A hidden feature in Apple’s iOS 15 and macOS Monterey’s control center has been discovered that dramatically improves vocal clarity while using video and audio calling apps. Now you can use Voice Isolation to improve your FaceTime conversations and video chats.
Voice Isolation has been excavated out of the settings menu and forced into the limelight thanks to a discovery reported by Twitter user ‘Can Duruk’ and further studied by The Verge’s David Pierce, thanks to the surprising and dramatic quality improvements it brings to your calls.
Swiping down from the top-right top-right corner of your screen (iOS/iPadOS) or clicking (macOS) the top-right corner of your display and tapping on the Mic Modes menu; from there, you can pick Voice Isolation.
Consider it noise cancellation for your speech, as your device analyses all incoming noises into the microphone and immediately filter out any background noise, allowing your voice to be heard much more clearly in noisy situations.
According to The Verge, the results appear to be favorable across the board, preventing everything from buzzing MacBook fans to dogs barking from disrupting your calls.
But there are a few disadvantages to this new microphone option, one of which is that it may not be a universal setting, which means you will have to enable it separately with each app you have been using to make calls.
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This is something that Apple could fix with a software update, precisely because the AirPods Pro will preserve noise-canceling or transparency sound settings all over the board. So fingers crossed that you will be able to set it as default soon.
Another problem is its lack of compatibility with some apps. On portable devices, this does not appear to be a huge issue; WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Instagram, Snapchat, and Slack all enable it, with only TikTok being the only prominent player that does so.
It appears to be absent on the desktop operating system, with no functionality for the desktop application of Zoom – a pity, given how useful it would be for accepting phone calls on a laptop in a noisy workplace or coffee shop. There is also no way to turn it on when using in-browser applications like Google Meet, which limits its utility for business.
It is pretty easy to get involved in what it can not accomplish and lose sight of how valuable it can be on portable devices.
Taking a call while strolling through a busy metropolis or next to a busy road, for example, should have no effect on how the people on the other side of the line hear you.
Could this contribute to a new and more substantial high-definition audio calling standard? Who knows, but you should listen to fewer “why can I not hear you?”, “hello…hello…hello!!!”, “Sorry, what was that?” for the time being.
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.