Some Google Pixel 3 smartphones appear to have a microphone problem causing an unpleasant listening experience when calling. A reader tip directed us to the Google Product forums which suggests the issue has been occurring for several months.
Reports go back to November last year, but the issue seems to have picked up more traction since this post from mid-February. The problem seems to relate to the phone’s microphone: when calling with a Pixel 3, the audio quality on the caller’s end is fine, but on the receiver’s side it can come with any number of issues including a ‘tinny’ sound, choppy audio, and echoes.
Both regular Pixel 3 units and the Pixel 3 XL have been reported to be suffering from the problem.
Meanwhile, some users have said it affects all calls, while others say the issue is intermittent. It’s also said to be present whether calling a landline or a cell phone.
A handful of unlikely solutions have been put forward — including switching to a 3G connection instead of 4G, and turning on safe mode — but none that have worked for everybody. A senior Pixel community member escalated the issue last November, though this also doesn’t seem to have led to a successful fix.
It isn’t the kind of problem every Pixel 3 owner will encounter or notice since real-time calls have given way to instant messaging. For those making frequent use of them, though, I can imagine this is incredibly annoying.
We’ve reached out to Google for more details. Have you had an issue with Pixel 3 calls? Better still, have you found a fix? Let us know in the comments.