At AT&T's CES 2014 conference today the Head of Mobility, Ralph de la Vega announced that AT&T will be bringing HD Voice to their network this year. Starting with the Asus Padfone X, which is the first officially supported HD Voice phone on AT&T's network, AT&T will officially have the ultra-high quality audio feature that T-Mobile and Sprint have had for at least a year now. If you've not heard of HD Voice before or haven't had the opportunity to experience an HD Voice call, it's something you've truly got to experience to understand. Sure it's a super high quality phone call, but you don't realize just how terrible standard phone calls sound until you talk to someone via an HD Voice call. Then there's also the added benefit of noise canceling on the call, meaning all that background noise you usually hear when someone on the other end of the phone is in a crowded area is significantly minimized.
AT&T said that they were going to release an HD Voice capable phone on their network in 2013 but those plans never materialized. Unfortunately Mr. De la Vega didn't specify whether or not other phones would be included on the list of phones compatible with AT&T's specific implementation of HD Voice. As we've seen from T-Mobile and Sprint's version of HD Voice, even phones that support the technology like the Nexus 4 and Moto X don't have HD Voice on those carriers because they are "unsupported devices." Here's hoping AT&T doesn't make such a silly restriction and allows all phones that support the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) codec, which is quite a few hundred phones. We'll let you know if AT&T specifies more phones that have HD Voice capability, but in the mean time check out a quick video from the GSMA organization to get an idea of just what HD Voice can do for your calls: