Google acknowledges the audio issues affecting the Pixel and Pixel XL

Yesterday, a Redditor by the name of “Badmark” claimed he was on his fourth Google Pixel replacement due to a strange audio issue. Other Pixel and Pixel XL owners also chimed in the thread to share that they are experiencing the same issue where their phones produce a lot of distortion when playing back audio at the three highest volume levels.

A bug report regarding the problem was submitted to Google's Pixel User Community on Oct. 24, but it is only now that the problem became more widely documented, that Google has acknowledged it officially.

The Google rep in charge of the Pixel User Community has replied to the original post, saying that the issue is being investigated:

It is currently unknown whether the audio distortion is caused by a hardware issue in the Pixel and Pixel XL or if its rooted in software. If you are currently experiencing similar problems on your Pixel device, you are likely eligible for a replacement. However, judging by the various user reports on Reddit and Google's official Pixel Community page, even replacement units may exhibit similar problems so your best course of action for the moment may be to wait until Google issues an official statement on the matter. We will keep you updated.

PhoneArena is on Instagram. Follow us to stay updated with fresh news and flashy media from the world of mobile!

sources: Reddit (1), (2), Google



1. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

So this is 100% fixable with a software update?

2. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

If it's a software issue.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I think it is since its usually only happens at max volume with a specific app (perfect piano) or the mummy trailer Also people have found its happening on other devices too

9. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

It is not a Software issue it is a Hardware issue that can be controlled by software. The noise you hear seems to be of electrical origin. It is electrical noise that makes its way to the speaker. Why only at full volume? At full volume the electrical signal becomes stronger so that the filter on the PCB cannot filter it out anymore. Basically, Google has equipped the PCB with an inadequate filter. You usually use a coil or a capacitor or a combination of both for filtering out electrical noise. Google has either sourced a component that does not cover the complete bandwidth of electrical noise within the pixel or the supplier or one of the multiple sourced suppliers does not deliver according to specification.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It could still be a software issue IMO if it was a hardware it would have been more common and noticed within a few days of usage by all reviewers and users There's people saying they also experience it on other devices including iPhones and MacBooks Also apparently Pixels with Viper4Android don't have the issue Its too early to tell could be either, but IMO its more likely to be a software issue IMO most likely that Google broken something in one of their updates

11. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Funny first i have no client thats came back with this issue. Second go see the thread its only happen in specific app and not in everything like you can play spotify music full blast whitout the issue. If its was hardware its would affect EVERY APP.

3. palmguy

Posts: 987; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I major tech company takes responsibility...... Unheard of.

7. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1348; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

I know right!

4. KingSam

Posts: 1505; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

The bugs are approaching iPhone levels. No offense to anyone but its true. Google better test the pixel 2 thoroughly

6. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1348; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Not gonna happen because no company can afford to hire enough testers for the time that's necessary to thoroughly test a phone. Besides, that's what early adopters are for I guess.

8. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, they have had a few issues thus far with the lens flare and the minor audio bug, hopefully, they can all be addressed with software updates... hopefully. And you have to remember that they rushed this device to market, hopefully with a full development cycle, the Pixel II will be that much better. I personally hope that it comes with wireless charging, that would make me a happy camper as I have yet to own a phone with this feature.

12. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

IPhone level really? Two small bug? IPhone has a tendency to freeze completely , phone close at 30% battery and load more issues.. Pixel is by far the phone i have the least return where i work.. ( if you take a ratio of how many return out of 20 sold by example iPhone and Samsung are easily between 5 and 6 out of 20 sold thats return compared to maybe 1 out of 20 sold with pixel lol )

13. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Shouldn't be a tough fix if it's a software issue. It's not the first phone to have such problems/bugs. It can't be a hardware issue because the speaker itself is fine, think about it? You can watch countless videos on max volume and everything is fine. I play music on max volume and everything works as it should.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.