While Google’s larger Pixel 2 XL has been seeing numerous complaints, the smaller Pixel 2 has been a solid overall option with minimal issues. However, we have noticed one thing about the phone that seems a little strange — the two front-facing speakers sound completely different.

It’s great that we have front-facing speakers on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but as we noted with the Pixel 2 XL, Google had to play around a little bit with the formula to get these speakers right. The smaller Pixel 2 sounds great, but a quick test of the stereo separation on this phone reveals that the two drivers sound totally different. To be clear, this isn’t a volume difference, it’s an actual difference in the sound production, as you’ll hear in the video below.

The top speaker on the Pixel 2 has a more “tight” sound, where the one on the bottom seems to have one that is more focused on the low end. Both, honestly, are acceptable speakers, and together, they sound just right. However, the question of why this is happening still arises. Thankfully, Google was quick to give us some more information.

As background, the speakers are not symmetrical as they are custom designed to fit the size of the phone and provide the best sound performance. This leads to different sized top and bottom speakers with different performance, however both exceed standard telephony requirements and have been through extensive tuning to balance loudness, distortion, and sound signature.

So, in short, the two speakers on the Pixel 2 are indeed two totally different drivers that are custom designed to best fit the phone. To keep it from sounding like that is the case, though, Google has worked to balance the sound, giving us the results we see (hear) in the final product.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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