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Android Google Music Hardware Technology

Some Pixel 2 Users Are Complaining About A High-Pitched Whine and Clicking Noises (arstechnica.com) 105

After dealing with all sorts of screen issues, another problem with Google's flagship smartphone is popping up. This time it's an audio issue: users on Google's official forums and elsewhere are reporting odd sounds coming from the Pixel 2 speakers. Ars Technica reports: Customers are complaining of "clicking" and a "high-pitched whine" coming from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Most reports on the forums say the noises are coming from the top or bottom speaker on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Some reports say the sounds come through during calls, while other users say the speaker noises happen any time the screen is on. A user made a recording of the sound, which can be heard here. Most users are being told to return their devices after contacting support, but at least one person claims they were told this issue would be patched in an upcoming update. One possible workaround is to turn off NFC, which some users say stops or lowers the noises.
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Some Pixel 2 Users Are Complaining About A High-Pitched Whine and Clicking Noises

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @02:13AM (#55428373)

    I remember when Apple using quality DACs inside the iPod was a big fucking deal.

    These days, it's all disposable junk. All of it. Every single device is manufactured to accept whatever substitute components are available this week, and it's a total crap shoot as to whether or not you'll get something with issues or not. Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung, doesn't matter. You get to pay a premium for a handheld device that's designed to be obsolete in 2-3 years, AND you get to play the game where you're looking for a decent unit with no screen tinting, bad DACs or electrical interference, defective switches, connectors, etc, etc, etc. Companies aren't competing to build the best device anymore- they're competing to build the cheapest shittiest junk they can, and then they turn around and try to sell it for the highest possible price.

    Welcome to a digital world ruled by shareholders, where the only objective is to make more money. Gone are the days where people wanted to design a better product, and money was just a side effect of succeeding at that.

    • Welcome to the next stage of capitalism comrade.
    • by batukhan ( 4849151 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @04:45AM (#55428639)

      Gone are the days where people wanted to design a better product, and money was just a side effect of succeeding at that.

      While I generally agree, I wish someone from the 1920s would see this comment. The wizards from the future whine how their magic boxes can't be held to their ridiculously high standard. Gone are the days where everything was universally shitty. Instead everything is a slight variation of absolutely amazing. That said, coil whine drives me crazy.

    • by sad_ ( 7868 )

      indeed, that's why every premium phone isn't worth the money.

      • Absolutely. I only buy "middle tier" phone, unlocked. If I had to buy a phone right now it would be the Moto G5S Plus, saw it for $279 and can be on sale at 229.
        It has a 5.5" screen, 1080p, 5GHz wifi, SD card, NFC, quick charge, dual camera, fingerprint scanner, etc. The whole shebang, everything you need.

        • Absolutely. I only buy "middle tier" phone, unlocked. If I had to buy a phone right now it would be the Moto G5S Plus, saw it for $279 and can be on sale at 229. It has a 5.5" screen, 1080p, 5GHz wifi, SD card, NFC, quick charge, dual camera, fingerprint scanner, etc. The whole shebang, everything you need.

          I don't even buy the middle tier phone. I buy the higher-end budget phone. I honestly don't see the problem of paying for shit the old-fashioned way by whipping out a credit card or cash. NFC is an interesting fad which I really think people use to look cool. I would argue that it is insecure as hell and anyone with the right technology could simply intercept the exchange.

          • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

            NFC is an interesting fad which I really think people use to look cool.

            My camera can uses NFC to set up a Wi-Fi network to transfer pictures to my phone. I've used that a bunch. Mind you, my most recent phone actually has a pretty decent camera, so I have somewhat less need for it.

      • The flagship level phones sell because they try to capitalize on the well known marketing psychology of Fear Of Missing Out. People that are insecure and vulnerable believe that they will somehow be the envy of their social circles if they just had the best bling on the block. Samsung and Apple love these types of people - they cost a whole lot less to retain during the life of a product line. All these people have to do is hear about the next iteration of the Galaxy S or iPhone lines and they're impossibly
        • People that are insecure and vulnerable believe that they will somehow be the envy of their social circles if they just had the best bling on the block.

