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This hidden iPhone feature makes you sound better on calls


By Velour Noire — Shutterstock

It’s weird how many really neat and useful features Apple builds into its operating systems, but then hides them. I use iOS, iPadOS, and macOS every day, and even I’m still coming across new features.

This feature I had seen several times before, but it’s one of those things that only appear when certain conditions are met, and the rest of the time, you can’t get access to it. So, it sort of disappears out of my mind until I see it the next time.

The other day I was playing around with a new release of Zoom for testing, and I noticed the feature appear on my iPhone and decided to investigate further.

The feature is called Mic Mode and it appears on the Control Center screen on your device.

How to turn on Mic Mode

As a reminder, you access Control Center on the iPhone and iPad by swiping down from the top right-hand corner of the screen and on the Mac by clicking the Control Center icon in the menu bar.

Control Center icon in macOS

Control Center icon in macOS

But here’s the thing — it only appears when you’re running an app that you make calls with, such as the Phone app, Zoom, or WhatsApp.

With that app running, access the Control Center, and you’ll see Mic Mode.

Mic Mode in Control Center on iOS 15

Mic Mode in Control Center on iOS 15

Mic Mode has three settings:

  • Standard
  • Voice Isolation
  • Wide Spectrum
Mic Mode options

Standard is the default setting that Apple uses, a sort of middle ground where the mic picks up your voice but also some of the ambient sound.

Wide Spectrum makes the mic pick up everything, with an emphasis on catching the ambient sound too. This can allow for an immersive experience, but the quality and clarity of the voice can suffer.

The setting you want to pick for the best voice sound is Voice Isolation. This captures your voice and filters out as much of the ambient sound as possible.

It’s like having noise cancelation, but for your voice.

I’ve been testing this, and it makes a huge difference in voice quality; and I recommend using Voice Isolation for those times when you want your voice to be the thing that stands out.

It’s a great feature that’s unfortunately hidden away, and I suspect most people never see it.

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