Apple has apparently removed an iPhone function that has been available for several years from its latest series, as users have noticed. It is a feature that is particularly helpful for the hearing impaired: the automatic filtering out of ambient noise (noise cancellation) while you are on the phone.
Feature is “not available” – Apple doesn’t say why
While there were initially reports that it could be a bug, Apple Support has now confirmed the deletion to a customer . In a support chat, he complained that his iPhone 13 did not support noise cancellation. The option that could previously be activated in the accessibility area of the device is therefore no longer available there. “Telephony noise suppression is not available on iPhone 13 models,” said the supporter succinctly, who confirmed this when asked: “That’s correct, it’s not supported.”
It is unclear whether this has hardware reasons, i.e. Apple has omitted the corresponding technical features from the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max. In practice, this means that during FaceTime calls in a noisy environment, the other party can no longer hear the iPhone 13 owner, and the voice transmission sometimes breaks off.
There is a workaround – with AI
Apple itself explains the feature, which was there until the iPhone 12, by saying that the on-state telephony noise cancellation helps reduce ambient noise during calls when you hold the phone to your ear. However, the omission also seems to have other effects, such as echo effects when using Apple’s iPhone vehicle integration CarPlay.
There is currently a workaround that works a little differently than the previous, robust noise suppression: With iOS 15, Apple introduced AI functions that are intended to improve voice transmission. The feature called “Voice Isolation” is accessed through the iPhone’s Control Center, not System Preferences. Other new communication features can also be found there, such as FaceTime’s portrait mode.