Google Pixel 3XL's front-facing speakers have different volume levels by design
There have been some complaints made about the just released Pixel 3 XL's front-facing speakers, namely that the speaker volume is not balanced. In other words, one of the speakers seems to push out audio at a lower volume than the other one. The issue was discussed on Reddit, prompting a response from the Made by Google team. According to the company, this is actually done by design.
Google says that the new Pixel 3 XL employs new amplifier technology, and with "advanced speaker protection algorithms," the company is able to push the speakers hard to get every bit of performance out of them. Google adds that it also worked with a Grammy Award winning music producer to enhance the audio.
The response from Redditors was swift and skeptical. "This is not a very good design choice then. The top speaker sounds almost non-existent," was the beginning of one response. Another wrote, "I tried both models in a Verizon store. The left / top speaker is barely audible relative to the other side." Another point made on Reddit is that stereo won't work if the volume on the speakers is mismatched.
Interestingly, the Pixel 3 doesn't have the same issue. However, audio problems and the larger sized Pixel models have gone hand-in-hand from the first-gen Pixel XL back in 2016. Last year's Pixel 2 XL had a few audio issues that Google subsequently fixed with software updates. If indeed the mismatched volume issue with the Pixel 3 XL speakers is not by design, a software update should fix the problem.