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Pixel 4a annoying top speaker crackling sound Does anyone have problem with the top speaker?
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Pixel 4a Top (front facing) speaker has cracking noice during audio playback regardless of volume level.

Does any one experience the same? How can I fix it?
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I have the same problem on a brand new out of the box Pixel 4a 5g. Very annoying. I am not sure if it is a software or an hardware issue.
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I have observed the same issue today. Sometimes it works after reboot but it's very annoying,  Not sure if there is any fix for this.
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I have a brand new 4A, and I have the same issue. I even here the crackling when I speak to anybody on max volume. 😔
To make matters worse, I am in Turkey, so can't even get this replaced. Looking at online forums and Youtube, this seems to be affecting quite a few Pixel users
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Same, brand new Pixel 4a 5g and the top speaker is producing huge amounts of crackling noise.
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Same,  brand new Pixel 4a 5g for wife and I.  Hers works,  mine gets top speaker static.   Reboot helps briefly then it comes back.   Safe mode helps, then it comes back.   Can we get a response from Google on this?
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I have the same issue too on a brand new Pixel 4a 5g, with crackling noise from the top speaker. It does come and go.
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Same issue. Brand new 4a 5G immediate speaker issue. Rebooting and safe mode gets rid of the issue temporarily but always comes back. I have just issued a return with carphone warehouse for a new unit.
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Yep having the same issue taken out of the wrapper yesterday. It's clear google are aware of this and the reason why they are doing the free BOSE wireless headphones promotion with the google 4a 5G
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Same issue on my brand new Google Pixel 4a 5g..Only 6 hours old. Keen to find resolution
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For those of you that tried safe mode, does the issue occur in safe mode or does it only return when you boot back to regular mode and start using the phone again?
 
Thanks,
 
Brian
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Hi Brian,
   For safe mode it does not occur (for me).  I let it run about 5 to 10 min with no crackle.   Switch to normal and there is no crackle for 2 min or so, then it slowly builds up.   This is with Youtube videos, same one in safe mode and normal.   This suggests background drivers kicking in over time?   
1)  I started no other app but youtube after the reboots
2) In normal mode with headphones there is no crackle through the headphones,  pull out the headphones and immediate crackle in the speaker.
3) started youtube through chrome instead of the app,  crackles the same.

Thanks.
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Hi Brian,

The issue is present in safemode. I have also tried a factory reset. My testing process has been

1. Boot up phone and follow set up
2. First app installed - spotify or soundcloud for consistent audio playback
3. Phone starts off fine but after playing a song for 20 seconds, crackling starts.
4. Crackling present throughout android usage including the tap sounds when navigating menus

Reboot phone - crackling disappears until step 3.

Safe mode - crackling disappears until step 3.

Connecting and disconnecting audio jack headphones also temporarily stops the crackling until speaker is used again

It's consistently replicable.
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I also have the same problem, bought brand new and crackles after a bit.
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The problem occurrs in safe mode as well.

It seems to be a hardware issue as it happens only to the top speaker.

I went thru trouble shooting process with Google support but no luck.

I got my phone replaced under warranty and no more issue on the new device.
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Also, when switching to speakerphone on a call, mic does not work at all... Looks to be software issue and I dont know if it is related. I also get the crackling static on top speaker when having the phone to my ear on a call... Brand new pixel 4a 5g also.
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I don't think it's hardware, directly after a reboot it doesn't happen for me, but after a minute or 2 it starts again. Pixel 4a 5g
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Same issue on my brand new Pixel 4a 5G. Crackling noise coming from the top speaker. Youtube and even with the noises when you touch the screen.
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Same problem here on 4a 5G. Distortion on the top speaker that comes and goes, irrespective of volume level.
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same issue, 4a 5g
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Can you post a video about the issue on YouTube and link it here?
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Same here just noticed today when speaking. Pixel 4a 5g bought on 18 November from Google store
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Yes same here I'm having same issues only took out of box Friday 20/11/2020. Been in touch with Google customer service and followed their instructions, still the same issues. Looking into warranty hopefully either new device or full refund, this is not acceptable.
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Same issue - unlistenable!?!

