Google Pixel 3XL's front-facing speakers have different volume levels by design

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.

source: Reddit

Related phones

Pixel 3 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3430 mAh
Pixel 3
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh

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19 Comments

1. bucknassty

Posts: 1252; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

pixel 3 just sounds much better than 3 xl this year... they keep jacking up the big one

11. applesnapple93

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

went to the verizon store today and tested both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Both have the audio imbalance and both sound exactly the same. Interestingly... the Pixel 3 does have the same issue.

17. bucknassty

Posts: 1252; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

that sucks... google just... just has to mess something up... hopefully it's just software

2. Sweep

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 19, 2018

Not really related to speaker issue, but AT&T sim card not being read by Pixel 3 XL. Was on with support and they were about to send a replacement. Then support got an alert that they were looking into the issue. Asked me to give them 24 hours for an update

7. speedingcheetah

Posts: 75; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Did u buy the VZW version of the Pixel 3 or 3XL? THose are locked to VZW now. U must activate on VZW before they will unlock it. See other articles posted here on that topic.

16. Sweep

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 19, 2018

Bought it unlocked from the Google Store

3. Awalker

Posts: 1956; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Hasn't it been that way for all Google phones with front facing speakers?

8. peace247 unregistered

same with iPhones.

9. peace247 unregistered

same with iPhones.

10. peace247 unregistered

same with iPhones........

12. applesnapple93

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Nexus 6P was balanced and probably the best sounding phone I ever owned. Pixel 2 had the audio imbalance issue, Pixel 2 XL is pretty balanced (currently own it) audio just distorts at high volumes. Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are both imbalanced. Take a trip to the verizon store or best buy and check it out.

15. Awalker

Posts: 1956; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I'll check it out later. I still have my Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. I don't remember any of them being balanced.

4. Zylam

Posts: 1765; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

And so the Pixel problems begin... Pretty ridiculous how the easy face unlock fool on the Mate 20, the software/hardware problems of the Pixel 3XL weren't ironed out before release. If they expect you to pay that much, they can't be releasing stuff like this.

5. AbhiD

Posts: 509; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Only that it is not a problem. Huawei stereo speaker setup, iPhone stereo speaker setup, asus stereo speaker setup, all have lesser volume coming out of the earpiece speaker. It's pretty much a common thing in industry because there isn't much space up there to include as powerful speaker as the bottom one. The ones complaining about it and tech media needs to get a life. It's not a problem, it's a design choice that is very common. Just because some retards decided to complain about it doesn't mean it actually is an issue.

13. Zylam

Posts: 1765; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

LOLOLOL oh wow, defending companies screwing up products while still expecting us to pay top dollar. My N73 had stereo speakers back in the day and guess what, they were balanced. There is no excuse for Google or anyone else to not balance out the speakers, if they can't do it then don't implement a half baked feature. The fandroid bias on phone arena is so astonishing, any Android problem is swept under the rug in such aggressive butt hurt fashion that it's just sad. The face unlock thread of the mate 20 is literally just " Apple's version sucks too so it's ok". LOL why do I even bother commenting here anymore.

14. Awalker

Posts: 1956; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It's not a screw up if it's by design. You just don't like the design.

6. speedingcheetah

Posts: 75; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Not true! the Pixel 3 (non-XL) has this. I can hear it on the 2 store demos I have tried, ANd i call BS Google. My old Moto X Pure has balanced front facing stereo speakers that get LOUD and sound great.

18. RaidR

Posts: 33; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

Yeah but that's all that old Moto X has to offer. I love how someone picks the one thing some old device has that is allegedly superior, and dismiss the fact that old piece of hardware is overall out of date, and can't compete with today's products.

19. speedingcheetah

Posts: 75; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

I didn't dismiss anything, because, I said nothing of the other features or age of the device. I am Only referencing that the speakers are superior to any device I have tried, including the Pixel 2/3. The age and competitiveness of the device is irrelevant and not the topic of the post and point made. (And the X Pure can run Pie, with custom rom just fine.) And the fact that an older device can do what Google said is not possible with Front Facing Speakers....proves that Google is wrong.

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