Dominating the software world wasn’t enough, for the Tech giant had to invade the hardware sector and that too with utmost glam! At its annual hardware event, Google came up with pretty decent range of hardware, ranging from its exclusive Pixel phones to Pixelbooks and the notorious Pixel Buds.
The Google branded earbuds feature gesture controls, including swipes or touches to switch songs, answer phone calls, or adjust volume levels. Added to that, they are around the neck wireless earplugs and somehow resemble the Apple AirPods. Like Apple they have kicked out the headphone jack on their new phones, hence it only makes sense to introduce a pair of wireless headphones.
Even the price is quite the same as the Apple AirPods, around $159. However, this is where the similarities come to an end and the river of differences pops up!
Coming in three colors; black, blue and white, the earbuds have their own matching charging cases. While the black and blue ones will ship in six to seven weeks according to Google store, the white ones are out of stock! Charged with a 620 mAh battery case using USB-C port, the buds can be powered multiple times, providing up to 24 hours of listening time.
Unlike the AirPods, the Pixel buds don’t really give the snug fitting which wards off all the surrounding sounds. Rather they fit, placed against the ear, not in the ear. Hence not a good choice for those who wish to have maximum sound quality. However, the fit is adjustable, not something you are to find in AirPods. The cloth cord that connects the two earbuds can actually slide up through a loop in each bud to slip into the folds of your ear.
Controls and Connectivity
Compared to the AirPods the Pixel Buds have more controls and connecting them is much easier than other Bluetooth headphones. Apart from the Pixel phones, the Pixel headphones can be connected to other Assistant-enabled Android devices. Fast pairing feature allows connecting with Android N or higher. However certain features are exclusive only to Pixel Phones. The touchpad on the right Pixel bud allows you access to a number of control features unlike the AirPods where the functionality is quite limited. You can tap to play and pause music, double tap to read out notifications, and more importantly, swipe across them to adjust volume — but only on the right one.
Among the features exclusive only to the pixel phones, the Translation feature is attention grabbing. According to Google the buds are capable of real-time translation. An idea quite catchy but hardly ever duly offered by any tech company.
The idea is that you can tap and hold on the Pixel Buds, speak, and then the translated speech will come out of your Pixel phone’s speakers. The person you’re talking to speaks back into the phone, and you hear them in your native language.
The buds like the AirPods give you immediate access to the company’s digital assistant without taking out your phone.
Considering all the above listed features it’s hard to tell which one is better, especially since we haven’t had the proper feel of the Pixel Buds. Time would reveal if the features promised by Google are really that savvy. Till then grab the buds and try experimenting with the features, we too will see how do they cater and live up to the Tech Giant’s name.