Fix it or money back..
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Noticed this today on my brand new Pixel 4a 5G. Incredibly frustrating crackling from top speaker. It's not distortion as it happens at all volumes.
There's a long thread here https://support.google.com/pixelphone/thread/16638905?hl=en about it happening on the 3a after an update to Android 10. 
There's also, if you scroll down, a YouTube video of some low-frequency noise which, if you play it (it sounds horrible) allegedly cures the issue. Bizarrely, my crackling did go away after playing this but it could be a coincidence and, being a bit of a pessimist, I'm expecting it to return...
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It's returned. A big shame because I really like this phone. My first alternative to many years of Samsungs. But this has tainted my Google experience.
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I have exactly same digital distortion problem on 4a 5G. The issues occurs most often when the phone is locked with music playing
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My wife's Pixel 4a 5G is also displaying this issue. Literally just a few days old. I remember seeing something very similar for the original Pixel XL
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Same here, have you fixed it or have it replaced?
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This has been going on long enough. Is there a resolution coming or should we all return our brand new phones and ask for money back?
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Same issue here on freshly received 4A 5G .... disapointing.
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crackling sounds of Pixel 4a 5G

Brand New Pixel 4a 5G,  the same issue.
The cracking sounds appear when playing Youtube, touching the button of screen, see link above.
It might be the defective product, does Google have  no response for this?
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Contacted google help through the phone - settings/tips etc..  they called straight back and asked me to check the updates: system/settings/advanced/system update..  it was needing an update and they stayed on the phone..

All fixed! ;)


edit - nope, still distorted.. tried safe mode, that was fine (as far as it went), so Google says it's not them, now down to deleting apps, maybe a reset..

ugh - a new phone ought not be like this
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My Pixel 4a (5G) android version is the newest. There's no new updates to update. The cracking sounds still exist. It seems to be the problem of the hardware, it might be the defective product, can it become normal by software updating?
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Google Chat has sent an email with a list of things to try, ending with factory reset. Has anybody tried that with success?
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I have the same issue, brand new phone Pixel 4a 5G (2 days old from this post), and I hear a crackling sound every time there's a notification or when I play music. 
I also update the phone to the latest update available for the public.
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Yup, same here, both in the audio and in the phone audio for me.
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Same issue right out of the box on a 4a 5g. Sounds like a transformer's movie is playing in the background.
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After almost 10 years of using iPhone, I decided it was time to try another cellphone. After much research, I decided to buy the Google Pixel 4a 5G because of the Bose headphones promotion. Unfortunately, the phone arrived faulty, it makes an unbearable static noise every time I use the speakers. After 3 conversations on support help, here is their “help”: they can change it to a refurbished cell phone. Even though I paid 500 euros for a NEW ONE!! A quick internet search and you will see that refurbished models can be worth half the price of a new one.

I just started working and this phone was my first big purchase with my own money, I was so happy with it. Unfortunately, it seems that google used this promotion to distribute faulty phones.

It's a shame that Google does this kind of promotion and then delivers faulty cell phones to replace them for models costing half the price.
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Having the same issue with my brand new 4a 5g.  Waiting on Google Support (chat) right now to voice my complaint as well.

I'll update back with what I hear to continue the log of complaints/troubleshooting for others.

This sucks, really wanted this phone to work out.

....

Just got off chat. Here's troubleshooting run down so far:
  1. Check for updates (all caught up, none available).
  2. Does issue happen w/BT enabled (happens with or without BT enabled)
  3. Reboot to safe mode, does issue still occur (yes)
  4. Try a factory reset to determine if issue is software or indeed hardware related
    1. I'm debating doing this one as I have a lot of configs that I have to do for work, that require back and forth with IT.  They couldn't really confirm that this would fix the problem permanently and this would be a pain to perform each time to correct the issue.  Guess I'll do it 1x to confirm and if it persists I'll start the return possible
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I was told the same thing; let us know if a factory reset cures the issue, Kevin.
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Same here 4a 5g, purchased from Carphone warehouse. Already felt it was a bum deal coming from a 3XL to the only XL release this year. Crackling speaker when playing music, on youtube, handset sounds such as locking and unlocking and making and receiving phone calls (dial tones and during a call). That's been one let down too far for me this year and I've sent mine back for a refund. I hope those who still have it get a resolve from google
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I think I solved the issue.
First download and open the sound amplifier:
Then set it up like this:

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I've tried to enter the safe mode, in the beginning, playing YouTube was normal, about five minutes later, the crackling sounds went back. 
Then I tried Factory reset , deleting all apps and data, guess what? The same, it didn't work.  In the beginning, it seems to be normal, but after playing YouTube about five to ten minutes, the cracking sounds of top speaker appeared, and the the cracking sound was very loud.
I think it's the hardware problem, it's just a defective product, the top speaker is broken. It's impossible to be normal by updating.
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I gave up on remedies.   Turned mine back in on warrantee.   New one arrived, loaded exactly the same apps,  no issues whatsoever.

