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Old June 18th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
brhermon
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Default Audio / Headphone Jack Problems

Ok so I've researched for hours. Written emails. Tried out apps and I now I've either figured some things out or are running in circles. Hopefully someone can help. There's A LOT of content here, trying to figure this out the best I can, so to get straight to my questions, scroll down.

Issue: Audio (on phone calls, mp3 playback or notifications) is choppy, cuts in and out or won't play at all. Crackling from the speaker can be heard. I believe this to be due to faulty hardware / software involving the headphone jack and the phone mistakenly believing it's been plugged in or unplugged. More on that below.

Other Similar Issues:
Now I realize there are similar issues that have been mentioned before. But I'm beginning to wonder if there are similar yet different issues that are perhaps being blurred together among us users.

Yes there's a one way audio issue which I believe can also be referred to as the mic mute issue. I believe this to be a separate but sometimes confused to be the same issue. As I understand it, this issue involves the microphone no longer working so that the person on the other end of the call can't hear you speak. Meanwhile you can hear them perfectly. toggling the mute button has seemingly no effect. Additional sounds (audio or notifications) function on a hit n miss basis per user, again I believe anyways.

A second issue is the pop or crack issue. Users have reported after several seconds of clicking on the screen they hear a second sound. Some of stated it's the "touch sounds" option, others have stated it is indeed a sound that shouldn't happen. Again, I believe this to be a separate issue.

My issue, while like these is different and really where I need help. These could theoretically be linked in one way or another (headphone jack).

More on my issue...
The Problem:
I'm currently on a locked, non rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus running 4.0.4 IMM76K. I began running into these problems about two weeks before receiving the IMM76K OTA, on 4.0.2. My earphone speaker (not the rear speakerphone) crackles or pops (during calls or even just dormant), audio cuts in and out on phone calls (eventually completely), notification sounds repeat/overlay/skip and my music (Google music or Amazon MP3, both streaming and local content) just stops playing on its own. Attempting to restart it results in either it playing again but only for a second or two or the music's playing (by observing the tracking location) but no audio comes out whatsoever. Granted a mixture of these problems happen one time or another, not necessarily all at once.

The Theory:
After some research and seemingly finding confirmation by xda members Melhouse and dmwoods I believe my issues are a result of the phone mistakenly thinking the headphone jack is being used or not. Some of theorized that the cause is due to cell towers / poor reception, but I'm not convinced this is the culprit. I used Tasker to notify me each time a headset plug in / unplug is detected. Since doing so I'm seeing my phone do it frequently. Much more than I was originally aware (doing it silently without crackling) To confirm my findings, I installed this app and it confirmed what Tasker was telling me. My phone is definitely detecting plugging and unplugging.

Attempted Resolutions:
First I tried restarting the phone, it helped sometimes at first but now rarely helps so I've stopped trying. Then I went to where I started my research, XDA. I tried XDA's Melhouse's headphone.apk but it didn't cure the problem. Though I did notice it reroute with each incoming/outgoing call. I then tried Wired Headphone/Headset Fix (while on 4.0.2), and tried toggleheadset2 (after on 4.0.4), hoping either would fix my problem which sounds similar to everyone else. They've helped some, but I'm still experiencing these problems, even after the 4.0.4 OTA. And as I understand it, IMM76K was supposed to fix the "choppy audio, clicking noises and one way audio noises" Verizon is talking about the issues I'm having .... right!?
When experiencing the crackling and cutting in and out I've remained on the call, went to my homescreen, touched the widget changing it to "allow or on" then touch it again changing it back to "reject or off" hoping that this quick toggle will fix it. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Doing this during calls rarely helps. When I experience no audio during mp3 playback, toggling the toggleheadset2 widget does however bring back the audio so that I can hear it.
I've also attempted other proposed solutions including: I also tried fixes I read in various forums including cleaning out the jack with compressed air, plugging and unplugging a jack into it (normal and forcefully), smacking the area of the phone where the plug is and using a pen's ink tube or other object to try to depress the trigger in the jack. All with no real effective results. I also read somewhere about doing a battery pull and removing the sim card, replacing the sim card, or even hard resetting the phone, but others who have attempted those fixes stated it did no help. Others have even reported that they have problems regardless of being rooted or not, software version or even ROM version. That almost has to point towards it being hardware related, yes? I also had a theory at one time that the placement of the vibrator motor in the phone is what caused damage to the jack connection. If you notice on the CDMA version (image 21 & 22), they are only an inch or shorter from one another on the same board. However after disabling my haptic feedback entirely, I still had problems. I've also read by users that some have said if you have a hardware revision 9 phone, you're more likely to experience this problem than a hardware revision 10. However others have stated this doesn't matter.
Needless to say, I'm finding some resolution during audio playback or calls thanks to the apps, but nothing permanent. And none of these seem to stop my phone from crackling / detecting plugging when my phone lies dormant. The only resolution that I can think of is: Is it possible to develop an app that effectively disables the audio jack completely? The app would mimic essentially disconnecting the headphone jack connector cable from the main board inside the phone. I'd actually rather have this phone with no jack whatsoever than some of the other phones out there. Do you think this can be done? I'd try it myself but have no knowledge of Android app development.

My Questions:
Am I correct in the different issues here? Though similar are these all their own issue or have I mixed / confused some? If I'm right and there are others out there experiencing the same as me, what resolution have you found? At this point I feel my only option is to exchange the phone. I DON'T want a certified like new (CLN) phone though, because from everything I've read, Verizon's CLN phones are basically crap too. Not to mention, other people I've read who have exchanged their phones ended up having the same problem again on their replacement phone. Has anyone been successful in complaining and receiving a brand new phone as a replacement? Or have I no choice but to ditch the Gnex entirely and get a Droid MAXX instead? Does anyone know of a an app that entirely disables the headphone jack? Can one be developed? (in doing so, I believe that could fix the problem) Is there anyone out there with any advice for a fix to this or how to go about doing it? Man... if there's anyone out there who could help, I'd GREATLY appreciate it!

Research References:

Galaxy Nexus clicking noise?

Known issues with the Galaxy Nexus

https://community.verizonwireless.com/message/824205

https://community.verizonwireless.com/message/822051

Verizon Official Update, and a question... - Galaxy Nexus - RootzWiki

No media sound on speaker

Weird sound (everyone should report).Google page to report the issue - xda-developers

Audio stops functioning occasionally - Page 3

No sound at all - Help Please!

Issue 24019 - android - Galaxy Nexus mutes mid-call - Android - An Open Handset Alliance Project - Google Project Hosting

Issue 22307 - android - Galaxy Nexus Speaker clicking noise (running Android 4.0.1) - Android - An Open Handset Alliance Project - Google Project Hosting
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Last edited by brhermon; June 18th, 2012 at 01:49 PM.
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