There is a hidden setting in the Control Center of Apple’s iOS 15 and MacOS Monterey that significantly enhances vocal clarity when using audio and video calling apps.
The feature is called Voice Isolation. It has gone popular recently thanks to a Twitter user that showed pushed Voice Isolation and its notable perks from the depths of your Apple device’s settings into the headlines.
People did not know that a) Voice Isolation was a feature available on the new iPhones / Airpods and b) it worked so well. It’s incredible on the other end — you hear nothing but the person you are talking to.
One of the weirdest features of Voice Isolation is that you need to be in-call to use it, but once on a WhatsApp, FaceTime (audio or video), or even Zoom call on your Apple device, toggle it on by swiping down from the top-right corner (iOS/iPadOS) or clicking (MacOS) the top right corner of your screen and selecting the ‘Mic Modes’ menu. It’s set to ‘Standard’ by default, but there are two other options: Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum. Voice Isolation is the one you want.
Essentially, it’s like noise-canceling for your voice. Your device’s mics aggressively process all incoming noise and filter out extra background noises to make your tones much clearer in loud environments (at a concert, about to cross a busy main road, or just a crowded office desk).
To clarify, Voice Isolation works on most recent iPhones, iPads and Macs as long as you’re running iOS 15 or macOS Monterey (we tried it on an old iPhone 7 and the feature simply does not appear. On an iPhone 11, the Mic Modes menu did appear, but despite running the latest iOS 15.5, the iPhone told us that Voice Isolation was ‘unavailable’).
However, there are two issues with Voice Isolation. Firstly, Voice Isolation is not a universal setting, so you will have to manually enable it in every app you use for audio and video calls.
Secondly, because Apple makes Voice Isolation available through an API on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, there are holes in the app support. On mobile, for example, Slack, WhatsApp, Signal, and Instagram all support it, but TikTok doesn’t. For Zoom, there’s iOS but no Mac support. Also, the old-school calls won’t have this feature either.