This looks like a hardware issue to me.
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...UPDATE...

Well Joe, I didn't stick around along enough to try your fix.

As others have stated, both the reboot, safe mode, and factory reset fail to fix the problem.  The sound starts off fine for 15-30 seconds then the crackling kicks back in.  It's there in system sounds, YouTube playback, Spotify etc.

I went ahead and initiated a return with Amazon and dropped off the box today.  Bummer!
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I tried Joe's fix, unfortunately it did not work for me. It seemed to have made a difference at first, but then it came back. I have tried equalizer apps, and even disabled the built in system MusicFX service, to no avail. I will be starting the return process tomorrow through Google.
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Same here; the crackling's been generally terrible today There's other folk complaining about it on Reddit so this can't be a few isolated incidents. I've removed most apps and it's still occuring. Even noticing it when I touch the screen now; must be hardware issue.
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I just got my brand new Pixel 4a 5G this week and confirm the same issue. Google, what is the resolution here?
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I'll add my voice to the chorus - Pixel 4a 5g...

Top speaker has static/crackles immediately out of the box.  A reboot fixed it for a cool 5 minutes before it returned.  Chatted with support and they were sure that the November patch fixes this (which I doubt based on what I see here).  If it happens again - return time.

As expected it's still happening.  I did factory reset and now it's doing it right on the first boot screen.  Back it goes.
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Just got the new 4a 5g today and I can confirm this issue exists.
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Exactly same issue for me. Product received 19 November, only opened it today on the 24th as was waiting for a screen protector. Have tried the weird video thing, safe mode etc. On a fresh restart the phone works perfectly for about 2 minutes and then the top speaker begins popping and crackling.

Looks like it's a hardware problem going by the comments on here as only real fixes have been a replacement. 

Probably should have waited to test the phone before putting on the screen protector :/ highly doubt Google will refund the £20 for that zagg protector.
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Same issue for me although it's very intermittent.
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I do hope that Google read these comments; it would be nice to get a response to what's plainly not an isolated issue. This is an expensive phone and we deserve better. 
Looking on the positive side, if you return your phone, there's some great deals on the Oneplus 8T/Pro now. Bet they don't crackle....
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I still can't tell if it is harware or software. If it is software I can wait 15 days for a patch but if it is hardware I will return it right away...
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Hi,
same Problem here with 4a 5g. The same voicemessage is sometimes fine and somtimes with crackling noise. Calls has the same problem. With Bluetooth no problem. I tryed everrythink to fix it. In savemode start same problem.
It could be a software problem, but i am not sure.....GOOGLE please fix the problem or accept that the speakers have an hardware error and change to an new one.
I am surprised there are so few people with this error. In the german forum i posted my error and nobody wrote that he had the same problem.
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Same problem here. My phone is only one day old...
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Same thing on my brand new T-Mobile 4A 5G. Top speaker crackling is everywhere - YouTube, Spotify, system sounds, and during calls. Makes the phone basically unusable. On phone with T-Mobile support now, but looks like it's going back. Sigh.
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Same thing here on brand new Pixel 4a 5G. Cracking noise no matter what sound level. Only from top speaker. Reboot and Safe Mode help, but only for some seconds before crackling comes back. Is this software or hardware related?
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Hello everyone,
 
I escalated this issue to the Pixel Community team and it was determined that the best course of action for anyone experiencing this issue is to contact Pixel 1:1 Support via the "Contact Us" option at the bottom of the Pixel Phone Help page for further direction.
 
Regards,
 
Brian
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Update: I just have received my replacement pixel 4a 5g through RMA process and I have played music on it for the last 2 hours without a hitch. Appears the only real solution here is a replacement.

To me it seems like the hardware is dodgy and/or the software isn't working with some sort of minor defect or difference in the speakers we received on our phones compared to everyone else.
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I'm having this problem today. New phone in June.
What's happening here Google?
Based on some research, I've turned off Adaptive Sound. We'll see if that resolves the problem.
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