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Google Pixel phones may have an audio problem (Update: fixed in February patch)

February's security patch update has put an end to the Pixel and Pixel XL's audio popping problem.

Published onFebruary 8, 2017

Update, February 8: Google recently rolled out the February security patches to the Google Pixel and Nexus devices, which addressed some critical vulnerabilities. However, what it also did was fix the Google Pixel's audio popping problem first discussed last year.

Despite persisting on devices running the Android 7.1.2 developer preview, Pixel owners on Reddit have reported that the problem is now gone following the February OTA update. Hopefully, that means the issue will also be gone on the next developer preview, putting an end to it once and for all.

If you're yet to receive the update, you can flash it yourself with the firmwares available here.

Original post: According to a considerable amount of Pixel and Pixel XL users, their phones suffer from a static distortion when the volume is at the three highest levels. Read on to find out how to tell if your Pixel phone is affected and what might be causing it.

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An internet user by the name of “badmark” took to Reddit to show that there may be a wide-spread audio issue with Google’s Pixel phones. According to the user, his phone would produce a distorted static noise when it’s at the highest three levels of volume. He says he has had to replace his Pixel XL three times, but his fourth unit, as well as his wife’s regular Pixel phone, all suffer from the problem. You can check out the video above which demonstrates the said audio problem.

He has included a link to a trailer for Pixel users to play, and if your device is affected, you should hear that the audio distorts at full volume. You can click here for the video, but just FYI, the video’s audio is extremely loud at maximum volume. Along with that, there is a poll to see how many people are affected, and unfortunately, it seems he’s not the only one suffering from the issue.

So far 305 votes have been counted, and 66 percent of them – both Pixel XL and Pixel users – are affected by the audio issue. Of course, this means there are people with Pixel devices who are perfectly unaffected by the problem, but given the fact that Google wanted to enter the premium smartphone arena with these devices, users shouldn’t have to experience such problems in the first place.

So far 305 votes have been counted, and 66 percent of them – both Pixel XL and Pixel users – are affected by the audio issue.

Before you contact Google, however, be sure to remove any skins, screen protectors, cases, stickers, etc., and try again. Also, it helps to boot your device in safe mode (accessed by pressing the power button and selecting “Reboot to safe mode”) in order to make sure third party apps are not causing it. My guess is that Google will introduce a software update to address the issue sooner than later. However, it is not impossible that it may be a hardware issue: my brand new laptop suffers from a similar audio problem, and it’s diagnosed as a hardware-related problem.

Google says its affordable Nexus days are over, but with premium price tags must come premium devices. With more than half of the poll participants saying their Pixel devices have an audio problem, Google’s very first smartphone pair certainly isn’t heading in the right direction.

Is your Pixel phone affected? Let us know by leaving a comment below!