Wireless earbuds are the piece of tech to use only for your smartphone, the absolute most. And you know the feeling of when you forget your headphones at home. From phone calls to music, they keep entertained you and connected while on the go. And the good ones, they do it without feeling like extra bulk.
Google Pixel Buds 2 is a speech bubble-shaped, in earbud, with a flexible in-ear arc thing coming off the top, that are now available in clear white for $179, and almost black, white mint, and also orange coming later, says Google.
The Pixel buds 2 pop into the oval matte finish case with a magnetic click. And that pop of opening and closing the case. Pairing them to a Pixel 4 is so as easy as flipping open the lid and tapping the notification that pops up on the top. Of course, like any Bluetooth device, you can also manually pair them to something else. It’s much thinner than an egg. You can even slot it into a coin pocket and despite that small footprint.
Pixel Buds 2 has the deepest possible level of integration with Google Assistant. That means you can use them for things like real-time language translation. In terms of design, these buds are really feeling solid, they look great, and they don’t come out even when taking off a sweatshirt, or biking, or dancing, or even chewing. They are truly not moving. And they are IPX4 water-resistant, so you can feel safe wearing them in light rain or while working out.
Overall it’s a huge improvement from the last model of Pixel Buds. These buds fit really securely in your ear. Let’s get right into sound quality. Pixel Buds 2 has 12mm drivers that provide really good audio quality. There’s no active noise cancellation to block outside noise. And if you’ve worn in-ear headphones before, these block out sound in the same way by physically blocking your ear canal. The vent works really well on these though so your ear doesn’t feel like it’s being suctioned. There is also a feature called adaptive sound. Google claims the Pixel Buds 2 can optimize volume levels based on the environment around you.
It packs a battery big enough to recharge the buds more than four times before the case itself needs a top-up. When you do recharge, you can do it through an included USB-C cable or with a Qi wireless charging pad, and LEDs on both interior and exterior tell you the charge status, and Google claims the Pixel Buds 2 can get around 5 hours of music listening time and 2.5 hours of talk time on a single charge. Also, the case can fast-charge. Google says in 10 minutes of charging, you’ll get two hours of listening time. The Pixel Buds Case gets you another 24 hours of listening time and around 12 hours of talk time. And a ten-minute charge in the case will give you about two hours of additional listening time.
Pixel Buds have their own app that is very minimal, and it includes a find your device feature, adaptive sound, in-ear detection toggles, and touch control settings. You can swipe for volume, menu tap to skip tracks, or confirm commands. Also like some other earbuds, these know when they’re in your ear and when they’re out, and they’re quite good at pausing playback when you take them out and resuming when you put them back in.