Google Pixel 2
Some USB-C headphone jack adapters for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren't working. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones have been met with a lot of issues ever since the devices were released. Now a new problem has surfaced regarding the Pixel 2’s included USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapters.

A number of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners have reported on the Pixel User Community forums that the included headphone adapter is not working on their phones. When users plug the USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter on their Pixel 2 or 2 XL and plug their wired headphones, the sound continues to play on the device’s dual front-facing speakers.

Although the problem has only been widely reported recently, some users have been actually experiencing this issue as early as October. “Recently purchased the Pixel 2 and am trying to play music with my headphones through the provided usb-c to 3.5m headphone jack adapter. However, sound is still being played through the speakers of my phone,” one user said.

Since then, numerous other users are claiming to have faced the same problem with the Pixel 2’s USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. It’s been speculated that some Pixel 2 units may have simply been shipped with faulty adapters. A Googler suggested that users experiencing the issue with different headphones should call support and simply ask for a replacement.

If this is not a hardware-related issue, it might have something to do with the software. Some users say that rebooting the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL will temporarily fix the issue, as pointed out by Android Police. Google, on the other hand, suggested that users should restart their phones in safe mode to make sure that no other app is running in the background. This particular solution works in some cases, but not all.

Another solution is to enable developer mode, as pointed out by Phone Arena. To do this, users will have to go to Settings>System>About phone and tap on the build number of the Android software version seven times. Once that’s done, users will go back to Settings, tap System>Developer options> Networking>Select USB configuration and then select Audio Source. When done correctly, the USB-C adapter should start working properly.

It’s possible that the problem might have been caused by the USB-C port on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The USB-C port’s universal nature means that it can handle more than one function. It’s possible that the port is wrongfully identifying the headphone jack adapter as a charger which is why it isn’t working. Putting the Pixel 2 in developer mode makes it easier for the phone to know what the USB-C port is being used for.

Google hasn’t officially addressed the issue yet, nor has it confirmed whether this is software-related. If it is indeed a software problem, Google could just send out an OTA (over the air) software update to fix it. For users who are unwilling to wait for that to happen, they can simply ask for a replacement or try the temporary solutions mentioned above.