Nexus 4 owners report strange buzzing from earpiece, distorted calls


A small but growing number of Nexus 4 owners are experiencing a strange phenomenon that seems to be tied to the earpiece of the phone. Users are reporting, as per Google’s Android Project site (see: Issue 39936), a faint buzz or click emanating from around the phone’s earpiece/camera area. Others say they are experiencing distorted sounds when making calls, especially at higher volumes.

The exact cause of the problem has not been pinpointed, but speculation is that it might require more than a simple software fix. The consensus is that some sort of shielding problem within the phone’s electronics could be creating the noise artifacts.

Most experiencing the issue say it is only audible from close range. The problem isn’t necessarily a huge blow to the phone, the worst side effect being potential excess battery drain if a software or hardware issue is keeping the earpiece from completely shutting down between calls. There isn’t much evidence out there to suggest that this is the case, but it’s reason enough for Google to investigate what is going on here.

As of now, the issue has been starred 69 times in Google’s database, which is no small potatoes. Are any Nexus 4 owners out there in Phandroid land experiencing this problem? Considering the trouble folks have been going through just to obtain a Nexus 4, inherent software and hardware issues are the last thing they want to be dealing with when they open their shiny new toy. We’ll be keeping an eye on things to see how they progress.

[Thanks, Oleg!]

Kevin Krause
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  1. They should have bought the DROID DNA :)

    1. I would have if I could keep unlimited data when upgrading.

    2. Does it come Unlocked HSPA+ for under $400 from a large american company?

      1. and secretly have LTE capable of working on T-mobile.

        1. It only has the chipset, it doesn’t have the other required components to make it work. From what I understand anyway.

          1. Check your news sites & blogs. LTE Band 4 works on this phone (with some hacking) since it uses the same bands as AWS. No other LTE bands though.

  2. That trusty LG quality.

  3. no buzz in mine also….

  4. Google will ignore everyone. When there is trouble they seize up and don’t say a word, just look at the N4 launch.

    1. well my n7 was playing up. And i have learnt to never buy launch devices again. doesnt matter what it is. Google gave me a replacement in 3 days.

  5. A doesn’t want theirs, I am willing to take it!

  6. Not a problem on my N4

  7. I wonder if its feedback from Google Now listening for input to be activated?

  8. it’s a Nexus device, of course there are issues. You’d need a can of Raid to get rid of all the bugs in the Galaxy nexus

  9. I do have it. Not a great problem, though.

  10. It’s LG, what do you expect?

  11. Quick question. I found someone via Craigslist who is actually willing to sell me the phone for a decent price….not much more that I would have paid google after taxes and shipping. My question is would google still cover the basic 1 year warranty for a phone that I didn’t originally purchase from them?

    1. Go get it if you want it, it’s an awesome phone. No pieces of technology are free of small glitches/issues… I have the “buzzing” on mine, certainly noticeable, but not to the point of making me regret getting it

    2. Yes they will, I bought one off eBay that ended up having a defective display. Google replaced it for me no problem. Just call google play’s support line if you have an issue with the phone.

    3. I actually just called google about this buzzing issue, and they said that the 1 year warranty is with LG, not google. Because I also purchased the phone from someone on online, but just make sure you have the order number and everything from their purchase. im super bummed about this buzzing sound

  12. Well my Galaxy Nexus is sitting in some Samsung warehouse in Texas getting the broken USB port fixed if that’s any consolation to Nexus 4 owners

  13. i dunno. These types of complaints pop up within the first week or so when a new phone is released… could this be newphoneitis/OCDitis?

    1. Eh. Had the same issue when I got a 4S. Decided to deal with it. Still have the issue. I think it’s real, some people are just willing to deal with more than others.

  14. It’s not only Nexus 4 device, a friend of my has a Galaxy Nexus and started this same issue after JB 4.2 update, so maybe not a Hardware issue but software somehow.

  15. How dare they speak foul upon the Nexus!

  16. It is not an LG poor quality issue, it is an early build issue. Rhis is always to be expected with new complex products.

  17. ive heard a buzz here and there

  18. Let’s see how long it takes for Google to comment.

  19. People should register their N4’s on the LG website and email their support to see if they have some more information. I’ve just done this but might take a few to get it noticed.

    1. have they gotten back to you, did LG say anything?

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