Pixel 2 microphone problems have a classic NES-style workaround

Eric Abent - Nov 9, 2017
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Pixel 2 microphone problems have a classic NES-style workaround

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have had their share of launch problems, but one of the most baffling revolves around the pair’s microphone. Since launch, users have been reporting an issue that causes the microphone to stop working during voice calls or when using Google Assistant. As you can imagine, that’s a pretty big problem for a device that is first and foremost a phone.

A thread describing this issue has been active on the Google Product Forums since October 19. With 126 posts at the time of this writing, it’s clear that this isn’t just an isolated issue. The tricky part is that Google doesn’t have an official fix for the issue just yet, though some people commenting on the thread say that Google claims the problems are down to a software malfunction.

Whatever the root of the problem, these users are left dealing with misbehaving microphones until Google can figure out a fix. There is a bit of good news, though: in that very same Google Product Forums thread, one user by the name of Adam Zeird has presented a workaround that seems to be working for some people, and it comes straight from the retro gamer’s playbook.

Apparently, blowing into your bottom speaker as you would an old NES cartridge (or really any video game cartridge) made Zeird’s microphone work again. He said that eventually the microphone stopped working, but a quick gust of air to the speaker brought it back to life. Curiously, he also notes that blowing into the speaker while the microphone is working properly causes it to stop working once more.

This suggests that it may not be a software issue like Google believes, but rather a hardware one. If that’s the case, then waiting for a patch probably won’t resolve anything. Still, some users are reporting that Zerid’s method worked for them, so while it isn’t a long-term solution, it could help as you wait for an RMA replacement from Google.


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