When Google’s Pixel Buds first came out in 2017, Google was just getting into the hardware game. They’ve learned a lot since then, and the second generation Pixel Buds show that Google is ready to be a player. And they’ll need to be considering all the competition that’s out there.
Priced at $179, the second generation Google Pixel Buds are truly wireless. They closely resemble the first generation—minus the wires. They sit comfortably in your ears without drawing a lot of attention to themselves. They also have a soft “stabiliser arc” that serves to anchor the buds in your ears for a more secure fit. Google also included a venting system to help prevent the “plugged ear” feeling. Those vents also mean that there’s no active noise cancellation on the Pixel Buds. As for performance, Google also improved the sound quality for this next generation. The buds use custom-designed 12mm drivers, which offer plenty of quality and range. The case is oblong and white, but it does offer charging and has indicator lights to show when the buds are charged.
One interesting feature is the way that the buds use energy. What you’ll find is that one of the earbuds could potentially run out of juice before its counterpart. But that’s expected. A Google spokesperson explained to The Verge that, “Because the two earbuds serve different functions at different times to maximize battery, one earbud may consume more battery than the other. The algorithm monitors the state on both earbuds and can switch either earbud to support more power-hungry functions, while intelligently prioritising high-quality connectivity and playback performance. On voice calls, the algorithm is more conservative to avoid any dropped audio. So while a difference may be noticeable after a long call, if you switch to streaming audio or other functions after, you will likely see the battery level out.”