Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to sound better on iPhone calls

It's like having noise cancelation, but for your voice.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
iPhone SE 2022
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

It's weird how many really neat and useful features Apple builds into its operating systems, but then hides them. I use iOS, iPadOS, and macOS every day, and I'm still coming across new features regularly.

Also: This hidden iPhone feature can help you fall asleep faster

This is a feature I had glimpsed several times, but it's one of those things that only appear when certain conditions are met, and the rest of the time, you can't get access to it. 

So, it sort of disappears out of mind until it resurfaces next time.

The other day I was playing around with a new release of Zoom, and I noticed the feature appear on my iPhone and decided to investigate further.

Also: How to record calls on your iPhone

The feature is called Voice Isolation, and it can be found under Mic Mode, which appears on the Control Center panel 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

1. Make sure your hardware supports Voice Isolation in Mic Mode

Before you get frustrated looking for the Voice Isolation or Wide Spectrum options in Mic 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 and later)
  • iPhone XR
  • 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 and later)
  • iPad (8th generation and later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations)
  • iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd generation and later)

Also: How to stop spam messages on your iPhone

2. Look for Mic Mode

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Mic Mode lives in the Control Center panel.

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

To add to the confusion, note that Mic Mode only appears when you're running an app that supports the feature, such as FaceTime, Zoom, and so on. 

3. Don't panic if you can't see Mic Mode in Control Center

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

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 Control Center. 

Just having the app open is not enough. 

4. Adjust your Mic Mode settings

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Mic Mode has three settings:

  • Standard
  • Voice Isolation
  • Wide Spectrum

Standard is the default setting that Apple uses, a sort of middle ground where the mic picks up your voice but also some of the ambient sound.

Wide Spectrum makes the mic pick up everything, with an emphasis on catching the ambient sound too. This can allow for an immersive experience, but the quality and clarity of the voice can suffer.

The setting you want to pick for the best voice sound is Voice Isolation. This captures your voice and filters out as much of the ambient sound as possible.

It's like having noise cancelation, but for your voice.

Tap on the one you want... and don't worry, it won't drop your call or anything!

I've been testing this, and it makes a huge difference in voice quality; and I recommend using Voice Isolation for those times when you want your voice to be the thing that stands out.

Editorial standards