By default, iPhones use noise cancellation to reduce ambient background noise on phone calls placed through the Phone app. While noise cancellation is great for most calls, some people find it disorienting. If that’s the case, it’s easy to completely turn off. Here’s how.

What Is Phone Noise Cancellation?

Phone noise cancellation, first introduced in iOS 7, monitors levels of ambient background noise and produces an inverse audio signal to cancel that background noise out, so you don’t hear it on a phone call. The technology works best with continuous low-level background noise, and it typically works very well. But sometimes it can produce an eerily quiet phone conversation or unsettling audio artifacts when dealing with unpredictable sounds, such as small crowd noises or low-level background music.

Also, some people find the noise-cancellation effect physically uncomfortable (similar to issues with noise-canceling headphones), especially when using a headset. Luckily, phone noise cancellation is easy to turn off on the iPhone using Settings.

RELATED: Why Do Noise Canceling Headphones Hurt My Ears?

How to Turn off Phone Noise Cancellation on iPhone

First, open the “Settings” on your iPhone.

In Settings, navigate to “Accessibility.”

Tap Accessibility in Settings on iPhone or iPad

Scroll down to the Hearing section and tap “Audio/Visual.”

In Accessibility settings on iPhome, tap "Audio/Visual"

Tap the “Phone Noise Cancellation” switch to turn it off.

In Audio/Visual settings, tap "Phone Noise Cancellation."

You might want to go back one screen to make sure the change registers. You can then exit Settings. The next time you place or receive a phone call, noise cancellation will be disabled.

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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