Nexus 5 Speaker Modification Yields Impressive Results

As reported two weeks ago, the Nexus 5's speaker seems to be suffering from a sound quality problem, but happening only with certain apps, according to Android Central's Phil Nickinson.  Our own, Tom Dawson, did some experimenting himself and found that to be the case with his own Nexus 5.  He found that a song from the Google Play Music sounded awful, but when he listened to it on YouTube, it sounded okay.  From this information, one would assume it was an app issue, not a hardware issue, and Google reached out to Android Central, acknowledged there was a problem, and told them a fix was coming soon.

Of course, even with a software upgrade, the speaker can only sound so good in a $349 device, as corners have to be cut, and the speaker is often one place that manufacturers will shave off a little, assuming that most people use it only as a speakerphone speaker, not for actual listening.  Well, the ingenious folks over at XDA posted a hardware modification that can help with the "tinny" sound from the Nexus 5 - there is even a video (in Spanish), that takes you through step-by-step.  It is not something for the faint of heart to attempt as opening up the sealed device is not easy and will certainly void your warranty, although the procedure does not look too hard - AH is not recommending that you do this and void your warranty.

Lighter - Screwdriver - Sharp Pick - Pry Bar

The fix requires some basic tools, so basic that a Bic lighter can be used to heat up the "ice pick" to melt the holes in the plastic cover. Other than those two items, you will need a small pry tool to remove the back, and a small phillips head screwdriver to remove the cover over the speaker. The main purpose of this exercise is to make more, and larger holes for the sound to come through!

After you remove the back, you must remove the small screws holding the cover in place.

This is what the plate looks like removed.

Heat up the sharp pick with your lighter - this will allow you to "melt" some new and larger holes in the plate.

This picture shows you where the new holes were placed.

After you screw the speaker cover back in place you then carefully re-attach the backplate, and that is all there is to it, ha!


Let us know in the comments or on Google+ what you think of this modification - is it something you will try and do to improve the sound of your Nexus 5...and if you try this fix, please let us know how it sounds.

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Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]