All the major smartphone companies have dipped their toes in the wireless earbud market till now. From Samsung Galaxy Buds to Apple’s Airpods, the market is filled with the technology, almost over-saturated, I dare say. At a time like this, making an entry in the game, after a botched up first attempt, is daring, to say the least. However, here is Google Pixel Buds, the newly designed wireless earphones from the company.
The first edition of Pixel buds came out in November 2017, devices which although not bad, felt outdated at the time of the launch. After meeting with harsh criticism across the board, Google went back into designing, completely discarding what it had built up to that point. And behold, 2 and a half long years later, here are the Pixel Buds (No, there’s no ‘2’ because the company wants you to forget that ‘1’ ever existed).
Coming in at $179, the devices will be available in US from now, 6 months after they were announced at a Pixel event in New York. For now, they are available in just a single colour, Clearly White. Other colours like Oh So Orange, Almost Black and Quite Mint will take some time to hit the markets.
At the price tag, Pixel Buds come somewhere in the middle of the segment, and apparently, so does its sound performance.
Other than that, the earphones are reportedly easy on the ears, and don’t tire or weigh them out over long listening sessions. They also come with 3 different “tip” settings in terms of size, so you can find your ideal fit. There’s also a small, removable silicone wing at the top to keep them in place.
At the top of the buds is a soft round button supporting the “G” logo of Google. This button can be accessed for touch controls like, ‘Tap to play/pause media, answer calls’,’ Double tap to skip track, end/reject call, stop the Assistant’ and ‘Triple tap to rewind/go to previous track’. Moreover you can,‘Swipe forward to increase volume’ and/or, ‘Swipe backward to decrease volume’.
The buds come in an ovalesque charging case, with a USB C port at the bottom for charging. They also support wireless charging through the case itself, with an led light notifying the status: white for fully charged, orange for low battery.
Flipping this case open sends a prompt to devices that support the buds, that is Pixel devices and all other Android phones running Android version 6.0 and higher. From there, you can pair your device with the buds just like an iPhone user connects to his Airpods.
The battery life on the buds is a little iffy. It is somewhat on par with the Airpods, according to Engadget’s review, but that isn’t saying much since Apple devices aren’t exactly known for long battery lives. Thus, compared to some of the other products out there in the market, Pixel Buds have a room to improve in this department.
They are also equipped with IPX4 rating, so you wouldn’t need to worry about sweating them away during high intensity workout sessions.
In terms of pricing and availability, the new Pixel Buds cost $179 and can be purchased directly from the Google Store. According to Forbes, the new pixel buds are currently only available in the US – UK buyers can join a waiting list on the Google Store – and there’s no official UK release date yet.