Major iOS 15 glitch removes noise cancellation for calls on the 5G iPhone 13 series

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Major iOS 15 glitch removes noise cancellation for calls on the 5G iPhone 13 series
Noise cancellation is the feature on the AirPods Pro that eliminates ambient noise from interfering with the music you're listening to on the wearable device. And if you need to hear background noise (like when you're walking in the city and there is traffic bearing down on you) the Transparency Mode will disable the noise cancellation.

A glitch in iOS 15 is preventing noise cancellation from being available on iPhone 13 models


But did you know that your iPhone also features noise cancellation for phone calls? At least, models from the iPhone 5 up to and including the iPhone 12 offer this feature. And while you would expect it to also be available for iPhone 13 users, a post on Reddit (via 9to5Mac) from a Redditor named throwawaowl999 notes that the toggle button for the feature (found on iPhone 12 and older models at Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Phone Noise Cancellation) doesn't appear on the iPhone 13 line.

While Apple did add noise cancellation to FaceTime calls this year with a feature known as "Voice Isolation," it doesn't work with regular everyday cellular calls. In his Reddit post, throwawayowl999 wrote, "How can Apple remove such a basic feature from a 2k USD phone in 2021? I have a rotting Galaxy S6 Edge here, and the call quality isn't comparable. The S6 is crispy clear, perfect voice, zero backgroud noise, both on the sending and receiving end. The iPhone 13 Pro Max: hissing sounds, crackling, feels like the old Alcatel days."

The author behind the Reddit post visited an Apple Store and spoke with a Genius Bar employee who wasn't even aware that Apple had removed noise cancellation from the iPhone 13. He spoke with Apple Support which informed him that Apple engineers are working on the problem. One Support employee said that a fix would be coming in the weeks ahead while another at first couldn't find the problem in the system and when he found it, he noted that Apple has no timeframe in mind to push out an update.

Another Reddit user, who goes by the handle dagocarlito, said, "The iPhone 13 has 'never' had this option with iOS 15 because it’s a glitch. I’ve been speaking with Apple Support regarding this. It’s a known issue they are working on with no resolution timeline at the moment. This issue also creates problems with echos on CarPlay when talking between iPhone 13’s. It is a major flaw that needs to be resolved asap."

There is no fix scheduled as of now to put noise cancellation on the iPhone 13 line


There is, indeed, no fix in place. A post on this subject matter was made on the Apple discussions site during the first week of October and the recent releases of iOS 15.2, and the iOS 15.3 beta failed to fix the problem. So yes, as far as we can see, Apple has nothing on the horizon that would bring noise cancellation back to the iPhone 13 line. And the original Reddit poster says that this is important because, in his own words, "It's a PHONE! Making phone calls is THE basic function."

And the aforementioned post on the Apple discussions site, written by tgc7109 notes, "I have the same problem. The iPhone 13 Pro Max does not have the 'phone noise cancellation' option. I was trying to make the phone sound louder and one of the solutions was to turn off the noise cancellation option. Based on a photo I saw, apparently it is supposed to come after the 'mono audio' option but the next option listed is the 'Headphone Notifications.' Is this an iOS 15 software glitch?

Noise cancellation was first available to iPhone users with iOS 7. The latter debuted with the iPhone 5. The feature works when a microphone captures unwanted ambient noises and a small amplifier cancels these sounds by producing sound waves out of phase with the ambient noises.
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