Join us on Telegram | Early Samsung Black Friday deals, check them out right now!

SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

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


Last updated: August 22nd, 2019 at 20:57 UTC+01:00

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?

Phone Galaxy Note 10Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Load 16 comments

You might also like

Galaxy Note 10, Note 10+ getting November 2022 security update in the US

Earlier this week, Samsung released the November 2022 security update to a bunch of its high-end smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Now, the company has released the new security update to the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+ in the US. The latest software update for […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 week ago

Galaxy Note 10 getting updated with October 2022 security patch

After the Galaxy Note 10 Lite and the Galaxy Note 20 series, the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+ have started getting the new security patch. Both these smartphones are now getting the October 2022 security update in Europe. The latest software update for the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+ […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 month ago

Galaxy Note 9 will no longer get software updates, Galaxy Note 10 will get them once a quarter

Samsung is finally putting the Galaxy Note 9 to rest. The smartphone will no longer get software updates. The South Korean firm released the September 2022 security patch and its details yesterday. On its website, it lists devices that it is actively supporting. While it added newer devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 2 months ago

August 2022 security update brings bug fixes to Galaxy Note 10 in the US

The Galaxy Note 10 series started getting the August 2022 security update three weeks ago. However, the update was limited to international variants of those smartphones. Now, the update has reached US shores and is available for the carrier-locked version of the devices. The latest software update for the carrier-locked version of the Galaxy Note […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 3 months ago

Samsung’s August 2022 security patch is live for the Galaxy Note 10 series

The Galaxy Note 10 is the last Note smartphone for many Samsung customers. Released in 2019 running Android 9, the Galaxy Note 10 series ran out of major OS upgrades once it received Android 12 and One UI 4.1. However, security updates are still coming in for the aging flagship, and Galaxy Note 10 customers […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 4 months ago

Samsung wants to sell more foldable phones than Galaxy Notes

Samsung is getting ready to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 on August 10, but more than that, the company is gearing up its foldable phones to outsell the now-canceled Galaxy Note series. The Vice President of Samsung’s mobile experience division, Sung Koo Kim, reaffirmed on a conference call today […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 4 months ago