          There's something to be said about people that need to categorize anyone with different buying habits as "insecure and vulnerable". I'd recommend ruminating a bit on the utter relativity of wealth. Where do you fit in? What would a poor person in Myanmar say about your spending habits?

    • Companies aren't competing to build the best device anymore- they're competing to build the cheapest shittiest junk they can, and then they turn around and try to sell it for the highest possible price.

      I laugh every time I see something like this. As though that hasn't *always* been the goal of for-profit companies...

      • by Hodr ( 219920 )

        You should watch AVE on Youtube to a teardown of an older piece of gear built for quality. Aluminum or steel gears instead of plastic, sealed bearings, actuators made to last for 10's of millions of movements instead of 10's of thousands. Easily replaceable beefy brushes in the motors. beefy wiring on the stator that has been properly affixed, high temperature high strength plastics and resins. Cases that bolt together rather than clip.

        Believe it or not there was a time when a products endurance was a high

        • Re:Companies... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:23AM (#55429003) Homepage Journal

          And at the same time, those products were out of reach to many people; lowering the quality to reasonable bounds often resulted in something massively more attainable that only actually breaks marginally more often than the original. Its easy to look at the past with rose colored glasses, but the era of "indestructible" washing machines was also the era of poor people washing clothes by hand and frequent visits from your local washing machine repair man (who could indeed repair the washing machine, but was required to do so far more often).

    • If the design is sound (meaning has accounted for worst-case tolerances) then proper testing will detect most problems, regardless of how "cheap" the component manufacturer is. (A handful of problems are problematic regardless of testing, such as capacitor and battery failures over a period of time due to poor manufacturing quality.)

      The real problem IMO is design shortcuts made for a variety of reasons, ranging from designer incompetence to cost, combined with inadequate testing. For example, a digital

    • This is the exact opposite of how Apple, and to a certain extent, Samsung, operate. Apple famously pits manufacturers against each other. If the components arenâ(TM)t meeting spec, theyâ(TM)re sent back, at the manufacturerâ(TM)s cost. The whole reason why the iPhone X is reportedly supply constrained is because the dot projector is hard to make and Apple keeps sending them back.

      Theyâ(TM)re not faultless, but in general, the components you get in an iPhone are the best ones that can be sourced from anyone.

      Samsung has done some dumb things, even in recent memory, but itâ(TM)s hard to deny that theyâ(TM)re nearly always the SOURCE of the highest end parts. I have no love for them, but they make the best screens, have high quality chip fabs, etc. Iâ(TM)ll give Samsung a lot of grief for being a thieving garbage company with immoral leadership, but their high end parts are legitimately well made.

      Only Apple has the scale to operate like they do, and only Samsung can build parts as well as they do, and the rest fight for scraps at the margins.

    • I remember when Apple using quality DACs inside the iPod was a big fucking deal.

      These days, it's all disposable junk. All of it. Every single device is manufactured to accept whatever substitute components are available this week, and it's a total crap shoot as to whether or not you'll get something with issues or not. Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung, doesn't matter. You get to pay a premium for a handheld device that's designed to be obsolete in 2-3 years, AND you get to play the game where you're looking for a decent unit with no screen tinting, bad DACs or electrical interference, defective switches, connectors, etc, etc, etc. Companies aren't competing to build the best device anymore- they're competing to build the cheapest shittiest junk they can, and then they turn around and try to sell it for the highest possible price.

      Welcome to a digital world ruled by shareholders, where the only objective is to make more money. Gone are the days where people wanted to design a better product, and money was just a side effect of succeeding at that.

