Ever since Apple launched Air­Pods, users around the world have been expect­ing an equal­ly impres­sive Android alter­na­tive. Var­i­ous com­pa­nies have tried their hand at cre­at­ing true wire­less ear­buds, and now it’s Google’s turn.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: Engad­get

Google Pix­el Buds are tru­ly wire­less. The ear­buds are both a sig­nif­i­cant step up from their pre­de­ces­sors and a dis­ap­point­ment next to the alter­na­tives. But let’s take a clos­er look at what Google has offered us.

At first glance, Google Pix­el Buds seem like a copy of the head­phones from Apple and Sam­sung, but it’s enough to get to know them bet­ter to see that this is not entire­ly true. Google is bring­ing a sig­nif­i­cant new fea­ture, the always-on Google Assis­tant. That is, a voice assis­tant that lis­tens to the user all the time, wait­ing for a com­mand.

This may seem like a minor addi­tion, but here it is worth pay­ing atten­tion to com­peti­tors right away. Air­Pods brought this fea­ture to head­phones a long time ago, and until now, Android has not had a wor­thy alter­na­tive. Even if the fea­ture was present, like on the Sony wire­less, it was­n’t in per­fect sync with the smartphone/tablet.

Google Pix­el Buds final­ly solve this issue. Just open the case with the head­phones, and they will already make con­tact with the Pix­el smart­phone. And that’s not all, just like Air­Pods with “Hey Siri”, Pix­el Buds respond to the appro­pri­ate words for their smart­phones and are ready to come to the ser­vice at any moment.

Google has gone one step fur­ther, and as long as you have an inter­net con­nec­tion, the head­phones are ready to pro­vide you with real-time trans­la­tions of lan­guages. And this func­tion should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed.

But Google Pix­el Buds are not only end­less pros, but also notice­able dis­ad­van­tages. One of them is the lack of active noise can­cel­la­tion. And this will def­i­nite­ly affect the pur­chase for those who pre­fer to enjoy the sound from the head­phones, rather than the sur­round­ing noise. In addi­tion, the device’s bat­tery lasts only around three hours with con­stant play­back, and the cost of the head­phones can­not be called bud­get at all.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: news


If there is one thing that can be called a 100% advan­tage of the Google Pix­el Buds, it is the design. The head­phones are com­plete­ly wire­less, and this is their main dif­fer­ence from pre­vi­ous mod­els. This also hints that the com­pa­ny will go fur­ther in this direc­tion, over time, replac­ing the orig­i­nal mod­els with wire­less ones.

Case also received a visu­al update. It fits in your hand and pock­et. Its shape resem­bles an egg, the case opens with a cor­re­spond­ing click, and there is only one USB Type‑C port for charg­ing on the case. That’s not all, since the case also sup­ports wire­less charg­ing, report­ing the sta­tus of the process with the help of an LED light.

In addi­tion to the case and head­phones, there are addi­tion­al ear pads in the box. For any­one who does­n’t like or does­n’t like the one-piece option, this solu­tion becomes a good alter­na­tive, as it is pos­si­ble to adjust the size of the head­phones, there­by improv­ing their sound dur­ing play­back. Here, how­ev­er, Google also slight­ly missed, and most of the options are large for stan­dard ear sizes. But this is already a mat­ter of size, and it is impos­si­ble to say with absolute cer­tain­ty what will suit the major­i­ty.

In gen­er­al, it can be assumed that a design with a “fin” that secures the ear­piece to the ear would be more opti­mal and ver­sa­tile.

With­out get­ting hung up on the sub­jec­tive aspect, the only thing the Google Pix­el Buds lack is active noise can­cel­la­tion. Most ear­phones in this price range offer this fea­ture, the more notice­able its absence.

True, Google still did not ignore the prob­lem, equip­ping the head­phones with an addi­tion­al smart func­tion — the sound auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjusts to the amount of noise that the micro­phone picks up. The ques­tion is how effec­tive this sup­ple­ment is. Built-in noise reduc­tion often does a bet­ter job and gives a more pleas­ant result.

When you pull the ear­bud out, play­back is paused, which is espe­cial­ly help­ful in keep­ing the ear­buds charged when you’re not using them. Giv­en the lim­it­ed capac­i­ty of the bat­tery, such a fea­ture is sim­ply nec­es­sary, so it’s nice that Google has not for­got­ten about it.

Last but not least, the design of the Google Pix­el Buds is the degree of water resis­tance. Google Pix­el Buds received pro­tec­tion accord­ing to the IPX4 stan­dard, in oth­er words, they cope with sweat or a small amount of rain­drops on the case. How­ev­er, they are not suit­able for vis­it­ing beach­es or swim­ming. There­fore, be care­ful if you still decide to choose this mod­el.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: Android Cen­tral


We have already not­ed a few things that Google Pix­el Buds can do, but that’s not all. In gen­er­al, if the head­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers have suc­ceed­ed in some­thing, it is in the num­ber of nec­es­sary and use­ful func­tions for Android users. Auto­mat­ic pair­ing with your Android smart­phone or tablet is very con­ve­nient as it saves you the lengthy process of sync­ing and recon­nect­ing every time the sit­u­a­tion calls for it.

