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Google faces lawsuit over Pixel’s defective microphones

Owners of the original Pixel and Pixel XL phones are fed up with the device’s faulty microphone and have now filed a lawsuit against Google.

Google faces a class-action lawsuit alleging that the internet giant knew about the defect but sold the Pixel phones anyway.  

Some users have complained that all three microphones on the Pixel device would be disabled if they held the phone in different ways or used it in cold temperatures. 


Some users have complained that the microphone on Google’s Pixel phone (pictured) stops working at times. Google blamed the issue on a ‘hairline crack’ inside the device 

Users began complaining about issues with the microphone shortly after the Pixel and Pixel were released in 2016.

One Google employee said the issue likely stemmed from a ‘hairline crack’ in the solder connection on the audio codec. 

‘This is especially frustrating as a user because, just when you think you’ve got it fixed, the problem randomly comes back,’ the Google employee wrote on the firm’s support forum.  

The firm believed that the issue was affecting less than 1% of devices and started happening after a few months of use.

Google then made some improvements in subsequent devices to prevent the ‘likelihood of an audio codec failure,’ according to 9to5Google. 

But there was no fix for Pixel and Pixel XL phones aside from replacement under warranty. 

The lawsuit, which was filed in a district court in California, claims that Google then continued to sell the earlier Pixel models knowing that they had an audio defect. 


The Google home speaker is pictured

The Google home speaker is pictured

Google, which prides itself on developing simple, intuitive software that seems to know what you want almost before you do, is finding itself is finding itself encountering problems when it comes to the hardware of its own gadgets, for example:

  • Pixel 2 phones:  Released in October, some users complained about ‘burned in’ afterimages on their screens, a bluish tint, periodic clicking sounds and occasionally unresponsive touch commands.
  • Home Mini smart speaker: The company’s new smart speaker was caught always listening.
  • Wireless ‘Pixel Buds‘: The headset received savage reviews for a cheap look and feel, mediocre sound quality, and being difficult to set up and confusing to use.

‘Despite receiving hundreds of complaints shortly after launch — and admitting the phones have a ‘faulty microphone’ — Google continues to sell the Pixel phones without telling purchasers about the microphone defect,’ the lawsuit states. 

‘Moreover, instead of fixing the defective Pixel phones, Google has replaced defective phones with other defective phones, resulting in many consumers repeatedly experiencing the microphone defect,’ the document continues. 

The lawsuit also states that the plaintiff, a Pixel owner, would not have purchased the phone had they known of the defect beforehand.  

A Google spokesperson told Engadget that the firm doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation. 

 Users have also faced issues with the Pixel 2 (left) and Pixel 2 XL (right), including problems with the organic LED screen suffering from burn-in, as well as the microphone 

 Users have also faced issues with the Pixel 2 (left) and Pixel 2 XL (right), including problems with the organic LED screen suffering from burn-in, as well as the microphone 


The Pixel runs on a Snapdragon 821 2.15GHz processor.

The handsets come in 32GB or 128GB models, with microSD card slots enabling an additional 256GB of storage.

They have 12.3 and 8-megapixel cameras and a full HD AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass protection.

Google began its foray into hardware when it released the Pixel and Pixel XL in 2016 

Fast charging gives 7 hours of use in 15 minutes

Included is Google’s AI assistant, Allo for messaging and Duo for video calls.

Free online storage for pictures and video

Available in US on Verizon and in an unlocked version from $649

This isn’t the first time that Pixel owners have complained of issues with the device.

Owners of the original Pixel devices have also experienced problems with the phone’s battery, speaker and camera. 

Since then, there have also been issues with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. 

Some users have said the organic LED displays have burn-in and black image smudging, in addition to some microphone issues. 

The lawfirm that’s suing Google over the original Pixel is also looking into a class-action lawsuit about the Pixel 2, according to Fast Company.