how to improve sound quality during calls with hidden iPhone features
Your iPhone has hidden, little-known tools that can help you catch every word the other person says during a call. This is reported by GadgetHacks.
While there are various things you can try, the biggest factor in helping you hear better during calls is the headphone tweak, first introduced in iOS 14.
They may have been around for years, but many iPhone users still don’t know about this useful tool because it’s hidden away in accessibility settings and is primarily intended for hearing-impaired people. Still, it’s something every iPhone user should try.
In addition to a pair of connected headphones, you’ll need an iPhone with at least iOS 14 or an iPad with iPadOS 14 or later.
However, it’s important to note that Headphone Accommodations does not work with third-party headphones. You’ll need Apple or Beats headphones to take advantage of it.
- AirPods (second generation).
- AirPods (third generation).
- AirPods Pro (first generation).
- AirPods Pro (second generation).
- AirPods Max.
- Apple EarPods headphones (with a 3.5 mm plug).
- Apple EarPods (with Lightning Connector).
- Powerbeats Pro.
- Solo Pro.
- Beats Fit Pro.
This is an official listing from Apple, but other headphone models may support the headphone adapter. For example, EarPods from Apple (with a USB-C connector) or newer Beats.
Adjust sound settings manually
To begin, go to the settings for headphones.
There are many ways to get there:
- Open Settings, select Accessibility, tap Audio & Video, tap Headphone Devices.
- Open Control Center, press or tap and hold Hearing (if added), tap Headphones, select Headphone sound settings.
- Open Settings, select your AirPods, tap Accessibility, select Audio Accessibility Settings, tap Headphone Space.
- Open Settings, tap Bluetooth, tap the (i) next to headphones, tap Accessibility, tap Audio accessibility settings, tap Headphone accessories.
Turn on “Headphones” and below you will see the options to manually adjust the sound settings.
You can set the sound to one of these three options:
- Balanced Tone provides amplification in the frequency range.
- Vocal Range boosts the midrange. This may be the best option if your goal is to hear people better during phone calls, FaceTime calls, and other audio/video calls.
- Brightness enhances high frequencies.
- Then, with the help of the slider, you can slightly, moderately, or strongly amplify quiet sounds. Adjusting the volume level can help with voices, but the intensity will vary from quiet to loud people, so the Moderate option is optimal for keeping the balance.
To see if you like your newly adjusted settings, click Play Sample to hear the result. If it is inactive, the headphones may not be connected.
While playing a sample, you can adjust the settings and mutes in real time while hearing the corresponding sample setting. Click Stop to finish.
You can also choose whether you want your sound settings to apply to phone calls, media, or both using the switches at the bottom. You can also adjust them at any time using Control Center’s hearing controls.
Setting the transparency mode
If you have AirPods Pro, you’ll see another option called Transparency Mode under Headphones. In this menu item, tap on “Transparency Adjustment Mode” and then adjust the gain, balance and tone according to your needs.
You can also turn on Ambient Noise Reduction to block out ambient sounds. There’s also Conversation Boost and Conversation Awareness, but these are used to focus on the person directly in front of you during a face-to-face conversation, not during an audio or video call.
Some AirPods Pro models also feature Adaptive Audio for adaptive noise control, personalized volume.
These AirPods Pro settings are also available in the Control Center.
Launch the Custom Audio Setup Tool
“Custom Audio” in the headphone settings allows you to test a number of samples and choose what you hear best so that the device can adjust your iPhone or iPad to your personal needs. Just follow the instructions to complete the setup.
You can also use the audiogram from your hearing test for even better personalization. If you already have an audiogram in your Health app data, click Use Audiogram.
Otherwise, click Add Audiogram and you can add it using a new photo, a saved photo, or a saved file. If you don’t want to do this step, click Don’t use Audiogram.
Next, the iPhone will tell you to go to a quiet place. It will then play a recording of someone speaking and you must choose yes or no if you can or cannot hear. It then proceeds to set up the music.
You will go through three different comparisons. Finally, click “Use custom settings” to finish.
Other things you should know
If you use automatic device switching, your custom audio settings for AirPods will be transferred between your iPhone, iPad, and paired Apple Watch, but not your Mac.
Consider using voice isolation during calls to help others hear you better. If they have an iPhone or iPad, you can also ask them to do the same to better listen to them. Voice isolation can be turned on and off during a call through the Control Center.
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