The Google Assis­tant has also become a very suc­cess­ful addi­tion. And it’s not just about direc­tions or ques­tions about the weath­er or the route. For exam­ple, with Google Pix­el Buds, you can con­trol your smart home no mat­ter where you are. Already in the mod­ern world, this gives head­phones an advan­tage over com­peti­tors that can­not offer sim­i­lar func­tions.

It is nec­es­sary to note in more detail the pos­si­bil­i­ty of simul­ta­ne­ous trans­la­tion. In this regard, Google Pix­el Buds, per­haps, have left most of the alter­na­tive mod­els far behind. The head­phones work direct­ly with the Google Trans­late ser­vice in order to pro­vide fast text trans­la­tion. All you have to do is say “Ok Google, trans­late Span­ish for me” and the app will launch on the device. You press the left ear­piece, speak your native lan­guage, and Google will read the trans­la­tion through the speak­ers. By press­ing the trans­late but­ton on your smart­phone while the inter­locu­tor is talk­ing, you can get a response.

As soon as you get used to the process and stop get­ting con­fused, the func­tion real­ly man­i­fests itself, allow­ing you to com­mu­ni­cate on trips, with rel­a­tives and friends from oth­er coun­tries, etc.

The dif­fi­cul­ties lie in the fact that you will always have to speak in turn, and for work you need either Wi-Fi or a lan­guage pack that can be down­loaded, it weighs about 45MB.

Well, anoth­er fea­ture of Google Pix­el Buds allows you to read noti­fi­ca­tions direct­ly from your smart­phone and respond using voice dial­ing.

So far, there are dif­fi­cul­ties in this that are asso­ci­at­ed with sound recog­ni­tion and com­pe­tent pro­nun­ci­a­tion, but this is all a mat­ter of prac­tice, and Google is clear­ly not going to stop there. The only ques­tion here is time.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: CNET


The main issue that wor­ries any­one when pur­chas­ing head­phones is not design or addi­tion­al func­tion­al­i­ty. The most impor­tant thing is how the head­phones sound. Google Pix­el Buds don’t sound per­fect. Even before you start play­ing a melody or mak­ing a call, a hiss is heard in the head­phones, which, in prin­ci­ple, can be ignored.

But this is not the only prob­lem you may encounter. Some tracks sound very muf­fled in the bass while the focus is on the mids and highs. This will work for some gen­res of music, no doubt, but if you pre­fer heavy tracks, then the prob­lem will be very notice­able. At the same time, the head­phones per­fect­ly divide the sound into stereo chan­nels, all the more sur­pris­ing is such an omis­sion on the part of the man­u­fac­tur­er.

All this makes the sound bright, but not too sat­u­rat­ed. The tracks sound sharp and loud, but there is no depth in them. The ears get tired of this pret­ty quick­ly, because all the sounds seem high­er than they real­ly are. So far, Google has not pro­vid­ed equal­iz­ers and the abil­i­ty to cus­tomize the sound to your pref­er­ences, so you have to deal with the sound that is pre­in­stalled by the man­u­fac­tur­er and this sound is far from ide­al.

If you don’t like the sound of music, chances are you won’t like the sound of movies either. The max­i­mum that Google Pix­el Buds are suit­able for is Youtube videos. If you’re look­ing for action-packed movies with deep sound­tracks and loud explo­sions, then the Google Pix­el Buds aren’t for you.

If you use head­phones in calls, then the recep­tion will be good. How­ev­er, while there are prob­lems with the micro­phone, which, most like­ly, can be fixed in a firmware update. We will hope that this will be the case, since the com­pa­ny clear­ly has work to do.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: Giz­mo­do Aus­tralia


The bat­tery capac­i­ty, as we not­ed above, is small. But Google announced the bat­tery life of the head­phones in advance and were very fair in their assess­ment. You can lis­ten to music non-stop for up to three hours on a sin­gle charge, and the case gives you 24 addi­tion­al hours of use. Charg­ing pro­duces in an extreme­ly short time, 15–20 min­utes. The case can be charged with­out a wire, but the head­phones, of course, only through the case. In gen­er­al, the fig­ures are not the most impres­sive, but not the low­est either. If you can safe­ly sur­vive the charg­ing time, for exam­ple, dur­ing a flight, then you have absolute­ly noth­ing to wor­ry about.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 - translator in your pocket
Source: TECH SPEAKR — WordPress.com


Of course, com­pared to the orig­i­nal Pix­el Buds, the nov­el­ty was a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward. Undoubt­ed­ly, Google Pix­el Buds are rich in func­tion­al­i­ty, how­ev­er, it seems that in the pur­suit of new bright fea­tures, the com­pa­ny has com­plete­ly for­got­ten why we buy head­phones in the first place. So if the choice is between a reg­u­lar device with good sound or fan­cy head­phones with­out bass, many will prob­a­bly pre­fer the first option.

How­ev­er, Google has shown us where they plan to go, and if the next ver­sions of Google Pix­el Buds get a bet­ter sound and all the relat­ed fea­tures become an addi­tion, then we can safe­ly talk not only about wor­thy com­pe­ti­tion for Air­Pods, but also about the pos­si­bil­i­ty Google final­ly leave rivals far behind.

But if you’re itch­ing to try the Google Assis­tant inter­ac­tion and real-time trans­la­tion, then you can count on the addi­tions to fix the exist­ing short­com­ings and Google Pix­el Buds will be a good choice.


By Yara