Google launches its first pair of true wireless earbuds
Google released its first crack at a pair of wireless earphones with the Pixel 3 smartphone series. However, they were received with such indifference at best that no-one expected the OEM to go down this route with peripherals again. Conversely, however, the Buds were back in town with this year's hardware launch event.
This time, the Pixel Buds are a pair of truly wireless earbuds. Google claims that their internals are so intricately co-ordinated and aligned that this has resulted in an exceptionally compact iteration of this form-factor. Indeed, the Buds did appear to avoid sticking very far from the user's ear in their launch demos, as some of its competitors admittedly do.
Rick Osterloh, the head of Pixel design at Google, put this phenomenon down to a need to accommodate a decent battery capacity in other wireless earphones. However, despite their own apparent size, the new Buds are slated to deliver 5 hours of battery life. Like many products of their kind, they can slot into a charging case, which in this instance gives up to 24 hours more on-time. Unlike most of these devices, this one can also charge wirelessly.
The Pixel Buds retain the voice-call, instant translation features and Google Assistant integration of their predecessors. However, Google asserts that either bud is fitted out with its own chipset, which enables the use of the latter that is completely independent of a paired device. These new wearables are also associated with an extended wireless tethering range, and yet can be easily found if lost using a connected phone.
On that note, these new Google accessories are designed to pair with a device of its own brand with one tap; however, they are also compatible with any Android or iOS phone with Bluetooth 4.0 or above. The new true wireless earbuds come in 4 different colorways: Clearly White, Nearly Black, Quite Mint and Oh So Orange. The Mountain View company has revealed that they will cost US$179; however, these Pixel Buds will not be available until some as-yet undefined point in 2020.