Apple’s Voice Memos app in the iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS 11.0 Big Sur software updates includes a brand-new feature which was designed to improve the sound quality of your recordings, including existing ones. Follow along with us as we show you how to use Voice Memos’ Enhance Recording feature to reduce background noise and room reverberation.
Enhance Recording in Voice Memos
As mentioned earlier, the extremely handy Enhance Recording feature was added to the Voice Memos app on the iPhone, iPad and Mac with the iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur updates which were previewed during Apple’s WWWDC keynote on June 22, 2020.
At the time of this writing, the updated Voice Memos software was available through beta testing of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS 11.0 Big Sur. The app will become available to everyone with a compatible device once Apple releases these updates publicly in the fall.
According to Apple’s description of the feature:
The most popular audio recording app in the world gets new tools for organizing recordings. An all‑new Enhance Recording feature lets you improve the sound quality of your recordings with a single tap.
Follow the tutorial ahead for step-by-step instructions walking you through the process of using Voice Memos’ Enhance Recordings feature to boost the sound quality of your recordings.
How to use Enhance Recording in Voice Memos
Follow these steps to enhance recordings in Voice Memos:
- Open the Voice Memos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac.
- Capture a new audio recording or choose one of your previously saved recordings on the list to reveal options, then hit the three-dotted menu at the leftmost side below the recording.
- Choose Edit Recording from the popup menu.
- Tap the Enhance Recording icon near the top-left corner of the interface.
- Tap Done to save the changes.
That’s it, on-device machine learning will attempt to do its best to minimize background noise and reduce room reverberation as much as possible. Depending on the audio quality of your source recoding, you may experience a minor or major difference after applying Enhance Recording processing. Keep in mind that this is a non-destructive editing feature — you can easily revert back to the original recording by deselecting the Enhance Recording icon.
The Enhance Recording feature is unavailable in Voice Memos for Apple Watch. That’s nothing to write home about because the watchOS app is limited to capturing audio recordings. The editing features are (for now) reserved for the app’s Catalyst version on iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
Who needs Voice Memos’ Enhance Recording?
As a journalist, I use Voice Memos on a somewhat regular basis for capturing my thoughts, conducting quick interviews I may later refer to and so forth. I’ve been very pleased with the sound quality in Voice Memos, especially on the iPhone thanks to its multi-microphone array.
While I’ve only captured a couple of voice memos with my Apple Watch and computer, I could tell instantly that the sound quality was not as good as on the iPhone, which is quite understandable given the less powerful microphones in the Apple Watch and the Mac.
Voice Memos in iOS 14 has an 'Enhance Recording' feature that reduces background noise and echo to make voices more clear.
Kind of fun to imagine if Apple were to use this for Podcasts down the road… pic.twitter.com/GuqDsNYGsA
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) June 30, 2020
I can clearly see the benefits of using Voice Memos’ Enhance Recording feature to make my Apple Watch and Mac recordings sound better, but even the iPhone owners will benefit from machine learning-powered reduction of background noise and room reverberation.
Other Voice Memos improvements
The iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS 11.0 Big Sur software updates bring a few other quality-of-life improvements in the Voice Memos app (which is now based on Apple’s Catalyst framework for feature-parity across platforms). For example, you can organize your recordings with folders or mark them as favorites so you can quickly access them later.
TUTORIAL: How to use Voice Memos on Mac
With a new Smart Folders feature, you can set Voice Memos to automatically organize your recordings. For instance, the system may group your Apple Watch recordings, recently deleted recordings and favorites. If you use Voice Memos on a regular basis, auto-grouping of recordings makes it a hell of a lot easier to stay organized.
Other major changes in iOS 14
For a quick overview of other notable changes in iOS and iPadOS 14, be sure to check out our full video right ahead detailing what we think are the 50 best new features.
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