How to improve call sound quality on iPhone

iPhone SE 2022

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

It’s strange how there are so many really neat and useful features that Apple integrates into its operating system, but then hides them. I use iOS, iPadOS, and macOS on a daily basis, and I still come across new features all the time.

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This is a feature I’ve glimpsed a few times, but it’s one of those features that only appear when certain conditions are met and the rest of the time you can’t access the feature. this.

So it almost disappears from the mind until it reappears next time.

I was playing around with a new Zoom release one day and I noticed this feature on my iPhone and decided to investigate further.

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The feature is called Voice isolationand it can be found under Microphone modeappeared on Control Center on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

It’s a great feature that I suspect most people never see.

Here’s how to find it!

How to use Mic Mode on iPhone

Before you get frustrated looking for Voice Isolation or Wide Spectrum options in Microphone Mode, it’s important to note that this feature is only supported on the following hardware:


  • Models from 2018 and later


  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS/XS Max
  • iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/12 mini
  • iPhone 13/13 Pro/13 Pro Max/13 mini
  • iPhone 14/14 Plus/14 Pro/14 Pro Max


  • iPad mini (5th generation or later)
  • iPad (8th generation or later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation or later)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch (all generations)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later)

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Mic mode is in the Control Center panel.

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

To avoid confusion, note that Microphone Mode appears only when you are running an app that supports this feature, such as FaceTime, Zoom, etc.

Not only do you need to be in an app that supports Mic Mode – FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook Messenger Video to name a few, you also have to be in an active call for the option to appear in the Center control.

Just opening the app is not enough.

Mic mode has three settings:

  • Standard
  • Voice isolation
  • Broad spectrum

Standard is the default setting that Apple uses, a kind of intermediary where the microphone picks up your voice as well as some ambient sound.

Broad spectrum makes the microphone pick up everything, with the emphasis being on capturing ambient sound as well. This can allow for an immersive experience, but voice quality and clarity may suffer.

The setting you want to choose for the best voice sound is Voice isolation. This records your voice and filters out as much ambient sound as possible.

It’s like noise cancellation, but for your voice.

Tap the call you want… and don’t worry, it won’t drop your call or anything!

I tested this and it makes a big difference in sound quality; and I recommend using Voice isolation for those times when you want your voice to stand out.


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