When Google showed off its new Pixel 7 and 7 Pro phones, it talked about a feature called “Clear Calling” that would make it easier to hear phone calls that were hard to hear. The feature wasn’t ready when the phones came out, but Google added it to its two newest devices through a “feature drop” in December 2022.
Here’s what Clear Calling does and how to turn it on, which you should definitely do because it’s great!
According to Verge, Clear Calling is made to cut down on loud sounds coming from the other end of the phone line when you’re on a call. It only works if the person you’re talking to is in a noisy place, like a busy street or a cafe. When that happens, clear calling works like noise cancellation to cut down on background noise and make it easier to hear the person you’re talking to.
And it really does work. For example, when I tested it by talking to my sister, the feature turned the roar of a powerful sewing machine on her end of the line into a much more bearable whirring. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Clear Calling is only available on the Pixel 7-series phones and won’t be added to older Pixel devices because it uses the updated Tensor G2 chipset in the company’s newest phones.
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Once you turn on Clear Calling on your Pixel 7 or 7 Pro, you don’t have to do anything else because it works on its own. But you have to turn on the feature to use it—turned it’s off by default—and before you do that, you should 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.
After that, you can turn on Clear Calling by doing the next:
- Go to Settings > Sound & vibration and scroll down until you see Clear calling.
- Tap the “Use clear calling” switch.
- In the Sound & vibration sub-menu, you can choose “Clear calling.”
That’s all you need to do, but keep in mind that this doesn’t mean Clear Calling will always work for you. Google’s help pages say that it “depends on the bandwidth of your call and may not be available for all calls.” Still, there’s no reason to turn it off. Google does all the processing on the device, so there’s no risk to your privacy.
When Clear Calling does work, it works well enough to carry on your conversation in peace — even if your caller’s conditions are peaceful.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.