The Google Pixel hit its first road bump early on as some users complained their devices were plagued with poor sound quality when the audio was was jacked to the highest level. When Redditor Mark “badmark” Buckman posted a video showcasing the issue while using the Perfect Piano app in December, the internet took notice.
After some in-house testing at Mashable HQ we confirmed the problem definitely exists, at least while using Perfect Piano. We heard pops and distortion when we turned it all the way up on one Pixel and two Pixel XL handsets we had on-hand running the app — but had no issues with playback on other audio-centric programs, like Spotify and Pandora.
In a message to Mashable‘s questions, Google acknowledged the problem exists and affects “audio quality for some apps.” But according to an email that surfaced on Reddit yesterday, it might not be an issue with apps at all — a flaw in the Pixel’s hardware could be behind of the spotty sound.
This message is quite a departure from Google’s previous stance on the issue, and suggests the defect is a bigger problem than previously expected. If the hardware is faulty, a solution won’t just be distributed via software updates — actual product exchanges will be necessary to give affected Pixel users new, functional devices.
When Mashable reached out to Google about the email exchange, however, the rep stuck to the company’s original position. “This is currently a known issue and we are working to resolve it,” they told us via email, denying the claims that any flaw in the hardware is to blame. “In the meantime, a temporary solution can be to not play your device at max volume.”
You heard them, Pixel users. Google is trying to fix your phone’s audio problems as soon as possible — but in the meantime, it’s going to be a buzzkill and tell you to turn your tunes down.