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Google Pixel Buds hands-on

Posted: , by John V.

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Trends seem to be rampant in the mobile space, not only in the smartphones and other horde of mobile devices out there, but in the complementing accessories as well. The latest one to enter the ever-growing wireless headphone space is none other than Google, who has earned some acclaim with its efforts in audio with its Google Home speaker. With the Google Pixel Buds, though, it's not only aiming to compete against offerings from Apple and Samsung, but it's going beyond with one intriguing new feature.

We spent a little bit of time checking out the new Pixel Buds, which wowed everyone when they demoed off its real-time translating feature – more on that later! As for the design of the Pixel Buds, it's apparent that Google favors a more natural design language, much like what we see in its other products like the Google Home Mini and 2nd generation Daydream View headset. It starts with a fabric-wrapped chord that connects the two earbuds. While the material feels soft and comfortable for everyday use, it'll be interesting to see how it handles the needs of fitness junkies, especially sweat moisture.

Speaking of that, the earbuds themselves are molded to fit snuggly into the ear, but we're curious to see how well it stays in place with rigorous movements. Yes, there's a rubbery surface towards the ends of both earbuds, but usually these "wings" we see in other headsets help to keep them firmly in place. And due to the chord itself, which can't be adjusted in length to reduce it from flapping around while it's worn, it's helping to deliver what's arguably the longest-lasting battery life in its class. That's the case because unlike the other "true wireless" options out there, the chord here with the Pixel Buds means the two are communicating via the wired connection – as opposed to wireless. 

Google Pixel Buds hands-on
Google Pixel Buds hands-on
Google Pixel Buds hands-on


Showing off more of that natural look and design, the case accompanying the Pixel Buds can easily be mistaken for an ordinary case, due to its fabric material and hollow feel, but they also help to charge them as well. Now, due to the noisy conditions at the event space, it was really tough determining the audio quality of the earbuds – so we're eager to hear what they sound like. More importantly, though, the Pixel Buds will have the ability to perform real-time translation between 40 different languages. If it's able to do it in a way that's intuitive and accurate, it might revolutionize the way we communicate with others who speak a different language.

Undeniably, the Pixel Buds have a lot to offer beyond just listening to music. And at $159, it's not only undercutting most of the competition out there, but it might signal a new revolution in how we communicate with others.

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