In April 2020, we first reviewed the second-generation true wireless model of the Google Pixel Buds. At the time, I was impressed with the tight integration with Android devices, stable sound quality, and reliable control.
But my review was written just a few days later using earphones. It is usually long enough to make a useful evaluation, but the impression of the product can change over the course of long-term use.
For the Pixel Buds, my impression is just getting better. Ten months later, I fell in love with them even more. And it says a lot. I can try a lot of true wireless headphones in this job.
For Android users, these are my go-to recommendations unless active noise canceling is absolutely necessary. Here are some of the reasons.
They sound pretty good, especially with bass boost
Audiophile Im believes that sound quality is very important when choosing earphones. In many cases, you will be willing to sacrifice functionality and ease of use to improve sound quality. Thankfully, with the Pixel Buds, Im doesn’t sacrifice much.
I thought the earphones sounded pretty good at launch, but over time I felt that the bass of the earphones was a bit tamed in some types of music. Thankfully, a few months after its launch, Google added an EQ option. This allows you to raise the bass level and increase the impact.
I wish I had a more robust EQ option, but I sincerely hope that the Pixel Buds are one of the most neutral and true wireless earphones I’ve heard right out of the box.
Best control of earphones
After testing a new pair of earphones, the first thing I do is solve the controls in a puzzle. Many of them are tedious and confusing. None of the earphones we’ve tested so far have come close to the ease and reliability of the Pixel Buds when it comes to touch controls.
The Pixel Buds has a large, responsive touch surface that allows you to swipe up and down the volume, tap two or three times to skip and rewind, and more. Can be executed.
Of course, you can also play with a single tap and pause, or press and hold to call the assistant.
Even better, each input has its own immediate audible chime. This provides immediate feedback to ensure that you’ve actually performed the intended action, without the need for clunky voice alerts on other headphones.
Pixel Buds ignores unknown input and has its own error chime to avoid erroneous commands.
If you use only one earphone, it works the same
One of my biggest pet pees with true wireless earphones is when the company doesn’t offer the same functionality on both the left and right units. The number of headphones that suffer from this annoying limitation is ridiculous.
In most of the true wireless headphones I’ve tested, at least some controls are dedicated to one earphone. In many cases, you can only turn up the volume to skip tracks on one earphone and turn down the volume to rewind the track on the other earphone. Also, even if the controls are customizable, both earphones rarely have access to the exact same set of controls.
This is annoying as I often use only one earphone at a time. For example, when I’m riding a bicycle. It is technically illegal to use two earphones while biking in New York and I would like to maintain awareness of my surroundings.
Many headphones have an ambient or transparent mode that helps you use the microphone to hear the world around you, but it becomes useless at higher speeds due to wind noise. What’s more, using one earphone sounds more natural to me, and no one needs a stereo for audiobooks or phones.
In fact-useful Google Assistant integration
Unlike other earphones, the Pixel Buds records audio only while you hold the earphone and reacts immediately after you release it.
On most other earphones, calling an assistant means pressing a button for 2 seconds to execute a query and waiting for a nasty pause while the assistant decides if he has asked a question. This may sound like a small detail, but there is little difference between using the assistant daily with the Pixel Buds and using it with other headphones.
Even better, the Pixel Buds are one of the few earphones with hotword detection. Google or just google saying it’s okay will launch the assistant almost as surely as a long press (I sometimes have to shout it when riding a bike). This means you can turn up the volume, skip tracks, check notifications, reply to messages, and search for information when your hands are busy cooking or langling your pet. ..
They are comfortable
Each person has their own ears, but the Pixel Buds are one of the smallest and most comfortable True Wireless earphones I’ve tested. It is one of the few earphones. Listening to audiobooks and white noise at bedtime makes it comfortable to use, allows you to fall asleep, and can be worn all day without any major discomfort.
They are also one of the few earphones that use a silicone chip that fits my girlfriend’s ears.Small and comfortable, but stays firmly in your ear during training
Bonus: The charging case is small and out of the way in your pocket. Many of my other favorite earphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort earphones and the Sony WF-1000XM3, come in a laughably large charging case that stands out awkwardly in jeans.
They have also proven to be extremely durable. I lost more time with them than I can count on their cases, and they are working hard together.
They got better over time
We thanked the Pixel Buds for the original review, but like many Pixel products, they have improved over time. There’s the bass EQ mentioned above, and a smart attention alert that turns down the volume when it detects a particular sound.
Aside from the new features, the connection stability and assistant responsiveness also seem to have improved with the update. Google tends to be good at adding new features to the hardware over time, and we hope this trend continues with the Pixel Buds.
In the end, my impression of the Pixel Buds is almost the same as it was after the first review, and it’s just amplified. I’ve heard earphones that sound a little better, last a little longer, or have some features, but the Android market has the exact same cocktail of comfort, ease of use, sound quality, reliability, and voice. Is unique. assistance.
If Google can find a way to add noise canceling to the Pixel Buds, they’re almost perfect. We hope that Pixel Buds Gen3 or a particularly ambitious software update will make that happen.
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Published February 15, 2021 — 23:03 UTC
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