      This is exactly what happens when you have a brand worth more than the product itself. Samsung, Apple, and Google have developed their brand to the point where their names are what sells the shit. Furthermore, they discovered that they could create a vertical market off of people's dissatisfaction. They can introduce paid support to additionally monetize fixing said shitty product. Of course, this only goes so far because if the product is too shitty, they face backlash from government regulatory agencies.

    • I remember when Apple using quality DACs inside the iPod was a big fucking deal.

      You remember when, but do you remember why? The first generation iPod was grilled for being horrible and anemic with measurements showing how lack of capacitance near the amplifying components contributed to it being unable to produce any satisfactory dynamics.

      The first gen iPod only had it's library size as its "deal" and the Diamond Rios shat all over the frist gen iPod in audio quality.
      The second gen iPod changed the focus towards quality of audio.
      The first gen Shuffle was equally grilled for poor audio

    • Yeah but as long as they're pretty...
    • More to the point this stuff is getting more and more general purpose. These Smart Phones are more small tablet computers with telephone as one of its features in it. These new devices in a 5" screen have a 2k multi-touch display, advanced camera's, bio-metric readers, GPS, motion and gyroscope sensors multiple forms of wireless stuff, with a CPU and GPU which can rival modern mid range laptops. . A battery big enough to keep it running all day. In a form factor that is thinner then the plastic of the cas

    • You get to pay a premium for a handheld device that's designed to be obsolete in 2-3 years,

      Your phone is not obsolete after 2-3 years. They market new phones as making old ones obsolete; in truth, the device in your pocket right now will probably still not be obsolete in 10 years. The battery may suck, but the phone will probably still be good enough.

      • the device in your pocket right now will probably still not be obsolete in 10 years.

        Unless you include planned obsolescence. It's a lot of work keeping a phone patched with security updates when the manufacturer stops after 2-3 years.

    • If people knew the crap mobile device manufacturers had to do just to make the tiny, barely speakers actually act like anything resembling the behavior you'd expect from a speaker, a DAC would be the least of their worries.

      Audio is a race to the bottom right now, especially in the consumer space. Super high integration (read: tiny) and cost are the key drivers because of mobile electronics.

      A lack of understanding of just how much components can differ, usually passive components, can turn a decent des
    • Welcome to a digital world ruled by shareholders, where the only objective is to make more money.

      Thanks Obama!

  • by 404 Clue Not Found ( 763556 ) * on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @02:17AM (#55428387)

    ...and more about how lackluster and inconsistent Google's support is. It's all rumor and hearsay, with some agents saying it'll be fixed in an upcoming patch, others (like mine) saying they've never heard of it and are not allowed to look up news stories about it.

    Pixel is the bleeding-edge audience who once loved Google for its engineering and transparency. Great things happened, shitty things happened, and we never had to doubt which was which.

    But now Google's culture has changed, and now it's just another multibillion dollar advertising firm, and its customer service is super friendly and super useless. What could've just been a KB article/preemptive patch note is instead a person on the phone who spent 30 minutes walking me through stupid resets just to confirm that hey, there is a high-pitched whine coming from the phone. No, I don't particularly care which speaker, it's there, and yes, I know you're trying to be friendly and empathetic, but at the end of the day I just want to know whether it'll be fixed or if I should just return the phone and get another one, and what bothers me is that you seemingly have no connection at ALL to engineering or development and you're just limited to some stupid flowchart about how to install and uninstall "third party apps" and reset the phone into safe mode if none of that helps.

    Seriously, fuck you, Google. We stuck with Android because we believed in you, not because we wanted you to be a second-rate iPhone. When you hear about an issue, don't pull an Apple and try to hide it behind layers and layers of bullshit only to issue a recall months later. Just acknowledge it, tell us which serial numbers are affected, and tell us how to fix it -- either with a patch or with a RMA and a replacement with a new batch.

    Quit fucking around with us.

    • Well, to be fair, Google's support has traditionally been crap. This has been true since Google started selling non-electronic stuff.

      Google, it seems, can sling electrons around like the best of them. But atoms? forget it. Heck, I've ordered stuff through Google, and had it take far longer to arrive to me than someone who went to the store and bought it.

