iPhone Update: With iOS 16.4, How To Use Voice Isolation With Cellular Calls

Since the release of iOS 15 in early 2021, the ability to connect with people through FaceTime without having to worry about background noise obstructing the conversation has been available to iPhone users. Now, thanks to iOS 16.4, this incredibly useful feature is now available for regular phone calls as well. Through "Voice Isolation" mode, you can effectively block out all the ambient noise within your surroundings so that your voice comes across clearly to the person on the other end of the call.

This mobile device audio enhancement that was previously limited to FaceTime conversations is only one of the various upgrades available for those who've updated to the latest version of iOS 16. Along with essential security updates and bug fixes, Apple users who've installed the patch now have a slate of new emojis as well as access to Apple Pay Later.

Voice Isolation, when it first made its iOS 15 debut, also came with another new FaceTime audio mode called "Wide Spectrum," which does the complete opposite and picks up all the background noise available so the person on the other end of the line gets a full sense of your surroundings. For now, anyone who tries to change their phone call's mic mode will notice that Wide Spectrum is "currently unavailable." Whether the feature will eventually be offered through the Phone app or not still remains to be seen.

How does Voice Isolation work on iPhones?

Every iPhone is equipped with a microphone that picks up all available sounds within the user's immediate environment. In some instances, this can be a deterrent, like when you are on an important phone call and are without compatible audio accessories that can assist in boosting sound clarity and volume. If you'd like to put your voice at the forefront of your iPhone conversation and ensure that the person you're talking to can actually hear and understand you clearly, you can switch your call's mic mode to Voice Isolation and effectively filter out any distractions.

Although Voice Isolation is included with iOS 16.4, Apple users may only have access to it through supported iPhone models, namely:

  • iPhone SE (2nd generation and newer)
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max

If you have one of these iPhones and have installed iOS 16.4, you can try out Voice Isolation mode on your next phone call:

  1. Simply launch the Phone app and call someone's phone number.
  2. Once the call is connected, swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone screen to access the Control Center.
  3. Tap Mic Mode.
  4. Select Voice Isolation from the menu.

By default, your call's mic mode is set to "Standard." Once you've made the switch to Voice Isolation, the person you called should be able to hear you loud and clear, minus any ambient noise that would otherwise be picked up by the iPhone. The mic will also remain in Voice Isolation mode for future phone calls until you switch back to Standard mode through the Control Center.