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Google Pixel’s audio distortion and popping issues fixed with February security patch


One of the more prevalent issues affecting the Google Pixel and Pixel XL has been audio distortion at higher volumes. After some back and forth on whether this was a hardware or software defect, yesterday’s February security patch includes a fix for the issue. Meanwhile, last week’s 7.1.2 Developer Preview is still affected…

As encountered by several users back in December, playing audio at high volumes through either the speaker or headphones would produce an audio distortion. This static and popping noises were audible regardless of the app or media playing. For others, it only revealed itself at some frequencies.

Fortunately, fixes included in the February security patch address the issue. Several users on Reddit have reported no longer encountering the bug. One video shows a Pixel on the January patch exhibiting the issue, only to have it disappear after applying the latest OTA.

The patch is rolling out now. According to Verizon, the update also increases the “reliability of sending and receiving calls with the Honda Bluetooth Carkit.” If you’ve been particularly affected by the issue, you might want to consider downloading and installing the update immediately with our guide.

Users on the Pixel Product Forums note that this audio issue still persists after the 7.1.2 Developer Preview released last week. It’s likely that the next preview will include this fix, as well as the February security patch.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: