounds beforehand, the better the result will sound. If you have a bad recording, the result will also sound bad, artificial or it will no longer work.

Generally speaking, Adobe Enhance does a pretty good job, but we are absolutely able to hear it, since it takes the characteristics of the voice and add some kind of synthesis to make the voice clearer. So it doesn’t just remove unwanted background noise, it also adds something to it, which may sound unnatural.

Auphonic (starting free)

Auphonic How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison

Auphonic* is audio software that allows you to edit audio material. Auphonic is AI-based and completely edits your audio data directly. It not only removes unwanted noises, but also ensures that the overall sound is pleasant and balanced. With Auphonic, you are able to do more than just remove background noise from your audio, you can remove filling words like “uhm” and “ah”, it has speech to text transcription and also video support, so you can also upload an mp4 instead of an mp3, for example.

GOYO (now Supertone Clear - 69$)

Supertone Clear How to remove background noise from audio files 5 Tools in comparison

A short time ago, the beta of Supertone Clear was still free and was called Goyo, now the plugin is on offer for 69$. The tool is more for advanced users, there are three controls: noise, voice and reverb. You can adjust everything yourself and hear how well it works. Sometimes the AI doesn’t always recognize the voice, which makes it difficult to get the voice clean. The tool scores particularly well when it comes to removing reverb, and it’s super quick and efficient, when you use it as in insert on your audio track.

The professionals choice: iZotope RX Audio Editor (45-650$)

iZotope RX Audio Editor How to remove background noise from audio files - 5 Tools in comparison

With iZotope RX Audio Editor you can remove most background noise. However, this is anything but easy. There are many setting options and various possibilities for noise suppression. You have a lot more leeway here, but you can’t say that you can simply remove background noise. A lot of it is trial and error to find out what works best and unfortunately that takes time. There are different versions, but we do not recommend the RX Elements version as it has too few functions.

Avoid Microphone background noise - Studio-Quality recording tips

Before we remove noise, we should avoid it during the recording process. If your microphone is noisy, this may be due to a number of factors. We’ll go through the entire recording chain together.

Podcast Mikrofon Titelbild

Sound quality of your mic

There are some inexpensive microphones that are already noisy. It is mainly the design that makes the difference here. Condenser microphones have a higher sensitivity, but are also less susceptible to noise. When buying a microphone, there is the term “signal to noise ratio”, which measures the signal-to-noise ratio. USB microphones are sometimes noisier because the microphone and interface are in one product. Sometimes savings are made on the interface. The distance to the microphone is also important; it should normally be about 10 cm away from your mouth. Pop protection is always recommended for speech.

Find a comparison of high-quality podcast microphones here

Interface

If you turn up a slightly noisy microphone on an inferior interface, it will quickly start to hiss. This can often be observed with cheap USB microphones, where the interface is naturally installed as small and cheap as possible. These already generate a loud background noise. The interface or sound card generates a microphone amplification and turns your analog signal into a digital one.

Cables

There are some cables that are not sufficiently shielded. You should not place an XLR cable next to a power cable, especially with cheap cables this can cause a humming noise. Replace the cable to see if the cable is faulty. Invest in a good XLR cable if you are also using a good microphone and interface.

Recorder / PC / MAC

Some laptops or recorders hum when they are connected to the same power source as other devices. Unplug all unnecessary plugs from the device you are recording with. The recording device itself can also cause humming or noise.

Recording environment

Ambient noise in particular can be a big factor. If you are recording a podcast outdoors, you already have loud noises. So it’s best to find a very quiet place and not a main road. This can be very distracting, and in these environments editing afterwards is much more difficult as the noise is not static. This means that with every cut there will be a difference in volume that is noticeable in the edit. Wind noise must also be eliminated. You can get rid of this with a windscreen.

If you are recording indoors, you can dampen unwanted noises more easily. For example, with absorbers that “swallow” the sound instead of reflecting it. Thicker fabrics work well here. Make sure that the window is closed and that static noises such as a humming refrigerator are not included in the recording. You can use thick carpets and curtains or, in extreme cases, talk into a closet. The clothes inside will absorb the sound so that you sound very clean.

Solltest du diese Tipps voll beherzigen, mache eine Testaufnahme und hör dir diese an. So gehst du sicher, dass alles sauber ist. Sollte das nicht der Fall sein, tausche Schritt für Schritt die Komponenten aus. So erkennst, du welches Gerät das Hintergrundrauschen verursacht. Eventuell ist es defekt, nicht richtig eingestellt oder einfach minderwertige Qualität.

Frequently asked questions: Background noise removal and podcasts

I have issues with my video conference, how do i fix my poor recording quality?

Whether you record via Zoom, Teams, Discord or another platform: This software background noise and the poor quality can no longer be saved well. If you want to record a video conference, you should use an online tool such as Riverside.fm*, Squadcast.fm* or similar. Find out more (including a free version) in the article: Remote podcast recording. There are also solutions for video recordings here.

How to remove background noise?

Use a background noise reduction software – we tested some above!

What is the AI that clears background noise?
 
Adobe Audio Enhance or lalal.ai are both AIs that clear background noise. We’ve tested and reviewed them above!
 
Why remove background noise?
 
Your voice should sound professional to engage users and to make sure, nothing is inaudible. Bad sound quality makes an unprofessional impression. That’s why you should clean your audio.

Conclusion: Noise reduction makes it easy to clean up your audio

To be able to add cool sound effects to your audio tracks, they need to sound clean enough, so that you don’t lose your speech intelligibility . Make sure your audio quality is great and follow our blog, we also have articles about podcast headphones and how to start a podcast and much more.

 

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