There are plenty of reasons you might be looking for a noise canceling app. Whether you’re a remote worker, a podcaster, or giving a big presentation, you want the cleanest audio you can get. DAWs may help to fine-tune your sound, but what’s the best way to get rid of pesky background noises?
If you find yourself asking this question, these 7 top noise canceling apps for desktop are here to help.
Why use noise canceling apps?
Noise canceling apps are useful in many situations. If you’re on the go, you don’t want city noises getting in the way of your call or audio experience. If you create podcasts, music, videos, or any other audio content, getting rid of background noise is a must.
It can also be a lifesaver for remote work and video conferencing. While people are getting back in the office, there’s still a demand for remote work solutions. When having presentations or meetings with a video call tool, crisp audio can make all the difference.
1) In-program noise canceling (Zoom, Discord, Microsoft Teams)
If you’re looking to suppress noise during video calls, you may be surprised to learn that many video conference tools have their own built-in suppressors. For example:
Zoom – “Suppress background noise” is an option in the audio tab under Zoom Preferences. It has four settings—Low, Medium, High, and Auto. You can turn it off by enabling “original sound” in the same menu.
Discord – Discord has built-in Krisp noise suppression. You can turn it on or off in the Voice & Video menu in your app settings.
Microsoft Teams – Noise suppression is an option in the Teams Settings menu under “Devices.” It defaults to Auto but can also be set to High, Low, or Off.
Other video conferencing software with noise canceling options include Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and GoToMeeting. Skype uses automatic noise suppression, which can’t be turned off.
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2) Krisp – Best for live noise canceling
Are in-app options too restrictive? One of the best all-around noise canceling apps is Krisp. Its widget lets you test and toggle your noise suppression, and it works with just about any voice or video app.
Krisp is free to download, although your options to remove background noise are limited on the free plan. Their paid tiers are as follows:
- Personal Pro: $5/mo annually, $12/mo monthly. Unlimited noise cancellation.
- Team: $5/mo annually, $12/mo monthly (per user). Includes team management and priority support.
They also offer custom plans for enterprise users.
Once you’re set up with Krisp, you can connect it to any voice or video app that lets you select your input and output. Just set your mic and speaker to “krisp mic” and “krisp speaker.”
3) Audacity – Best for removing noise from audio
Audacity remains an industry standard for free, high-quality audio editing. One of its many features is the ability to reduce white noise from your audio files.
Since Audacity is open-source and free to download, it’s the easiest way for podcasters and other audio creators to tweak their recordings. Select “Noise Reduction” from the Effects drop-down menu.
First, you’ll have to highlight a section of your audio consisting of only noise in order to create a noise profile. Next, click it again and toggle noise reduction settings like sensitivity, dB level, and frequency smoothing. Unlike AI tools that automatically cut out noise, Audacity gives you control over your audio.
4) AudioFix – Remove noise from videos for Mac users
While primarily aimed at iOS and Android, AudioFix is a desktop option for Mac users to get the most out of their videos. It includes a variety of audio-fixing features like smoothing, volume boosting, wind, hiss, and click removal.
Before you go ahead with this app, you should know that while it’s free to download, you’ll have to pay in order to export more than one video. The pricing structure is:
- Monthly: $4.99/month
- Quarterly: $7.99/3 months
- Semiannually: $9.99/6 months
- Annually: $14.99/year
The same company owns an app for audio called Audio Master. In both cases, you have to subscribe to export your stuff.
5) SoliCall Pro – Enterprise phone call noise reducer for Windows
Designed with call centers in mind, SoliCall’s range of products ensure crystal clear phone call audio in any setting. You can download the basic software or request a demo on their website.
SoliCall is only compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. Their noise canceling apps are geared toward enterprise users and generally can only be purchased in bundles of 20+ licenses. It’s compatible with softphones and VoIPs like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger.
6) Utterly – AI noise removal plugin for Mac
Utterly is an exciting newcomer in the field of noise canceling apps. It works similarly to Krisp, with speaker and microphone settings you can toggle on and off in any audio app. Some of the key differences include its robust free options and discounted price for teams ($4 per user compared to Krisp’s $5).
Utterly is still in its early stages, but it’s already a great option for video calls, presentations, recording, and streams. It’s currently only available for Mac, with a Windows version in active development.
7) Descript – AI noise canceling app for audio and video
Like Audacity, Descript is a multitrack audio recording and editing app, with a little more to love. Its additional features include screen recording and video editing, as well as AI tools like transcription and filler word removal.
Descript’s free version isn’t nearly as feature-heavy as Audacity, but it does include access to the Studio Sound mastering tool. This AI effect removes noise and sharpens your audio, and can be toggled with a handy 1-100 slider.
While the Studio Sound feature is free, additional features are unlocked at the Creator and Pro levels, which start at $12/mo and $24/mo, respectively. Enterprise users can also contact Descript to set up a bespoke plan.
Conclusion: Noise canceling apps for every occasion
Whatever you’re looking for in a noise-canceling app, there’s a great one out there for you. If you need to reduce background noise for virtual meetings and presentations, you can look at the options within your client of choice. For more flexibility, there are some great AI tools to give you crisp, clear audio.
What if you already have the audio and you need to get the noise out after the fact? Say you’re a podcaster, a musician, or just putting together a video for your business. DAWs like Descript and Audacity have built-in audio mastering tools, and services like AudioFix can spruce up your videos.
In either case, noise-free audio gives you an air of professionalism. Give some of these tools a try, and you may be surprised to see what a difference it makes.