Google Pixel Buds review: Higher expectations, greater disappointment – Hardware reviews

Google Pixel Buds review: Higher expectations, greater disappointment - Hardware reviews

I’ve now been utilizing the primary pair of headphones from Google for over a month now. Based on Google, these Assistant-equipped headphones can assist you converse different languages. Sounds good proper? We’ll focus on whether or not they stored their guarantees. Spoiler: from the title, you’ll be able to already think about the way it ended…


  • Fast connection to Google smartphones
  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • Trendy carrying case with 24h of built-in battery
  • Capability to hearken to notifications


  • Non-functional and cumbersome real-time translation
  • Sound high quality below tone
  • Uncomfortable to put on for lengthy durations
  • Contact too delicate
  • Tough to make use of in noisy environments

Launch date and worth

Within the US, the Google Pixel Buds can be found for $159. I personally discovered the value tag fairly excessive, as a result of lack of construct high quality and audio, in addition to the restricted options.

 The Pixel Buds in black / © AndroidPIT

There are three colours obtainable: Simply Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue. We acquired the black ones to check.

Design and construct high quality

The Pixel Buds case appears actually spectacular. On the surface the case has a cloth end just like the Google House and Daydream View, and to the contact it’s a lot softer. The closure is magnetic and hides the dear earphones in a form of black rubberized plastic.

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At first look, the case is just like the Google House Mini / © AndroidPIT

Try to be cautious to roll and place your Pixel buds as much as permit the case to shut, to forestall any put on or injury to the ear buds and to cost them. The truth is, Google even locations a sticker contained in the case to point out you easy methods to do it.

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Thanks for the directions, Google! / © AndroidPIT

The headphones have a pleasant round design. What I didn’t like was the plastic materials which felt low cost and as if they may very well be simply broken. The cable nonetheless, is an efficient high quality braided cable, which matches by the headphones to type a hoop that should be adjusted to your ears to forestall them from falling,

At first, I believed this was a good suggestion, however then after just a few hours utilizing it I discovered it annoying, on account of having no locking mechanism which causes the ring to shrink which may be uncomfortable. That is a part of the explanation for storing the headphones in a selected option to stop the discount in dimension.

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The outer piece of the headphones / © AndroidPIT

The Pixel Buds have an open design (the in model of AirPods, with out rubber) and require that you just modify settings on the suitable earphone, because of this these headphones have been uncomfortable and took loads of time to get used to. Pushing the headset an excessive amount of into the ear canal is just not a pleasing sensation, and sadly urgent the bodily instructions may cause this. The contact floor may be very delicate, and also you’ll typically end up having to cease the music to regulate the settings to the way you want them. In addition to this, the headphones don’t disable contact when not in use, and there aren’t any different methods to change the headphones off till they’re again within the case.

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They’re recharged by way of a USB type-C port / © AndroidPIT


Particular options

There aren’t any apps for the administration of Pixel Buds. The headphone settings are solely accessible from Google Assistant, which I believe is an efficient factor. Within the settings we are able to see if the headphones are related to the smartphone, the battery degree and a little bit extra data that you wouldn’t be capable of see in any other case.

With a ahead or backward swipe on the suitable earpiece, you’ll be able to management the amount. Holding your finger down, you’ll be in direct contact with Assistant, which may be very fast. There is no such thing as a lag between the contact of the headset and the start of the voice assistants listening. Contact the headset, speak, and launch as soon as the command is full. Its that straightforward!

With a double faucet, Assistant will let you recognize when you have any notifications out of your cellphone, and this for my part is the very best factor on the Pixel Buds. When you’ve tried this characteristic, you’ll surprise why different headphones aren’t capable of do it. I didn’t put the headphones again within the field for nearly every week due to this.

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Screenshot taken throughout setup / © AndroidPIT

Sadly there isn’t any option to change between audio tracks if you don’t ask Google Assistant. This downside is that not everybody feels comfy repeating “subsequent monitor, subsequent monitor, subsequent monitor” in entrance of strangers.

Translation in actual time

Essentially the most attention-grabbing perform of the Pixel Buds is sadly, is its most disappointing: the interpretation in actual time.

This is the way it ought to work: first ask google for a translation along with your smartphone in your hand and this can be translated to your chosen language and browse aloud from the smartphone. I used to be anticipating this to be the case with the Pixel Buds.

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Pairing with Google Pixel is straightforward / © AndroidPIT

The issue is that they use the Google Translate software already put in in your Pixel (the characteristic is simply obtainable on Google Pixel smartphones). I really feel that the Pixel Buds pose an extra barrier to an already embarrassing dialog between two folks.

The identical consequence may be achieved along with your smartphone alone, while not having the extra gear, and seen because the headphones can solely be used with Pixel smartphones, the characteristic is just about ineffective to everybody else.

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The outcomes of the translations after all rely upon how effectively the smartphone understands the sentences, more often than not it may be fairly inaccurate.

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Translate perform has been obtainable on Google for a very long time, with out the necessity for headphones / © AndroidPIT 

It’s higher than nothing although. However we’re nonetheless removed from with the ability to talk in numerous languages simply by sporting headphones. As spectacular as this characteristic sounded, they aren’t sensible in actual life.


Any low-cost pair of headphones will convey you an identical audio high quality. Google headsets don’t isolate from exterior sounds and should not have a noise cancelling know-how. Pixel Buds use essentially the most basic AAC on Bluetooth four.2.

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In the event you’re searching for prime quality headphones, look elsewhere / © AndroidPIT

The microphones are wonderful and incorporate the now well-known “OK Google” hotword. Even the instructions given to the headphones are acquired with no issues, supplied it’s to not noisy the place you might be. I had problem utilizing the voice instructions in crowded locations.


The Pixel Buds battery is 120 mAh. Google claims that you could get 5 hours out of the battery life however in actuality, you’ll solely be capable of get four hours out of them. Happily. The case has a further 620 mAh which ought to assure you a little bit over 20 hours of complete use.

The charging is by way of a USB Sort-C cable and the headphones can solely be charged inside. With 10 minutes of charging, you could possibly use the headphones for an additional hour.

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The headphones cost as soon as the case is closed / © AndroidPIT


Last verdict

These headphones are worthy rivals to the Apple AirPods, with superior translation options and expectations have been very excessive. Evidently Google didn’t have a transparent concept of which viewers these headphones have been for, and because of this there was a combination of poor high quality and disappointment.

They aren’t meant for listening to music, as there aren’t controls for switching between tracks, and they don’t have the audio high quality that you just’d anticipate. They aren’t meant for joggers or bodily exercise because the cable absorbs sweat and don’t sit securely on the ear.

Who’re these headphones for then? It’s troublesome to say. The one appropriate use that got here to my thoughts is sitting within the workplace, in relative silence along with your smartphone at hand round individuals who don’t thoughts you speaking to Google Assistant always. In the event you don’t thoughts spending this sum of money for a pair of headphones which might be ineffective outdoors of your private home or workplace, then you definately is perhaps pleased with the Pixel Buds.


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