Pixel, Pixel XL reported to have a problem with crackling speakers

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The Google Pixel has easily been one of the most anticipated phones of the year. And, for many people, it’s more than met expectations; however, it’s becoming a let-down for other buyers, citing poor speaker quality. Not only that, but now reports are coming in that the speakers have a “crackling” problem.

Details after the break.

Reddit user badmark created a thread about the problem yesterday, and it has gained quite a bit of traction. Some Reddit users who commented say they haven’t seen the problem themselves, but the large majority is in agreement: the Pixel has a “crackling” problem under pretty random scenarios.

For the most part, it seems like this only happens when the volume is at its max setting while playing certain sounds. If you play a song, one song might not show any problem with the speaker while another song with different tones and instruments will show an obvious problem.

According to the thread creator, badmark, after installing NMF26Q (the Pixel XL’s second December update) on the phone. Not only that, but the user claims that this is the fourth Pixel XL he’s used, and all of them have the same problem. You can see an example here:

Google hasn’t yet responded to the problem either. A thread on the Google Product Forums was created way back in October, citing problems with the speaker. A Google Employee responded in early November, saying that the team was “investigating” the problem, but we haven’t heard anything since then.

Hopefully now that the problem is gaining more traction, we’ll get an official word from Google soon.

source: Reddit (/r/Android)


About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.


  • Goran

    HTC has the best sounding phones in the world. The greatest piece of hardware are their phones. Than why Google phones are so problematic in many ways? Why is Google given the right to overprice their phones and HTC is denied that same right and HTC 10 was marked as overpriced and boring. While pixels were “the best android has to offer”? Not one problem or scandal followed HTC 10. It has the best owners grades of all 2016 phones. Neither it had so rave reviews as pixels. You who review phones were so unfer to HTC latest flagship. And most of pixels reviews, as time goes by, turn to be untrue.Time shows HTC 10 is better and more reliable than Google’s phones.

  • Paladin

    And this is the phone that is compared to the iPhone 7? It’s been a problematic phone from the beginning and lacks several features the iPhone has for the same price (waterproofing, stereo speaker, etc). but all sites brag about what a great phone it is.

    • Justin_Herrick

      A problematic phone since the beginning? Please start listing what’s not working properly for the masses.

  • CaBa162

    i saw this video today …and i try it on my pixel xl and yes my phone too have the static audio..call google right away for a replacement.

  • Justin_Herrick

    Really? You provided a link to what this post involves… lol.

    Like I said, I’m not seeing what’s causing this to be a “problematic phone.” If you say the speaker issue and the camera flare thing, that doesn’t mean problematic to me. Software can fix both.

    • Paladin

      I didn’t say how bad the problems were, I was just pointing out multiple problems. I don’t care if they can (if they ever will) be fixed with software updates. the phone has been problematic for many people, much more than any other phone I’ve followed (the flagship phones.) It’s certainly not in the league with the iphone 7 except maybe for the camera being better (and that’s debatable depending on what criteria you have and who is testing it). Next year I expect Google to look at the shortcomings of this phone and step up to the plate with one that’s really on par with the iphone. When you are paying as much for an android but getting less phone, (no stereo speaker, no waterproofing, etc) there’s not much room to claim it costs as much as an iphone because it’s as good as an iphone. Right now it’s an overpriced phone with some problems (that, by the way, the iphone 7 had none of those problems, or any other problems this year). Sorry about the wrong link. These forums keep rehashing the same news week after week. I never understood that.

      • Justin_Herrick

        You’re still not answering the question. I guess I’ll never know what’s problematic about my Google Pixel that seemingly works fine.