      Getting someone on the phone is a novelty to Google - I still remember when your (only) support option was Google Groups.

      And as much as you fault Apple, you have to remember Apple's support has traditionally been among the best of everyone. Perhaps not as good as Amazon where it seems everyone is empowered to do anything to make you happy, but still seemingly non-useless (aside from the few incidents that get well-reported because well, Apple news is money making news).. Not that Apple is a saint in the support department - they only recently opened an official Apple Support twitter account, which is like 10 years after everyone else. And they have a nasty habit with the delete button on their forums.

      But Google? Well, old school support options they generally suck at. For stuff like this, you're actually better off waiting for the official Google blog to announce something than trust what support says.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "I've ordered stuff through Google, and had it take far longer to arrive to me than someone who went to the store and bought it."

        Oh really? I wonder how that happened.

      • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @04:00AM (#55428567)

        Google's support for everything has always been the worst out there, because for the most part they don't even have any. I've got a gmail account that I've been using for at least 7 years as a "send mail as" account but lost the password to and can't recover. There's literally no way for me to speak to any human being at google in any way to fix this. Any human could take one look at the system and see it's consistently been used for almost a decade, but all they've got is the terribly designed users-only forum.

        At least Valve pretends to have some semblance of customer service.

      • Electrons too these days. Silly case in point:

        Google decided to release a product to build goodwill - the featured photos screensaver for OSX. Nice. Its well done, and displays their logo quietly in conference rooms, etc, all over the place.

        It doesn't work properly with the most recent release of the OS. They still offer it, it just no longer works, has no support, and has apparently been orphaned.

        Now, are they obligated to keep a marketing offering up-to-date? No, of course not, but that kind of attit

      • This has been true since Google started selling non-electronic stuff.

        Err. No this has been true since Larry Page and Sergey Brin hacked together a ranking system in their garage. Google's customer service has been utter shite from even its early search days long before they started selling anything.

    • It's all rumor and hearsay, with some agents saying it'll be fixed in an upcoming patch, others (like mine) saying they've never heard of it and are not allowed to look up news stories about it.

      Eh?!?!?! That sounds quite Monty Pythonesque: "You're not allowed to enter the room . . . "

      I've heard of all kinds of screwball restrictions on what support folks can do . . . but reading the news . . . ? Oh, my God . . . by reading the news, the support folks might learn the smarts! Then they will organize a union or form a pitchforks and torches gang!

      Again, back to the Python: "I could be arguing in my spare time!" . . . "I could be reading the news in my spare time!"

      It's all rumor and hearsay

      Yeah, that pretty much sums up wh

    • There is an opinion on the Verge about how everybody has dud products once in a while... but at this point in a product, when you're building your brand in a new area, can easily taint the reputation permanently and kill off the entire project.

      https://www.theverge.com/2017/... [theverge.com]

    • and its customer service is super friendly and super useless

      Well to be fair you can't expect much from customer support when it's all people who chose to take their 20% of free time handling Pixel hardware calls.

    • I know you're trying to be friendly and empathetic

      This gives me the shits with modern customer service. I had this with Microsoft. It took 5 fucking minutes to get past the:
      "We're sorry to hear you're having a problem."
      "This is not the experience I want you to have with our device."
      "We will try everything possible to get your problem fixed."
      "We can offer services in multiple countries." ...
      "What are you calling about today?"

      Fuck off! Say: "Hi" Let me tell you the problem, and either present me a very sane option to fix it or give me an RMA number. Nothing

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @02:32AM (#55428411) Journal

    At least if I don't have to for some reason. I'm so happy with my medium priced Lenovo P2 it's unreal...

    I think as soon as there is a style value attached to a product buying from market leaders in the top tier is just asking for trouble nowadays... Perhaps the thinking is that if someone is dumb enough to spend X times 2 on a product that does similar things as another costing X, then they have to be stupid enough to accept mediocre quality.

