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Make Your Video Sound Out Skip the built-in microphones to get better audio quality.

By Ericka Chickowski

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

YouTube has helped act as the great leveler between large and small businesses when it comes to distributing thought leadership and viral marketing videos online. Anyone can start up a channel and upload a video for mass consumption, and these days it seems as if everyone is, with more than 20 hours of video reportedly being uploaded every minute to YouTube. But not all videos are created equally.

With the advent of cheaper and more powerful consumer video cameras, many improvised videos created by enterprising small businesses offer excellent visual results. Sound quality, however, is an entirely different story. One of the biggest mistakes amateurs make when producing videos for online consumption is sticking with the built-in microphone on the video camera. The results can vary, but they're usually bad: full of echoes, too-quiet voices, distracting background noise and garbled speech.

Businesses that want to put their best visuals forward would do well to better budget for the audio portion of the AV combo. This means picking up a video camera with a microphone output, and it may mean spending more on the microphone and necessary accoutrements than on the camera itself. We tested some of the options in various price ranges to show you why the results will be worth it.

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