Phone

Hole on top of Galaxy Note 10 isn’t exactly a speaker, let us explain

We think we’ve figured out what that extra hole on top of the Galaxy Note 10 is for. No, there’s no dedicated speaker there, unlike what we had originally thought and despite what Samsung might suggest in the user manual. Nor is it an infrared sensor, although that was pretty easy to realize. But if it’s not a speaker (or an IR blaster), what is it? Well, it’s a hole to allow sound from the earpiece to escape the device now that the earpiece grille itself is so, so tiny that it may as well not be there.

Does that mean the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ use the earpiece as the second speaker for stereo sound along with the dedicated speaker at the bottom, like every previous Galaxy flagship with stereo speakers? Yes, that is indeed the case. With that extra hole on top of the phone, next to the SIM slot ejection hole, Samsung seems to have tried to address the limitation put forth by the considerably reduced bezels on its new flagships.

An extra hole for sound to escape the tiny earpiece grille

As you can see in the image above, the earpiece grille along the top edge of the Note 10/Note 10+ is extremely tiny, and the only way we even noticed it was when we realized Samsung’s bundled case has a cutout at the top so that it doesn’t cover the earpiece grille. In fact, the grille is so tiny that it’s nearly impossible to cover it with your hand in such a way that the sound from the earpiece speaker gets muffled.

And here’s the best part: The same is the case for the hole on top. Covering either this hole or the earpiece grille with a finger muffles the sound so slightly that it may not be muffled at all, and it’s only when you cover both the hole and grille at the same time do you manage to make a substantial difference. The sound still doesn’t get drowned completely, and it’s also very hard to cover both the hole on the top and the earpiece grille at the same time. Trust us, we’ve tried.

It’s a clever yet simple solution: Since Samsung didn’t have enough space for the earpiece grille, it just added another route for the sound to escape the device and reach your ears. Yes, you still don’t get the kind of balanced sound you’d get from two actual dedicated speakers, but Samsung has managed to make the smaller bezels a non-issue and the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ have the same stereo output as the Galaxy S10 lineup, which is pretty neat.

What do you think? Are you disappointed that there’s no second dedicated speaker on the Galaxy Note 10/Note 10+, or is it something you don’t care for as long as you get good stereo sound from the device?

  • Model: SM-N970F
  • Dimensions: 151.0 x71.8x7.9mm
  • Display: 6.3"(160.02mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9825
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS F2.2 Telephoto & 12MP F1.5/F2.4 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide

  • Model: SM-N975F
  • Dimensions: 162.3 x 77,2 x 7.9mm
  • Display: 6.8"(172.7mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9825
  • Camera: 12 Ultra Wide: 16MP F2.2 (123°) & Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF F1.5/F2.4 OIS (77°) & Telephoto: 12MP F2.1 OIS (45°) & DepthVision Camera: VGA

14 Comments

Sign in »

14
Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

DareDevil01
DareDevil01

Judging by the iFixit teardown, both the top and bottom speakers are almost identical in physical size. As well as that, the earpiece/top loudspeaker now has a back cavity to create an enclosure similar to the bottom speaker, enhancing and balancing the bass a bit more.

ruddysao
ruddysao

Well got mine yesterday, note 10plus White xD, in kinda disapointed abour the sound, the hole back vibrate a lot and the sound Iá kinda broken, os this normal? Or Just a deffective unit? Tour note 10 vibrate when playing music?

blackraven92
blackraven92

Hello, got mine yesterday as well. Note 10+ Black.
I didn’t have the same issue. But I’ve read around and seen some YouTube vids that complain alitte about the sound quality. So you may not be alone.

Personally, I like the sound from my unit and don’t hear any odd sounds.

Maybe get it checked out at a service centre

premierscfc
premierscfc

Had the + since yesterday and its still on the first initial charge I did, very impressed with it, the camera is a big upgrade from the Note 9.

Has anyone bought a USB C to headphone Jack, as I tried my son’s P20 Pro supplied adapter and it doesn’t work. I do have the buds, but it’s always nice to have the option available.

premierscfc
premierscfc

Had the + since yesterday and its still on the first initial charge I did, very impressed with it, the camera is a big upgrade from the Note 9.

Has anyone bought a USB C to headphone Jack, as I tried my son’s P20 Pro supplied adapter and it doesn’t work.

I do have the buds, but it’s always nice to have the option

Gunter2
Gunter2

Just got mine this morning, Note10 plus. The sound is absolutely fantastic and you’re right Abhijeet, covering up the hole has very little effect on volume. It’s so much louder and clearer than my S9 plus. Comparing the two side by side really shows the difference. I got a new case and you’re also right, there’s a very small slim cut out at the top for that almost invisible speaker. How did they get all that sound to come out of there? It’s really surprising.

locarno
locarno

so it don’t have dolby atmoss?

Gunter2
Gunter2

Of course it has Dolby Atmos. I just toggled it on my Note10 plus. How in heaven’s name would what is written in this article give you the impression that there’s no Dolby Atmos? F. I.

WP00
WP00

The guy’s an ass who comments dumb things on every post.

Gunter2
Gunter2

I know. It is very annoying. I cannot understand how anyone is so dumb and can still remember to breathe.

PJaya
PJaya

Negative collector, so many ppl vote -1 on his reply

locarno
locarno

You get from me -1 too.

locarno
locarno

This sound better than Note 9 stereo speakers ?

Saranan Majilya
Saranan Majilya

Proper stereo effects with Dolby Atmos is important. It’s not important for me from where sound comes.