We’ve embraced the TWS form factor here on THL for its convenience and, in some cases, surprisingly strong sound quality you can take on the go. Google made a later entry into this market with their first revision Pixel Buds. Unfortunately, that model experienced a rather difficult start due to its antiquated design and subpar sound quality. Google has since completely revamped their awkward design with the new Pixel Buds. The 2nd generation Pixel buds possess a very svelte design that is, to me, one of the most appealing on the market.
The 2020 Pixel buds are available from Google AU for $279 AUD.
New Design Inside & Out
The 2020 Pixel Buds welcome a fully wireless design, cutting the cord between the two earpieces. They are distinctly mentos-esque for sure, but compact, stable-fitting and super clean in design as one would expect from the minimalist tech giant. The earpieces boast a 12mm custom dynamic driver alongside a large aperiodic vent that relieves pressure on the eardrum. This enables the Pixel Buds to pump out a pleasantly balanced and spacious sound but with a nice, dynamic bass that I’m sure will find fans.
Their vented design is very much reminiscent of Apple’s Airpods Pros, serving to increase wearing comfort by minimising pressure in the ear. Not only does this function as a sort of side-tone during phone calls, it also makes them very suitable for runners and commuters – making it easier to maintain situational awareness and removing that deafening “thump” from every footstep.
Deep Android Integration
The earbuds offer 5-hours of music runtime(2.5 hrs call) in addition to BT5.0. Users will Pixel devices running Android 6.0+ will enjoy instant pairing and a baked-in app to adjust settings and gestures. The case features wireless charging and offers up to 24-hrs of listening time with quick charge support on top. The earpieces feature 2 beam-forming microphones assisted by in-built gyro and accelerometers to better localise sound and isolate the speaker’s voice from ambient noise.
I’ve been spending some time with the new Pixel Buds and will be writing a full review shortly. Expect more in-depth sound breakdown and comparisons to market leaders. My initial impressions have mirrored my experience with Google’s smartphones – they may not bring the most feature-rich experience but nail the fundamentals with a level of refinement that you won’t find listed on the spec sheet.