HTC One M8 speaker grill survey resultsA couple of weeks ago, we conducted a poll after getting several emails complaining that users had blocked, obstructed, or misaligned speaker grills on their HTC One M8 devices. We asked quite simply, how are the speaker grills on your phone?” After 103 votes, we’ve got a pretty clear trending answer.

As of this writing, of the 103 respondents, 57 of those claim their speakers are or were misaligned with nearly five percent of total polled owners having returned their devices because of the speaker misalignment.

That’s fifty five percent of poll respondents claiming their phones shipped in a condition that would be considered factory flawed with between five and ten percent of those polled claiming audio impairment (some returned, some claimed impairment, I didn’t have a cross category for both). 

Even on the internet, this is kind of an absurdly high polling number…

So, we have HTC’s flagship here with fifty five percent of the people responding thinking their device’s speakers or speaker grills are defective in some way or other.

On my One M8, it’s now pretty obvious when on a call the sound only comes out of the left side of the top speaker with it being muffled in the middle and the right, which is where I see some apparently occluded grill holes, so something is probably afoot unless the sound is only supposed to be out of half of the top speaker.

It does beg the question though of whether 55% of us are hearing and seeing things, or if HTC didn’t take the time to properly drill out the front and align the innards after spending so much time on all the rest of the phone.

If this number were 10% saying the phone had a defective part or look, I would not be surprised. First gen, devices sometimes you end up with some issues. 20% would indicate a real problem in the manufacturing process. 55% looking and thinking there’s something wrong with the device leaves me without a conclusion to draw.

Yup, no clue here. Either there’re a lot of problems, someone’s rigging the poll, we’re all having audio-impairment hallucinations, or most of the people responding came via Google or some search engine  searching for speaker misalignment and weighed down the results. Unfortunately I don’t have a conclusion on that as I can’t believe 50%+ are mfg defects.

Next week I’m going to attempt to get an audio recording technician to compare the quality on an unobstructed and obstructed looking device and see if there’s anything obvious. Read this as “attempt.” No guarantees here that they’ll help me or that the results will be useful. I’m also going to break out my microscope from kiddo years and see if I can get a semi-decent read on what the obstructions are and do a follow-up.

On the good news front, if you do have an obstructed looking HTC One M8, only 10-20% of those polled believed there was any audio impairment..