How to Use Voice Isolation with FaceTime on Mac
Voice Isolation mode allows FaceTime on the Mac to emphasize your voice while on FaceTime calls, thereby reducing background noises and sounds. This is a nice feature if you have some background noise going on that may drown out your voice when talking or make you otherwise difficult to hear, whether that’s a loud fan running in the background, a cat meowing, dog barking, a neighbors bad music blasting, or any such situation. You can use this on any FaceTime call, whether it’s video, audio, or group chat.
You’d be forgiven for failing to find any setting for voice isolation or background noise reduction while digging around in the FaceTime preferences, because that’s not where the capability resides. Instead, you use the Control Center, as we’ll demonstrate.
How to Reduce Background Noise in FaceTime on Mac with Voice Isolation
This feature is only available on the latest versions of macOS system software (12.0 or later), so if you haven’t updated yet you will need to do that before having access to the feature.
- Open FaceTime on the Mac if you haven’t done so already
- Now open Control Center on the Mac by clicking on the little switches icon in the menu bar
- Click on “Mic Mode” to switch the microphone mode
- Choose “Voice Isolation” from the microphone mode options
- Return to FaceTime and make your FaceTime call as usual, whether video or audio
It’s a little curious that you have to go to Control Center to access the microphone mode to aim for background noise reduction in a FaceTime call, but that’s where the toggle is located. Perhaps in the future there will also be an easy option directly from the FaceTime call or app itself.
This is a feature that is available in macOS Monterey and newer, so if you’re on an earlier version of MacOS you won’t find the feature available.
This feature is really useful if you spend a lot of time making FaceTime calls, whether for personal or professional purposes. You’ll find it works pretty well.
While we’re covering the Mac here, you can also use background noise reduction with FaceTime calls on iPhone and iPad too using the same technology to isolate your voice and reduce background sounds.
Try it out, it works really well.
You can further improve performance by using a microphone, AirPods, or even the wired EarBuds. In testing with a set of AirPods, I was able to run a vacuum cleaner while chatting on a call, and the person said they couldn’t hear the vacuum at all.
This feature is useful enough that it’s a little surprising it isn’t enabled by default for calls, since most people are making calls to hear a person chat, and not the background noise. Perhaps that will change down the road.