Google has admitted the audio distortion issue being reported in its Pixel smartphones is an hardware problem, and it looks like the company is issuing replacements for customers. The audio distortion issue was first reported in December when a user named Mark Buckman had posted about the same.
Buckman had also shared a YouTube video highlighting the issue. In his description of the video, he writes, “This video demonstrates the static/popping/crackling noise that is an issue across both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. This is an issue that I have personally seen on 5 devices and I am not the only…” On the Google Pixel product forum, another user Ryan Lestage had posted saying there was an audio distortion in the Pixel phones that he and his wife were using.
Lestage wrote, “Both my Pixel XL(Purchased from Google) and my Wife’s Pixel(Purchased from Carrier) are showing the same issue. The audio is popping or clicking on talk radio or music played in Chrome, Facebook, TuneIn Radio, YouTube, etc. At first I thought it was my headphones, so I put on my noise cancellation headphones and the same issue. 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.”
Later Orrin – Pixel Community Manager had commented on the post saying the “team is aware and continuing to investigate,” the issue. Now it looks like Google has admitted this is a hardware problem based on an email from customer representatives to Buckman.
According to PhoneArena, Buckman got an email with Google offering a full refund and the email also admits the issue is not something that can be fixed via software. The email was sent on January 13, 2017. The report adds Google doesn’t seem to be offering full refund, but rather a warranty replacement to the owners of the device.
So far, Google has not yet issued an official statement on how users who are facing this issue can get their device fixed or exchanged. It has not yet put in place any official protocols for customers facing this audio problem.
The audio distortion hardware issue is not the only problem that has plagued the Google Pixel smartphone since it was launched. In December 2016, Google Pixel and Pixel XL owners reported an issue which would causes their device to freeze and the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen would also disappear.
“My phone keeps freezing and I can’t get it to do anything when it does. No response from any buttons for at least a minute and it will just start working randomly,” is what one user wrote on the Pixel product forum.
Google Pixel’s camera was also causing some trouble for customers with complaints of lens flare, camera app freezing, pink/purple vertical lines appearing, and it would eventually result in the phone not working. In case of the Pixel smartphones, Google has added the customer service support inside the phones itself, and in the US this is 24/7 helpline.