One of the few surprises at today’s Google hardware event were the new Pixel Buds, Google’s first truly wireless ear buds that will compete with Apple’s AirPods, Amazon’s Echo Buds, and the new Surface Earbuds. While not available until next year, Google did have a number of the Pixel Buds on-hand in their various colors.
I wasn’t able to listen to any or even try them on (I believe they were all dummy units), but these pictures show you the size and design quite well. As you can see, Google is going to bring a range of fun colors (Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint and Almost Black) that all match up with the color palette from the rest of their line of products.
For the most part, the Pixel Buds appear to be quite small and likely won’t poke out of your ears in extremely awkward ways like Amazon’s do, nor do they have the cigarette butt styling of the AirPods. They remind me a bit of the new Surface earbuds, though those are a much larger circular form than these Pixel Buds. Thanks to the black case behind the circular outer color, you get a finish that should help them hide nicely in your ear.
The Pixel Buds at $179 come with a charging case that holds them in magnetically. On top of the single 5-hour charge you’ll get from Pixel Buds, that case can provide additional charges and get you up to 24 hours of usage time.
Google claims to have done a whole bunch of special design tweaks to help these Pixel Buds sound better, wear better, adjust better, and listen better. There is a seal provided by the ear tips, a “spatial vent” that helps reduce the plugged-ear feeling some earbuds give you, and the sound they produce will adapt depending on your environment. There are two mics in each bud, plus there is a voice accelerometer that detects your speech from vibrations in your jawbone to help with your calls.
Google says they went all out on these new Pixel Buds.
Again, I wasn’t able to test them, so there’s no way to currently tell if Google knocked this one out of the park or not. And we have to wait until sometime in 2020 before we can test. Either way, I’m pretty excited to stick these in my ears and find out.