New iPhone feature will instantly improve your phone call quality – here's how

The front and back of the iPhone 13 Pro on a blue background
(Image credit: Apple)

iOS 16.4 is finally out in the wild for Apple’s best iPhones, meaning you’re now able to activate Voice Isolation – a neat little tool that blocks out ambient noise during cellular calls to prioritize the quality of your voice.

The feature was previously only available on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls made through apps like WhatsApp, but Apple opted to make Voice Isolation compatible with cellular iPhone calls in its latest software update. 

You’ll need to own an iPhone SE (2020) or newer for Voice Isolation to work, and in this article, we explain how to activate the helpful new iOS 16.4 feature

First things first: you won’t find a Voice Isolation toggle buried in your iPhone’s Settings. Instead, you’ll need to do some swiping while hosting or receiving an actual phone call to activate the feature.

So, when on a call, swipe down from the top right of your iPhone screen to access the Control Center. Once there, tap Mic Mode (the little microphone icon) then Voice Isolation. It’s as easy as that. Thankfully, the feature will remain active for future calls, too, so you won’t need to repeat the above process every time. 

Apple's Voice Isolation feature displayed on an iPhone 14 screen

Voice Isolation can be activated via the Control Center during a phone call (Image credit: Future / Apple)

If you ever do decide you want to disable Voice Isolation once activated, follow the same steps again, but switch your call quality back to Standard in the Mic Mode menu. 

iOS 16.4: what else is new? 

Two iPhones showing new iOS 16.4 features

(Image credit: Apple)

Other features introduced with iOS 16.4 include push notifications for web apps, a ton of new emojis, an improved Podcasts app, and bug fixes for Apple HomeKit. We rounded up five super-useful features coming to your iPhone in iOS 16.4 in a separate article prior to the update’s arrival, so head there for a more detailed breakdown of what’s new. 

If you haven’t yet updated your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, read our guide on how to update your iPhone to iOS 16. Once you’ve done that, check our tips on how to create the best iOS 16 Lock Screen for your iPhone.

For a look into the future, take a look at our guide to iOS 17, which is expected to be the next major iOS overhaul. 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.