Are there any grammatical rules at play here that make the annunciation of the "б" in "хлеб" sound more like "хлеп?"
It seems to me that I am hearing more of a hard "p" than a hard "b". Like Pick versus criB.
A phonetic rule, rather than a grammatical one. Russian devoices voiced consonants at the end of words, like in Polish, Dutch, German etc. So д, г, ж, etc. are said т, к, ш etc. as well.
When it's inflected so there's a vowel after the root, like хлебы (plural) or хлеба (genitive), the б is voiced.
gosh there should be a lesson on the change in pronunciations of words depending on their spelling .. just so we can hear it at least
There is - it's explained in the notes although! Unfortunately only on the PC version. It shouldn't be the end of the world if you do keep voicing consonants at the ends of words: your accent will just sound a bit strange.
It's a bit like how the letter "l" in most English accents has a different pronunciation at the end of a word, but most natives don't notice, and nor does it impair intelligibility to use just one "l" sound, as many second language learners do.
Just tossing this out in the hopes someone can do this... It'd be really nice if the notes were accessible via the app!
Could this also mean "This bread." in another context, but the answer has been narrowed down just to "That's bread." and "This is bread." due to contextual sakes?
Terrible pronuntiation. Listen here: https://forvo.com/word/%D1%85%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%B1/#ru
Are voiced stops (б, д, г) devoiced (п, т, к) when they're at the end of a word like in German? I could swear that I'm hearing this pronounced as хлеп, and that I'm hearing город being pronounced like горот. This would be a really easy thing for me to remember, because I'm already used to voiced stops behaving this way in German, but I just want to know if it's really doing that, or if it's all in my head.
Yes, that's correct. It applies to all consonants though; not just stops. More detailed answer under smithdesmondm!
Thanks! And sorry that I somehow managed to miss that comment. The one time I didn't read the other comments first, and it's already there. xD