Video calls are a part of life now, but they can be a nightmare if your hardware is not up to par. You can upgrade your setup with a USB microphone (which can come in real handy if you’re putting up video calls on your TV) but if you’re a Mac user with an iPhone, you already have all you need. 

You can use your phone as a microphone when you make video calls from your Apple computer. This functionality is part of a feature called Continuity Camera, and it’s easy to set up. Any iPhone made after 2018 and running iOS 16 or newer will work, while all Macs running macOS Ventura or newer will fit the bill.  

How to set up Continuity Camera in macOS

To use your phone as a microphone on desktop video calls, you’ll need a Mac and an iPhone signed into the same iCloud account. 

Start by making your computer recognize your handheld device as an available sound source. On the Mac, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and open System Settings. In the left-hand panel, go to Sound, and under Output and Input, click the Input tab. 

[Related: 7 tips and tricks to get more out of Apple’s newly updated Messages app]

You will see your iPhone as an audio source—select it. You’ll automatically see a full-screen pop-up on your phone with a couple of buttons. The Pause button on your phone to temporarily mute yourself when on a call, while Disconnect will completely remove your iPhone from your Mac’s audio inputs list. Don’t hit this button unless that’s what you want, otherwise you’ll have to go through the setup all over again. 

Mac audio input settings showing how to setup an iPhone as a microphone.
Before using your iPhone as a mic, you need your Mac to recognize it as an audio input. Screenshot: Apple

Once your computer recognizes your iPhone as a microphone, you can select it as the preferred audio source from most video call apps, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. 

  • In Zoom, find the audio settings by clicking in the upper left corner of your screen, then go to Preferences, and click the Audio tab. You can choose your iPhone under Microphone. 
  • In Google Meet, click the three dots left of the hangup button in the bottom toolbar and go to Settings. You’ll be able to choose your iPhone in the Microphone options. 
  • In Microsoft Teams, click the three-dot menu to the left of your name, click Settings, and head over to Devices. You can select your iPhone in the Microphone drop down menu. 
Zoom settings showing how to choose an iPhone as an audio input
It’s easy to choose an alternative audio source on most video call apps, including Zoom. Screenshot: Zoom

I’ve found using an iPhone as a microphone during video calls comes in very handy, particularly if I’m part of a group of people taking the call on a single device. I put the phone on the table, between everyone, while my laptop sits far enough so that we all fit into the camera frame. That usually means the microphone is too far away to pick up our voices, so the iPhone is extremely helpful—the speaker can even hold it while they talk and pass it along when they’re done, if necessary. 

[Related: 6 great features to try out in the iOS 17 public beta]

You can also use this feature to turn your laptop into a karaoke machine: your iPhone instantly becomes a wireless microphone.