Get Easy, High-Quality Audio Feedback from Listeners with SpeakPipe

Receiving audio feedback is either hard or low-quality. But SpeakPipe is a service to change that.

I love receiving feedback from my podcast listeners. It's so exciting to publish an episode and start hearing back from my listeners via email or website comments.

But audio feedback is even better! When people send me audio feedback, their voice is included in my podcast. This allows them to speak for themselves and helps break up the enrapturing drone of my heavenly [*cough*] voice.

But here's the problem. Audio feedback is usually one of two things:

  1. easy but low quality (voicemail phone number) or
  2. high-quality but difficult.

It's really easy for listeners to pick up a phone, dial your number (if it's not already saved in their contacts), and leave a voicemail for your podcast. But telephone-quality is terrible. (I used to be called “ma'am” when I was a little kid calling stores.)

The other side of this is listeners who have the ability to record their own audio. But this requires several steps: record, save, possibly edit or encode, attach, send. Listeners are intelligent enough to do this, but it's not convenient for them.

SpeakPipe is like web voicemail

SpeakPipe is a simple service that gives you some basic code for your website (place it almost anywhere). Then web visitors can send a high-quality audio message to you with just a few clicks.

SpeakPipe: Start Recording

The code in your settings allows for either a text link or a floating tab. As you'll notice, I'm using both on all of my podcast websites.

SpeakPipe: link and tab

This makes it extremely easy, especially for podcasters, to receive high-quality audio feedback from their listeners!

Email notifications and inbox

When someone sends you a message, you'll be emailed about it with a “MP3” download link (it's currently a WAV, which is great) and a link back to your inbox for easy listening or downloading.

SpeakPipe: inbox

Including a name and email address is optional for listeners. If they include it, it will show up in your SpeakPipe inbox (pictured above). They can also listen to their own message and redo it before sending.

Requires Flash Player

SpeakPipe flash warning

Right now, the easiest way to connect with a person's microphone is using Adobe Flash Player. This requires a warning with Allow or Deny options. So iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) won't be able to use this service on your site.

However, your SpeakPipe inbox is entirely JavaScript-based, so that will work on your iOS device.

In beta

Of course, this service is in beta, but it's very functional. It's simplicity allows it to work very well with very few points of failure.

The SpeakPipe team has expressed a desire to make the app work without Flash. I'm sure they'll also plan to fix some of these minor issues.

  • Email notifications don't include the name or email address of the messenger.
  • There's only one inbox.
  • Your email address (doubles as your account login and notification address) cannot be changed without a direct request.
  • There are no sorting options (folders, labels, heard and unheard, stars, archive, etc.).

It will probably cost

SpeakPipe is currently free while it's in beta. But looking at SpeakPipe's privacy policy also reveals a refund policy, indicating this will be a charged service.

Refund policy

If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, within 120 days from the purchase date, we will fully refund the cost of your order.

But if this remains their refund policy, it is very generous—120 days!

Not the first of its kind

SpeakPipe isn't the first company to offer this service. There have been several others before, even some who offered video messages. Many have collapsed, and others I've downright forgotten.

SpeakPipe impressed me when they reached out to several podcasters by name, asking us to try their service.

Will SpeakPipe last? Give it a try and tell me what you think.

More photos

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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Kevin Mulryne
12 years ago

Hi Daniel. I heard about SpeakPipe over at Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting. I installed it about a week ago and have received 3 audio comments so far. It seems to work well. It depends on the microphone the end user has, of course, and so far the recordings have all been very low volume but a tweak or two in Audacity (of course!) has sorted that out.

Certainly for my audience, this seems to work a lot better than the voicemail system I have on the podcast so here’s hoping they are sensible about the pricing after the beta comes to an end!

If you want to hear an example, there’s one towards the beginnng of this episode of – 

Thanks for all the great shows!

J.Christopher Guritz
11 years ago

Thanks Daniel! This could be a great tool! The volume is a little low – even when I’m right in front of my AT2020USB. If they can tweak the volume it will be great! Maybe its a compression issue for size?? Hope they can get this fixed – Its a great idea! EDIT – OK I got the sound right! I use a dynamic mic for my podcast and the 2020 for anything else (Got a crummy sound card and had loop issues – so I don’t run my soundboard into my CPU) I had turned off the Input for the CPU to the soundboard. OK just getting started – amateur move! SpeakPipe worked out great!

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