    The bottom line is blown up.

    Perhaps the midrange has to be better quality because whoever isn't dumb enough to go for the shiny and doesn't just buy on the cheap is usually a person who has done their research?

  • Solutions (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @02:35AM (#55428419)

    One possible workaround is to turn off NFC, which some users say stops or lowers the noises.

    Turning off the phone completely might stop or lower the noises even more, but I think the embedded surveillance device, actually generating the noise, is always active, unless you take out the battery - oh wait...

    [ Obviously, I think I mean this to be funny, but seriously don't even know anymore. Both Google *and* the Government would really like to have always-on tracking and surveillance. /tin-foil-phone-cozy ]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @02:51AM (#55428441)

    I guess we know now how those diplomats got hearing issues- they were all using a preproduction pixel devices.

  • Maybe that explains it...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @03:33AM (#55428519)

    The bigger problem here is Google don't learn from Nexus devices. They order them, they sell them, and each time a new set of problems appear caused by the overlap between the Google design and the current manufacturer.

    In case you didn't know, Pixel2's biggest problem is it snaps easily, because the weak point in the case where the switches are, happens to also be where they the plastic cover for the antennas connects to the back body.

    A combination of the circuit board designer (some outside company), the stylist (probably Google person), and the mechanical/testing people (the phone manufacturer) being all disconnected and separate.

    Each time they change manufacturers the overlap is different and a new set of problems are revealed. Which is great for the company whose learning (the phone company), since they're making the mistakes at Googles expense not their own, damaging Google's brand, not their own.

    Are Google actually learning something from these Nexus Pixel devices, or is it just an exercise in hubris? Because none of their tablets or phones sells in large volumes, and they don't seem to address the problems with any of them in the next generation. Would it really kill them to add a microSD card? Would it really kill them to make a big tablet that doesn't rotate vertically if you open snapchat? Yet they don't learn from each failure.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Absolute truth here, should be up voted. Coming from someone else who worked on phones at one point and has a long standing history of designing electronics for high-volume manufacturing.

      I have three Nexus 4 devices, two with battery charging issues, audio mic gain issues which Google (LG) never addressed. Nexus 5 reportedly has its own set of issues...the trend continues.

      But, the products are getting sold and someone is making money. Google is the new MSFT.

  • It's just funny.
  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @04:14AM (#55428599)
    "Does the high-pitched whine stop for a while if you stop complaining?"
  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:04AM (#55428939)
    The larger Android community thanks you and appreciates your purchase into the Google beta testing program and reporting flaws.
  • Am I the only one here who, after listening to the recording made by that user, had a second recording play, where some woman was angry about something??? WTF!!!

  • Its the OLED pixels screaming in pain as they get burnt in.
  • Phones. Typically, they have a glitch here or there. I always wait, and buy the LAST of "this years" model. Bugs are gone, software is usually as up to date as it will be (android outside google phones). The best part, usually a LOT LESS cost.
  • First of all, it's obviously the aliens from Signs. Second, I can't remember a nice quality high end desktop that had a defect rate similar to that of phones. Laptops maybe depending on brand but not desktops and certainly not custom-built ones. Considering phones cost double in some cases, this is pretty pathetic.
  • My first thought is a noisy power rail and analog components (DACs, preamps, power amps, etc) that have poor PSRR (power supply rejection ratio), and the noise is getting amplified.
  • I was testing some components (class D amplifier) and wanted a quick signal source, so I hooked up my phone. I was quite surprised (and concerned) to discover that my LG G6 is pumping out a VERY LOUD signal at 50kHz. I can't hear that high (I stop at about 12kHz now), and earbuds will attenuate it quite a bit, but I imagine it could still cause hearing loss. (BTW, I was looking for ~250kHz noise in the amplifier, but that component was attenuating correctly. It faithfully reproduced the 50kHz whine, how

  • perfect line of place Gesture Lock Screen [uniqsofts.com]

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