When Google announced its new Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones, it promoted a feature called Clear Calling that would improve audio on hard-to-hear phone calls. The feature wasn’t ready when the phones went on sale, but in December 2022, Google made it available for its two latest devices via feature drop.
Here’s what Clear Calling does and how to enable it — which you should definitely do because it’s very good!
Clear Calling is designed to reduce loud noises coming through from the other end of the line when you’re on a phone call. It only kicks in if the person you’re talking to is in a noisy environment, like a busy street or a cafe. When that happens, clear calling acts as a kind of noise cancellation to minimize the background sounds and make the person you’re talking to easier to hear.
And it actually works — for example, when I tested it by talking to my sister, the feature turned the roar of a high-powered sewing machine on her end of the line into a much more tolerable whirring. That’s the good news — the bad news is that Clear Calling is strictly limited to the Pixel 7-series phones and won’t be made available for earlier Pixel devices because it relies on the updated Tensor G2 chipset in the company’s newest phones.
Once Clear Calling is enabled on your Pixel 7 or 7 Pro, there’s nothing you need to do since it works automatically. But you do need to turn the feature on to use it — it’s off by default — and before you do that, you need to make sure your software is up to date.
- Go to Settings > About phone > Android version and check that you’re running Android 13 with the December 5th, 2022, security update or newer.
- If you need to update, go to Settings > System > System update to download the latest security patches.
With that done, you can enable Clear Calling by doing the following:
- Go to Settings > Sound & vibration and scroll down to Clear calling.
- Tap the toggle labeled Use clear calling.
That’s all you need to do — but keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Clear Calling will work every time you need it. Google’s support documentation says that it “depends on your call bandwidth and may not be available for all calls.” Still, there’s no harm in keeping it turned on, and Google does all the processing on-device, so there’s no privacy risk.
When Clear Calling does work, it works well enough so you can carry on your conversation in peace — even if your caller’s conditions are anything but peaceful.