[Updated] Some Samsung Galaxy Note 9 users reporting speaker issues with their phone

Samsung unveiled and then launched the all new Galaxy Note9 smartphone and the Galaxy Watch last month. While shipments are still underway, reports of issues with these devices are already popping up.

Just yesterday, we highlighted that Samsung has confirmed some major problems with the new Galaxy Watch. And now, it’s coming to light that some Galaxy Note 9 users are also facing annoying issues.

Although still small in number, we’re seeing user reports that reveal speaker related issues with the Galaxy Note 9. User cases vary though. So let’s discuss them one by one.

Speaker volume suddenly gets low

There are already multiple reports that the volume level through the bottom speaker of the device automatically gets lowered after a few minutes of playing media.

I have noticed while watching videos after about 6 min the sound changes it seems as iff one of the speakers just suddenly gets lower

yeah, I’ve been having the same problem. Its pretty frustrating it works for the first few mins but after goes back and forth between working and not

I am experiencing the same problem

Same problem here. No bass every 6 minutes or so. im exchanging my phone

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9

Some complainants have confirmed the problem persists in the safe mode as well, meaning you can’t suspect any third party app of doing this.

Yes when im watching videos it happens between 6-7 minutes into the video and it happens all the time its really annoying it even does it in safe mode

Actually i just tried it again and it does the same thing in safe mode

Ive done a factory reset twice already

Although we couldn’t find any direct word from Samsung on this matter, there is definitely some valuable information shared by users about their own cases.

For example, a user from Singapore confirmed it’s a known issue, and will be fixed through an upcoming update.

Visited a Samsung service center in Singapore. The person assisting me tested the speakers but couldn’t discern the drop in volume in the crowded and noisy environment.

She then consulted their lead technician and was told that they are aware of the problem and liaising with Korea and a software update will fix the issue. When asked when the update is to be expected, they said they do not know

Then there are others who got replacements from the company over this problem (although new unit had the same issue in at least one such case).

I exchanged mine and the new one does the same thing which leads me to think that is has to be software issue

Even a Samsung forum moderator suggested a complainant that their unit may require service.

galaxy-note-9-speaker-bug

Random behavior of top speaker during calls

Moving on, the other issue that’s coming to light is related to the top speaker during calls.

Complainants say while they are on a call and speakerphone (loud speaker) is on, the voice only comes consistently from the bottom speaker.

The top speaker doesn’t do anything most of the time, but gets activated randomly in between only to stop working after sometime.

The following reports should give you a better idea of the problem:

Shouldn’t the top and bottom speakers work when we are calling someone and phone is on speaker mode? Both speakers work fine during music and video playing. Bottom speaker is fine. If I move the phone around during call, the top speaker starts working as well here and there. I have noticed this same thing in all note 9s at my local atnt store as well. My phone was ordered from Samsung

Only weird thing is then why does the top speaker start working during speaker call when I move the phone around

Same thing is happening to me on a call right this second. If this is normal for it to switch speakers on and off…that’s really dumb

It’s annoying cuz depending on how you hold it it’ll start playing from the opposite speaker making it hard to hear the person talking sometimes. Let’s get a resolution nowwwwww

Every note 9 user I met so far has this issue

At least one user confirmed the problem persists in Safe Mode as well.

For what it’s worth, a couple of complainants who tried debugging the problem shared the following observations:

I found out one more thing. If I block the sensor on the left on phone it shuts off the top speaker during call. If I lay the phone flat or side ways, I’m guessing the sensor feels like something is blocking it and it shuts off the top speaker. Most likely a software update where top speaker stays on at all times regardless of any sensors will fix the issue.

Basically, the proximity sensor on the top left side of phone that shuts off display when you bring it to your ear is likely influencing this behavior during speaker calls.

Low sound output when phone rings

Finally, some Galaxy Note 9 users are also complaining about low sound – especially when compared to last year’s Note 8 – while the phone rings or a notification is received.

This is reportedly due to audio coming out only from the bottom speaker. Here’s how users explain (1,2) the problem:

Just got the Note9 after have the 8. Nasty surprise when I found out it is almost impossible to hear notification sounds on this phone due to streaming through only the bottom speaker while all other audio is through both. Samsung states its a “limitation of the device”….

Is it just me or are also your devices ringing only through lower speaker? In a way, it seems logical, but it is way to quiet. When I play media (f.e. with Poweramp) or even when I’m selecting a ringtone in settings, it plays through both speakers (fairly loud), but at incoming call only lower speaker rings and unfortunately at least for me it’s not loud enough (my previous Note 4 was way louder)

It’s definitely lower than the Note 8. Not sure why only the notifications play through one speaker and all others are through both

I tried many different ringtones and they are all loud enough, when previewing (playing through both speakers). But during the actual call and only on lower speaker, they are not. I certainly don’t have bad hearing, but I’m afraid, that the unit may be bad. Although, media plays very good and loud (both speakers)

We’re not sure how widespread these issues are, and whether or not Samsung is aware of any or all these problems.

However, rest assured, we’re keeping an active tab on the matter, and will update you as an when something news-worthy happens.

Update (September 09): Reports about Samsung Galaxy Note 9 camera lagging and freezing have also come to light. More on that here.

Update (September 21):

You can read about existing Samsung Galaxy Note9 issues and problems here.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.