Bose ClearVoice cancels phone call noise in-car at CES 2018

Audio company Bose used CES to show off its ClearVoice technology, which keeps background noise out of phone calls.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
Bose ClearVoice

Bose used CES 2018 to show off its ClearVoice technology, which creates noise-free phone calls.


In Bose's exhibition space here at CES 2018, the audio company presented an answer to a consistent problem in cars: background noise interfering with phone calls. Bose's ClearVoice technology delivered clear, noise-free communication to both participants in a conversation.

ClearVoice makes use of Bose's noise-canceling expertise, which many people will have experienced in the company's headphones, as well as its headrest speakers.

In the demonstration, a Bose spokesman sat in a Micra modified with the technology. With music playing over the stereo and voice prompts from the navigation system cropping up, he tried to use voice recognition on an iPhone to send a text message. The result was extremely garbled due to all the other noise. Turning on ClearVoice, he repeated the exercise, showing how Siri picked up each word, translating it correctly in text.

All the cool new car stuff at CES 2018

See all photos

Initiating a voice call to a partner in another room, the background noise seemed to fade away as the callers' voices came clearly through the headrest speakers.

More impressively, the background noise was also canceled out for the other participant in the call. Sitting outside of the car, that Bose spokesman accepted a call from the person in the car. Without ClearVoice, the caller from the car was very difficult to hear due to the music and other background noise. Turning on ClearVoice in the car made the caller's voice much more intelligible.

Along with Bose's digital signal-processing technology, which can differentiate voices from music and other noise, ClearVoice relies on an array of four microphones. 

A Bose spokesman said ClearVoice was still in the early concept stage, but if automakers adopt it, we might hear fewer people yelling into their phones , trying to be heard.

Hyundai FCEV: We tackle 240 desert miles from LA to Vegas in Hyundai's new fuel cell prototype.

CES 2018: CNET's complete coverage of tech's biggest show.