As the world has fallen in love with the Pixel, perhaps the biggest issue facing Google’s flagship right now is how to get the device in customers’ hands. For those who have been able to snag the phone, however, the problems are a bit different. Users have been reporting static distortion at high volumes through the device’s speakers since late last year, and up until now the company hasn’t been able to announce a clear-cut solution.
Thankfully, a fix for the issue is on its way — the February security patch for the Pixel has been released, and several Reddit users with the Pixel are reporting that they no longer encounter the bug.
The issue first came to light when a reddit user shared a conversation with a Google support specialist who said that the crackling audio woes are a hardware defect affecting “select builds of the device.” Two days later, another individual from the company offered a different explanation, claiming that the issue is actually software-based. Google is currently “working to resolve it in an upcoming update,” according to the representative who clarified the cause.
Meanwhile, another customer raised a separate problem to Phone Arena. According to this user, the speakers on his device would produce little sound up until the halfway mark of the volume slider, when the very next attempt to increase it would result in maximum loudness. The representative responding to this issue also stated it was a software one, and that Google is aware of it and will rectify it in an update soon along with the other bugs.
The audio problems don’t appear to be restricted to either the Pixel or Pixel XL or any specific configurations, which is another positive sign that they can be circumvented through software. Evidently, a solution couldn’t come soon enough. One customer, who shared his misfortune on Reddit and in the video above, stated he replaced his Pixel XL four times without getting a device that was free of the crackling sound, and that his wife’s standard Pixel was no different.
While waiting for a fix, the community did manage a workaround in the form of custom firmware which utilizes a different audio driver. As always, messing with the stock firmware on your device carries a great deal of risk and is not recommended, so it’s encouraging to see Google has heard the complaints and hopefully will resolve them soon.
In any case, if you don’t already have the February patch for the Pixel and Pixel XL, hold tight, as it should arrive soon.
Updated on 2-7-2017 by Christian de Looper: added report that Google’s February security patch would address the bug.