It’s that time of the year again and Made by Google is stepping into the limelight. We’re barely finished recovering from I/O back in May, which ultimately gave us Android 10. Now, after all the software madness, it’s time for the hardware to shine. The focus of the event is obviously the Pixel 4, but every modern smartphone needs a good pair of wireless earphones to match. That’s where the latest iteration of the Pixel Buds come in.
In comparison to the last generation of the Pixel Buds, quite a bit has changed this time around. The most noticeable change is they’re now truly wireless – meaning that now not only are they disconnected from your phone, but they’re also disconnected from each other. Think Galaxy Buds or Apple Airpods, but by Google. The design changes don’t stop there, though. Google claims to have scanned thousands of ears to create a design that’s comfortable for as many people as possible. They sit flush in your ear, and feature a stabilizer arc to keep them in place. Google claims to have performed “intricate origami” to fit everything into the earbuds in as small a form factor as possible.
The new Pixel Buds form a seal with your ear to isolate outside noises, while still allowing you to hear the noises via a spatial vent underneath the buds. Interestingly, Google’s also opted to include an Adaptive Sound feature, which dynamically raises and lowers the volume of whatever is playing based on the amount of outside noise. This is similar to what Sony tried to do with their WF-1000MX3 and their “Adaptive Sound Control,” which ended up being more of a gimmick than anything else. It remains to be seen if Google’s attempt will fare any better.
Dual microphones allow for high-quality voice recording, and an accelerometer allows the earbuds to detect your voice based on vibrations in your jawbone, which should really help in windy conditions.
In terms of connectivity, the Pixel Buds 2 are very impressive. Google claims that they’ll work up to three rooms away when indoors, and across the length of an entire football field when outside. They can last for 5 hours on a single charge, with the wireless charging case providing a further 24 hours of play time. With sweat and water resistance being included as well, the Pixel Buds can be used in pretty much any situation.
And, of course, the Pixel Buds 2 come with Google Assistant built-in. Simply saying “Hey Google” will activate the assistant and provide you with the full power of Google Assistant. The Google Pixel Buds 2 will be available in Spring 2020 starting at $179. Customization comes in the form of four colors: Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint, and Almost Black.
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