How to fix Google Pixel / Pixel 2 Audio Issue
Google’s new flagship phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, are off to a roaring start. That doesn’t mean they haven’t had some issues.
The latest reports to surface deal with its built-in speaker. It can sound a bit like a roar at higher volume levels. Users report distortion, popping and static at the top three volume levels.
It appears to be widespread and popping up on Google Product forums.
“At first I thought it was my headphones, so I put on my noise cancellation headphones and the same issue,” one user wrote. “Then I thought, OK maybe it’s a bad headphone jack so I paired my Jabra Sport headphones, same issue. Then I just played the music out of the speaker itself and it still happened.”
Several tech websites are suggesting to users to listen to a trailer of an upcoming Mummy reboot at full volume to see if they have the issue.
It’s not exactly known what’s causing it. Some reports say it’s more common in videos in which extreme sound changes push the speaker extremely hard. Mark J. Buckman, a user on Reddit who has more than two decades of experience working with software, told Pocketnow.com that he was told to return his phone and accept a refund. He went through five units then accepted the refund when Google said no more support would be offered to him.
A community specialist in the Pixel User Community suggested rebooting the phone in safe mode to see if a third party app was causing the problem. Users said that didn’t work.
Suggested fixes to the issue
A Pixel community manager also responded to the thread of complaints, saying it’s a software issue “that we are working to resolve in an upcoming update.”
“In the meantime, a temporary solution can be to not play your device at max volume,” he wrote.
Users have reported that this ‘fix” does work as they turn their volume down a notch or two. Often that eliminates the distortions.
Another reported solution is installing Viper4Android. The sound mod, created by developer Mentalmuso, acts like a graphic equalizer. It gives users full control over the audio coming out of their device, whether they are using their speaker, headphones or wireless headsets.
The catch is the fix only works on rooted Android phones. They must also have TWRPcustom recovery installed.
Users can wait for future updates and see if one solves the problem, striving in the meantime to not play their Pixel or Pixel XL at higher volume levels. Google has not said when the update will be released. The company has only said it’s working on an update that it hopes fixes the problem.
They can also contact Google Support by opening their phone’s settings app, tapping the support tab at the top of the screen and tap Phone or Chat. After that they enter their information and tap send to reach a Google representative.
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While Googles flagship phone shares the Pixel 4as design language, one key difference is the more uniform screen bezel. In fact, theres no top grill as the Pixel 5 likely leverages an under-display speaker.
This interesting design aspect was noticed today on Reddit after a look at Googles official Pixel phone hardware diagram. The top speaker (4) is clearly not touching the top bezel and firmly in the screen. Just above it is the proximity and ambient light sensor (2), similar to the Pixel 4a where the latter component is under the display to the right of the speaker.
In the diagram, these components appear to be centered. However, a Pixel 5 screen protector on the Google Store suggests that its slightly left of center.
The Pixel 5 is not the first phone to feature an under-display speaker where the screen is ever so slightly vibrating to deliver sound. Its found on high-end televisions and the LG G8, with my colleague Ben Schoon noting last year how the sound quality is crisper with this tech, and I found the caller’s voice being overpowered by background noise less often.
Developed in-house by LG, CSO [Crystal Sound OLED] repurposes the OLED display as a diaphragm, vibrating the entire surface to produce sound with impressive volume.
With Acoustic Surface Audio+™ and TV center speaker mode, sound comes directly from the center of the screen with actuators behind the TV vibrating to create acoustics that move with the picture.
The Huawei P30 Pro and P40 Pro also leverage this technology, and you can see a teardown from JerryRigEverything of the latter device below.
On the Pixel 5, this under-display top speaker is paired with the bottom-firing one to deliver stereo sound. It remains to be seen how well this works on the Pixel 5, but — coupled with the wireless charging implementation — reveals that the technology innovation on Googles flagship is subtle but definitely present.
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Google Pixel 5 has an awesome feature you didn’t even notice
There’s a lot to unpack with the Google Pixel 5, since the search giant is seemingly doing everything it can to avoid the mistakes it made with last year’s Pixel 4. This includes boosting the amount of screen real estate.
Google’s added a proper full screen display this year, with a hole punch camera and no ugly notches getting in the way of things. But there’s a secret hiding in plain sight, in the form of a speaker under the display.
