Thursday, May 19, 2022 05:12 PM
Some use FaceTime Audio or WhatsApp instead of making regular phone calls, some recipients see those calls as regular phone calls, but the sound quality is better than an old-fashioned phone call.
But it turns out that some people aren’t making Internet calls the right way, as there’s a new feature buried in Control Center that improves microphone quality during calls, whether you’re using audio only or video.
It’s called sound isolation and it’s been working on most iPhones, iPads, and Macs since the past few years as long as you’re using iOS 15 or macOS Monterey.
It seems like anything that supports spatial audio that also supports sound isolation is very hard to find, and you can only access the setting when you’re already on a call: you swipe down from the top-right corner (or click the button in the top-right corner of your Mac) to access to Control Center, then click the “Mic Mode” button.
Two more options:
And Wide Spectrum will allow the other people on your call to hear more background noise, which I think is useful if you’re raising your phone at a concert but seems like something that might be annoying to others on the line. But the sound insulation is the best.
And when you enable sound isolation, your device begins to aggressively process the sound coming into your microphone in order to remove background noise.
When you turn on the setting on your iPhone, all the sounds disappear and so does the MacBook. In the process of isolating the sound, Apple seems to be getting it too close. There is a bit of an echo so it looks like you’re holding your phone to your face even when you’re not. The trade-off is that your voice definitely sounds more processed, but it always seems to be processed through apps like FaceTime or Zoom.
Only two problems with sound insulation
First, it’s not a global setting so you’ll have to enable it in every app you use to make calls, and second, it doesn’t work everywhere.
Apple provides sound isolation through an API on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, but not every app supports it.
On mobile devices, the history is good for Snapchat, WhatsApp, Slack, Signal and Instagram, although TikTok does not support it.
Zoom was running on iOS but not on a Mac, and there’s no way to get it to run any in-browser apps as much as you can, which leaves out Google Meet and a few others.
According to the report, there are absolutely no mic modes for phone calls although this is where you’ll likely use a bit of optimization, but even in normal modes, Apple does some noise-cancelling work.
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