Yesterday the December set of features made its way to my Pixel 7 Pro. Once of these is an option called Clear Calling. It uses the Tensor G2 chip in the pixel to do audio processing on the phone and produce a higher quality audio experience. It’s not enabled by default.
To enable it, go to settings, just search “clear” and it’ll show. Pretty easy to find. You can also go to settings, sound and vibration, clear calling, and turn it on or off there.
According to a support page on it, the feature depends on call bandwidth and may not be available for all calls. Little bit confused on that one.
The description that Google puts out is “With Clear calling, your Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro now enhances the other caller’s voice and reduces their background noise, so you’ll be able to hear them clearly if they’re in a noisy place — all thanks to Tensor G2.” which indicates it’s a one-way processing to make their audio sound better to you.
A side note – there really should be no requirement in the past five years for a specialized chip to handle audio processing. This is just featurewashing – something every phone could do but Google has tied it for now to their hardware line, which is ok but I’m pretty sure a Snapdragon could handle this just as easily as the Tensor
Searching around the internets trying to find out more on this there are several outlets that say this is Wi-FI calling dependent, data dependent (which seems to be indicated by google,) and that it’s two-way. This isn’t said anywhere in the documentation and seems to not matter whether Wi-Fi calling is on or off. Yes, I turned off Wi-Fi calling and was able to turn Clear Calling on and off no problem.
The only real audio test I have been able to throw at Clear Calling is the echo test – putting it on speakerphone next to my office speakerphone I don’t seem to get the feedback. Something appears to be happening there in audio processing, but not entirely sure what the real world implications are. I’ve had a couple of phone calls today that tend to sound ok, but nobody was trying to call me from a hurricane or anything.
Once again, it appears the Pixel 7 Pro is becoming an actually useful telephone with useful features for … voice… almost like someone heard the word “phone” and thought “you know what, we should make software that makes the talking part better.”
Not getting spam phone calls with Call Screening – man, it’s glorious.[Google Blog]