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March 9, 2017

Google says some Pixels have defective microphones and need to be replaced under warranty

by John_A

Some Google Pixel and Pixel XL units have been affected by a microphone hardware issue. This is what you need to do.

Google can’t seem to figure out its Pixel problem. Not only does the best phone of 2016 (and beyond) have some major inventory problems, but when it’s not working properly, it’s really not working properly. Take the latest issue the company is dealing with. Since the phone’s release, an increasing number of people have been complaining about the microphone issues — one day it will be able to make calls and record audio, the next day, nothing.


Turns out that in “under 1% of devices,” a tiny crack in the solder connecting the audio codec chip to the main motherboard causes the phone to lose audio processing abilities. More frustrating is that, according to Google employee Brian Rakowski, some users were intermittently getting microphone use back, since the solder, depending on whether conditions and the severity of the crack, would occasionally re-establish a connection.

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).

Rakowski also says that a very small number of units just have defective microphones. Either way, the phone needs to be replaced under warranty, either by Google or the carrier/retailer from which it was purchased. Google says it is honoring all warranty claims for this particular problem.

The Google employee goes on to reassure users that all Pixels sold after January won’t have the audio disconnection issue because the solder has been reinforced during manufacturing.

Does your Pixel have this issue, or have you experienced any other hardware-related problems that needed to be fixed under warranty?

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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