Anyone who’s looked closely at the Pixel 5 will notice that there’s no obvious speaker grill at the top of the phone. That’s not entirely uncommon, since phone companies are getting incredibly good at hiding them. But in this case, it’s because that grill isn’t actually there; instead it's hiding under the screen.
We know that because Google has published an official hardware diagram of the Pixel 5, showcasing which hardware features are where. The bottom speaker is in its usual place on the base of the phone, but the top speaker is nowhere near the top bezel.
The official imagery suggests that the speaker is right in the middle, one Pixel 5 screen protector has a cut-out suggesting it’s positioned slightly to the left. It’s not clear why the cutout is necessary, since the under-display speaker already has to pump vibrations through the screen itself. Perhaps Google’s trying to make sure nothing interrupts whatever it is you’re listening to.
Under-display speakers aren’t exactly new, and we’ve seen them before on devices like the LG G8, Huawei P30 Pro, and Huawei P40 Pro. That said, they’re not particularly common, with a lot of phone makers instead opting to make their top speakers more discreet and less noticeable.
An under-display speaker isn’t particularly groundbreaking either, so it’s no surprise Google didn’t bother to tell us about it at the Pixel 5’s launch event. In fact, a lot of people won’t even realise it’s there, which is invariably a good thing.
Hopefully, this is the start of more wide-scale inclusion of under-display speaker tech, taking us a little bit closer to the truly uninterrupted full-screen displays phone makers have been promising us. The OnePlus 7 did this with its pop-up selfie camera, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 could pull this off with an under-display camera, but a recent rumor has cast doubt on this killer upgrade.
Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.
Rogers offering free Sonos One speaker with select iPhone, Pixel and Samsung purchases
Although many Black Friday deals are already out, some companies still have a few surprises up their sleeves. Rogers is one such, with a new Sonos One deal going live.
Currently, Rogers customers can get a free Sonos One speaker ($ value) with the purchase of a new iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro Max, Pixel 4a or 4a 5G, select Samsung S20 series or the Samsung Note 20 series. Its worth noting Rogers offered a similar deal last year.
With a wide array of phone options for this deal, customers have several choices regarding getting a device they want along with a free and really great speaker. I recently got a Sonos One speaker, and it sounds incredible, while MobileSyrup reporter Brad Bennett will also attest to the great sound of a Sonos.
However, perhaps the best phone for this deal is the new Pixel 4a, which costs $0 upfront and $10 per month device financing for 24 months ($ total). If you go with that option, youll pay less over two years than the cost of the Sonos One and get a phone worth $ for a fraction of that cost.
For iPhone fans, the 12 mini + Sonos is also an excellent deal. Currently, Rogers is offering the iPhone 12 mini for $0 upfront and $ per month device financing ($ total over 24 months). Although the deal isnt as great when you factor in the Upfront Edge cost (which puts the device to $1, total after two years), you do still get a free Sonos One speaker.
To learn more about Rogers Sonos One deal, check out the carriers website. However, the Sonos offer isnt the only one Rogers has. You can learn more about Rogers Black Friday deals here.
Pixel one speaker google
The latest Pixel phones just got a major upgrade in speaker audio quality
Google removed the dual front-firing speakers for last year's Pixel 4 phones, and the company's newest Pixel 5 flagship has bezels so thin that they won't be returning anytime soon. While on-device audio enthusiasts may be bummed, Google has introduced a feature that promises to enhance the speaker quality of newer Pixel devices with typical Google-y ingenuity.
The feature, called Adaptive Sound, is similar to the setting of the same name on the Pixel Buds in that it uses the microphone to monitor surrounding environmental sound and make adjustments. However, instead of just upping the volume, Adaptive Sound on Pixels aims to improve the speaker sound quality by adapting the EQ of the audio to the surrounding environment.
The feature page notes that it won't be as effective at high volumes.
Adaptive Sound dropped for the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 in this month's feature drop, but an eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted the fact that it seems to have been billed on the Pixel 5's Amazon listing when it first launched, although the message advertising how the Pixel 5 speakers let you hear music "as the artist intended" has since been removed.
If you own one of Google's newest Pixel devices and are ready for an instant speaker quality upgrade, Adaptive Sound should be rolling out to you soon — along with plenty of other goodies from the new feature drop.
