Pixel Buds review

better AirPods for Android? (Video)

Google Assistant if you want it

I wanted to start with something here in our Pixel Buds test, because it's a conversation I've had a lot since the Pixel Buds appeared – you actually use Google ? Assistant a lot? Let us know in the comments.

The reason why I wanted to ask that is that I do a lot more with such products, even though my use of OK G is rather low. This is because the Pixel Buds continue to serve as a template for implementing Google Assistant, especially for audio products. This doesn't discredit the new Pixel Buds' improved ability to recognize the hotword – a feature made possible by really good microphones that do a good job of this task, and voice or video calls that are so common these days. Sticking to the area so you can talk to Google Assistant in a controlled way is, in my opinion, the feature that the game always requires. This is because you usually say OK G and just hope that you are not too loud or that the software actually recognizes when you have stopped speaking. Instead, you can press and hold the area, say something, let go, and it's far more accurate than the alternative.

You can also hold down until you hear a chime and release it so that you can read your notifications for you. In this new version, notifications can be set per app, which is very helpful – in my case, it's all about telegrams. The answers are the same as before. When prompted, provide your answer and hope that your voice is received well enough for reading it carefully. Although I wish the push-and-hold feature to be implemented across the Pixel Buds interface, I'm still happy to hear my notifications using this simple method.

Well rounded

So let's just talk about the earphones for a second, because they have been massively improved compared to the last version. The case is an egg. There is not much way to get around this obvious descriptor. It will always be an egg, even if you have a different color, which I find a little strange. That said, the case is pretty minimal and easy to mount anywhere. One thing I'm already enjoying with the Pixel Buds is the support of third-party accessories, like the Nomad leather case, which you may have already noticed. A USB-C port on the bottom is available for charging when you are not using the wireless charging functions. Finally, a button on the lower back can be held down to trigger a pairing mode, which allows you to connect these buds to almost all Bluetooth headphones. The Pixel Buds app is required on smartphones to get the most out of the experience. And with that we can get the actual buds out of the magnetic slots.

You're pretty minimal now, but yes, it looks like you're putting a few mentos in your ears. There are no more cables or uncomfortable earphones – now they are really wireless and the buds have some important functions that make them the most comfortable pairs ever. First of all, the wing tips – these help to keep the buds in the ear without falling out with the slightest vibration. Second, venting, which, like the AirPods Pro, makes it easier for air to enter, reduces the clogged feeling that most earphones give off. The end result is two really light earbuds that basically feel like they're not there. A certain amount of ear fatigue occurs after hours of wearing, although super long wearing times, as I've been told, are not the norm. Well, I'm one of those people and it would take me a couple of hours to take a break.

I am a long wearing user because I like to play something in the background pretty much all the time. So it's good that you can use one bud at a time with the Pixel Buds. And I'm grateful that the same controls are transferred regardless of the bud used. You often get different controls depending on which side you are on. Volume controls are always available by swiping forward or backward, tapping are used to control the playlist and then I've already talked about the Google Assistant controls.

How do they sound? In a word, well. I've played around with a lot of different really wireless earbuds and one thing I've learned is that each person's ears and preferences are different. So let me just explain how I place these earphones in some of the key areas. The main frequencies that are missing are in the lower range, where the bass is not booming as with my Jabra Elite Active 75t and is just below the bass response of the Airpods Pro. That said, even if it doesn't get you to the core, your ears can still perceive them satisfactorily, unlike the Galaxy Buds +, which I think have poorer low-frequency responses. For me, however, voices are a priority for earphones from phone manufacturers, and that is indeed the case with Pixel Buds. For the mids and some heights, I think they are on par with both the Galaxy Buds + and the Airpods Pro.

Achievements still blocked

But you will find that I have only introduced a few different earphones that have something like killer functions. And in these areas, the Pixel Buds are inadequate – it's up to you whether you think Google Assistant is this killer feature, and I think it gets pretty close. However, I hope that some additional features will make it in version 3.

 Pixel Buds test

Features like active noise cancellation that the AirPods Pro and Sony WF1000xM3 can handle so well. The AirPods Pro in particular manage to marry ANC and the air outlet for the best of both worlds. I wish the Pixel Buds had a pass-through function that the Galaxy Buds + and the Jabra Elite 75t have despite the lack of ANC, so that I can speak more easily to people around me when needed. It's questionable which one is more important to me because I like it when things like LoFi are played with pass-through at a low level, so it's like a personal soundtrack for my productivity, but on the other hand it's very useful with a bit of noise cancellation Get calm and zen too.

However, reports are released saying that the Pixel Buds will significantly improve a feature that I think is accidentally overlooked by most users – Adaptive Sound. Since there is no ANC, these buds do not completely prevent the outside world from entering. So if your volume is low enough, you can hear people around you without amplifying the passage. Google hopes to make the microphones smarter so that not only can they decrease or increase the volume depending on the situation like in a library or a subway, but also get them through noticeable notices like a baby crying or a dog barking your attention. That would be a great way to work around the missing additional sound modes, but like many Google products, this feature is on the way and we're all in beta now.

 Pixel Buds review

And finally, despite the convenient wireless charging case and the fact that I can easily turn off earbuds when needed, I wish the battery life would be better. It's not bad to replenish around 5 hours depending on use, but it's simply dwarfed by something like the Galaxy Buds +, which can run for about 10 hours in a row. If you don't agree with a charging time of around 45 minutes, the Pixel Buds are not the best companion for long-haul flights.

Final Thoughts

Summarize Our Pixel Buds Test What The Pixel Buds Did Here The second generation is proof that Google knew the basics to focus on. As with all Google things, the software gets a little more attention, and I think that's fine in this case. ANC and pass-through audio are still considered overfilled features, although they are becoming more common. A great way to interact with Google Assistant is what Big G wanted and sometimes has to accomplish for its audience. However, if you're not such a user, that's fine too, as they're really well-rounded basic earbuds that make sure the Google Assistant doesn't come at an exceptional price. At $ 179, you get great sound, light fit, great controls, and Google Assistant if you want it at a price that undercuts ANC-enabled competitors who may not have a similar fit, feel, or convenience. If you are an Android user in particular and are looking for a good entry into real wireless audio, the Pixel Buds, which offer a good, basic happy medium, are a worthwhile step for the first party in the right direction.

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