When first launched in 2017, Google's original Pixel Buds were somewhat maligned by audiophiles. But the Buds are back in true wireless form, with new technology and an affordable price, announced at today's Made by Google launch event.
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Priced at $179, the Google Pixel Buds are said to be designed with comfort and sound quality in mind. The Buds are said to seal the ear for clear sound and rich bass, but a spacial vent in the bottom of the buds filter through ambient sound. The Buds are always listening: the volume automatically adjusts based on your surroundings, getting louder as you step from a quiet cafe into a busy street.
This clarity is set to extend to calls. Your voice is picked up with beam-forming microphones, while additional 'accelerometers' monitor the movement of your jaw to accurately map your voice, ensuring your call is crystal clear even if, say, you're on a windy bike ride.
The Bluetooth range is long to boot: you can leave your phone in the living room and the Pixel Buds will work from three rooms away, or if outside, the length of a football pitch. In real-world terms, you can leave your phone in your locker in the gym and maintain crystal-clear sound during a workout.
The battery life is a big indicator of Google's plans for the Pixel Buds. They are said to hit 5 hours of consistent listening time on a single charge, extending to 24 hours when using the charging case. For those keeping score, that's exactly the same battery life as Apple's AirPods – and for a comparable price, it's clear Google sees its future flagship headphones as a serious contender to the AirPod's throne.