UPDATE: /12/08 am PST BY CALEB POTTS
Rolling out now
Updated to reflect that Adaptive Sound is officially rolling out to newer Pixel devices now.
Complete with dynamic theming support
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[Updated] Google Pixel 5 fluctuating speaker volume & poor audio quality issues come to light
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on October 26, ) follows:
The Pixel 5 was released a month back and it symbolizes Googles departure from the top-tier flagship phone segment. To achieve that, Google did some cost-cutting like using a mid-range SoC and aluminum back.
While the likes of wireless charging and IP68 rating kept their place, users have recently taken to Reddit and official Pixel forums complaining about a new pair of issues.
When watching videos on YouTube or Netflix the volume of the bottom speaker will sound like its been turned down a bit this can happen spontaneously. To note Im not using headphone or connected to any Bluetooth devices. This is the phone maybe a software bug??
Same!! Midway though the video! I thought it was just me. Man, the speaker situation for the P5 really is horrendous
As apparent from the above sources, Google Pixel 5 users are facing a speaker volume fluctuating issue wherein the volume drops randomly when playing audio via speakers.
Also, the issue isnt restricted to a particular app as users have reported that they have faced it whilst using all kinds of apps like Spotify, YouTube and the like.
At this point, the issue seems to be a software bug as one user has also reported the same from their Google Pixel 4.
My Pixel 4 doing that now. Must be an OS thing
Given the fact that both Google Pixel 4 and 5 are currently running Android 11, it could just be yet another issue pertaining to the already bug-riddled OS.
Pixel users have previously reported issues related to performance, battery and other aspects before that you may read about here.
As for now, Google does not seem to have addressed the issue. Perhaps if enough people reported it, they will take it up. You may report the issue by visiting this already opened thread.
How to improve Pixel 5 speaker audio quality
It is to be noted, however, that this isnt the first time the Pixel 5s speakers have been the center of discussion. Several Redditors have also been complaining that the audio from speakers is tinny and has low clarity.
However, one of them has found an app to improve the speaker quality of the Pixel:
You can download the above-mentioned app called Flat Equalizer from Google Play Store by clicking here.
Plenty of users are also reporting their use of another app called Wavelet with positive results. It can be downloaded from here.
Can vouch, greatly improves speaker clarity and reduces any tinniness. Lets hope Google can remove a finger and patch the EQ in the next software update.
It really improves the speaker quality of the Pixel 5 handset And thanks for sharing
Of worth noting is that this app may make a difference on other phones audio quality as well, so be sure to recommend it to your friends experiencing related audio issues on other brands.
That being said, let us know in the comments below if you too are facing the fluctuating speaker audio issue on your Google Pixel 5 or have used the above app and seen positive results.
Update 1 (October 27)
It seems Google Pixel 5 owners cant catch a break from bugs. Some users are reporting that they arent able to make NFC payments with the Pixel 5 in stores since an error pops up.
This is often fixed rebooting or re-linking the card to the app. However, some say that even a factory data reset does not help according to a report.
Update 2 (October 29)
Google Pixel 5 users are reporting (1, 2, 3) about a bizarre bug which results in the phones display turning on at max brightness after an hour or so when left on the Pixel Stand with the screen off when dark option enabled at night.
Update 3 (November 23)
The volume fluctuating problem might not be tied to the Pixel 5 and may likely be an issue with Android 11 according to one user who has reported the same issues on their Pixel 4a and Pixel 2.
Furthermore, it seems that Google is aware of the issue and is currently working on a fix for it according to a Platinum Product Expert on Googles support website.
Update 4 (December 07)
Apparently, Google is working on a new feature dubbed “Adaptive Sound” for the Pixel 5 which intelligently adjusts the sound equalizer settings based on the acoustics of your environment as per a report. This may help improve the audio quality of the device.
Update 5 (January 06, )
Google has addressed some of Pixel 5s speaker issues with the latest January security patch update. The update changelog mentions “Further tuning and improvements for volume level of system sounds”.
This means that certain sounds like screenshot alerts will no longer be as loud and annoying as before. For more info on the update, you can visit this link.
Update 6 (January 14, )
Several users have observed that the speaker volumes have taken a noticeable hit following the January security update. This is especially evident with various system sounds which sound too quiet now.
It is likely that Google sacrificed the speaker volume for an improvement in audio quality in this case.
PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on breaking or exclusive news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.
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