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How to enable ‘Voice Isolation’ mode on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

This hidden setting is amazing.

screenshots of apple facetime being used on an iphone and ipad
Image: KnowTechie

Did you know that Apple added a new audio feature into iOS 15 and macOS Monterey that’ll make you sound amazing on voice and video calls? It’s called Voice Isolation, and it focuses your mic on your voice.

Apple actually added two new audio modes for apps to take advantage of, Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum. Voice Isolation is definitely the more useful of the two.

We’re not quite sure why you’d want Wide Spectrum, unless your group call has an actual group in one room. That’s because it focuses the audio onto the background noise, minimizing your own voice.

The setting you want for most situations is Voice Isolation. When turned on, it tunes out background noise so you come through clearly and cleanly. That could be removing traffic noise or just the general background hum of a coffeehouse.

Sounds great, right? That’s a whole lot of usually-complicated audio processing handled on-device. The thing is, Apple kinda hid it away, so we’ll show you where to find it.

How to use Voice Isolation on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

iphone 13 in-hand
Image: Unsplash

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You need a fairly new iPhone or iPad to use Voice Isolation, and it has to be running iOS 15. That limits it to the iPhone XR, iPhone XS models, and newer.

iPad users will need to be using an iPad (8th generation) or later, an iPad Pro 11-inch model, an iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or later, iPad Air (3rd generation) or later, and, finally, an iPad mini (5th generation) or later.

  1. While in a call, pull down from the top-right corner to open Control Centeriphone swipe down for control center

  2. Tap on the section labeled Mic Modescreenshot of iphone showing the mic mode option inside control center

  3. Tap on Voice Isolationscreenshot of iphone showing the voice isolation option

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There you go, you’ve now set up Voice Isolation on your iPhone or iPad.

Voice Isolation on your Mac

If you are using Mac and want to access the feature, you can do that. We’ll show you how:

  1. On your Mac running macOS Monterey, start your video or voice call.
  1. Then click on the upper-right corner to open Control Center
mac control center
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Then click on the button marked Mic Mode and select Voice Isolation
mac mic mode
Image: KnowTechie

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That’s it, now Voice Isolation is active, at least for that app. You will need to do this for every app you intend to use in calls. That limits the utility somewhat.

We found Slack worked on iOS, and apparently Snapchat, WhatsApp, Slack, Signal, and Instagram also support the feature.

FaceTime works too. Zoom also does on iOS, but not if you want to use it on Mac. Browser-based apps don’t work either, so Google Meet can’t use Voice Isolation, as well as a few others.

Why isn’t Voice Isolation a system setting?

It is really annoying that Voice Isolation isn’t a system setting. It absolutely should be. It’s just too useful to be left to the whims of individual app developers to implement.

Please Apple, hear our pleas. Find a way to enable Voice Isolation as a system setting, so it can work everywhere. Oh, and integrate it into the Phone app, because not being able to use this on arguably the most important part of the iPhone is a cruel joke.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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