Your iPhone Calls Can Sound Better. Here's How

An old FaceTime feature can now be used on regular phone calls.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
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Woman at a desk smiling at a smartphone she is holding in her hands

This trick helps ensure others on a phone call can hear you.

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When Apple released iOS 16.4 it March, it brought a host of new features to your iPhone. Among the new features, such as new emoji and Apple Music updates, Apple brought Voice Isolation, a handy FaceTime feature, to regular phone calls. Apple rolled out Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum to FaceTime calls with the release of iOS 15 in 2021, but only Voice Isolation is available for phone calls, too. 

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When enabled, Voice Isolation muffles distracting background noises that interrupt your phone call. That way, if you're on a business call or catching up with friends, you won't be interrupted by your dog's barking or construction outside your home. 

To enable Voice Isolation, you have to be on a phone call, and you won't find the feature in Settings. But once you turn Voice Isolation on, it will stay on for all subsequent phone calls until it's turned off.

Here's how to activate and disable Voice Isolation for phone calls.

How to enable Voice Isolation

1. Start or answer a phone call.

2. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to access your Control Center.

In your iPhone's Control Center during a phone call you will see Video Effects and Mic Mode

Mic Mode can be found in the Control Center during a phone call.

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3. Tap Mic Mode near the top-right corner of your screen. 

4. Tap Voice Isolation

Pro tip: Instead of turning this feature on during a call with someone else, you can call yourself and enable Voice Isolation by following the steps above.

To disable Voice Isolation, follow the same steps above and tap Standard in Mic Mode. This will return your microphone back to its default setting.

What is Wide Spectrum?

Alongside Voice Isolation in Mic Mode is Wide Spectrum. Unlike Voice Isolation -- which muffles background sounds -- Wide Spectrum amplifies background sounds without affecting your voice.

Mic Mode displays a message that Wide Spectrum is currently unavailable

A message in Mic Mode says Wide Spectrum isn't available on phone calls.

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Wide Spectrum is useful for calls with multiple people on one phone line. That way, everyone can be heard, not just the person holding the phone. 

Currently, Wide Spectrum is only available for FaceTime calls, not phone calls. But, since the feature is still present in Mic Mode when accessed during a phone call, this feature might become available for phone calls in the future. 

For more, check out why you should download iOS 16.4.1other new features in iOS 16.4 and what might be coming to iOS 16.5.

Watch this: iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed