The Google Pixel and Pixel XL easily became our picks for the best smartphones of 2016, but they’ve not been without faults ─ and a lot of them. Since release, Google has been dealing with issues such as battery hiccups, speaker popping, camera bugs, and much more. Now, some Pixel owners are reporting a new issue with their microphones.
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This issue is apparently affecting both Pixel and Pixel XL owners and causes the microphone to completely stop working, at least at certain times. It seems like audio tends to work and then not work depending on the conditions affecting the phone, but regardless, this is a pretty serious issue for Pixel owners, especially those who need to make regular phone calls.
A massive thread is going on Google’s support forums regarding this issue (via Android Police), and thankfully Google employees have entered the thread to acknowledge that there is, in fact, a problem, and to offer up some technical help.
One Google employee, Brian Rakowski, offered up a possible cause for the issue. He explains:
The most common problem is a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec. This will affect all three mics and may result in other issues with audio processing. This problem tends to be transient because of the nature of the crack. Based on temperature changes or the way you hold the phone, the connection may be temporarily restored and the problems may go away. This is especially frustrating as a user because, just when you think you’ve got it fixed, the problem randomly comes back. We believe this problem is occurring << 1% of phones and often happens after a few months of use (it could be triggered by dropping the phone that may not cause any visible external damage).
He also recommends contacting Google customer service to obtain a replacement device under warranty. He says to describe the problem as mic failure, describe the symptoms you see on your device, and the customer service representative should be trained in how to proceed from that point. From there, a replacement phone will be mailed out immediately with a hold placed on your credit card. Once the defective unit is returned, that hold is removed.
Getting a replacement is definitely the best option in this case, as opening up the phone and trying to fix it yourself will void your warranty, and there’s a chance it might not be the problem anyway.