Microsoft is preparing to bring its AI-powered Voice Clarity feature to more Windows 11 PCs. The feature, which suppresses background noise and improves the definition of your voice, was previously exclusive to Microsoft Surface devices. Those who are desperate to test Voice Clarity will find it in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26040.
The Voice Clarity feature was introduced in 2022. At launch, it was only available on the Surface Laptop Studio, but it eventually rolled out to other Surface devices. Most modern laptops include some kind of microphone noise-reduction technology, but Voice Clarity is notable for its efficacy and its use of the (relatively new) Communications Signal Processing Mode, which ensures compatibility with popular apps and games. Microsoft specifically mentions Phone Link and WhatsApp as applications that support the mode.
Processing for Voice Clarity occurs locally. This is a low-complexity AI model, meaning that its effect on battery life and system storage is negligible. Some applications will provide a toggle that disables Voice Clarity’s hallmark Deep Noise Suppression effect. Turning off the effect brings more background noise into your audio stream.
According to Microsoft, Voice Clarity will only activate “when the OEM device does not offer Communications Mode processing.” If your PC’s proprietary noise-reduction technology is compatible with the Communications Signal Processing Mode, it will override Microsoft’s Voice Clarity feature. It’s unclear if there are any OEM noise-reduction tools that openly advertise this compatibility. Voice Clarity is compatible with both x64 and Arm64 CPUs, so nicely done, Microsoft. Now give us more Windows on ARM PCs!
There’s just one mystery here. Microsoft says that it’s “expanding” Voice Clarity beyond the Surface ecosystem. The company hasn’t specified just how big this expansion will be. From what I can tell, this audio processing architecture needs to be optimized for different hardware platforms. So, Voice Clarity may not be offered on all Windows 11 PCs.
Expanded support for Voice Clarity is currently available in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26040. It will be included in a stable Windows 11 release later this year alongside mobile photo notifications and other new features. If you want to see the full changelog for the 26040 build, visit Microsoft’s Windows Insider Blog.