Really very good TWS earbuds

It is believed that the most iconic headphones for your iPhone are AirPods. Well, just because Apple makes them. What about the Google Pixel Buds? That they are canonical for Android? Let’s explore them. Note that these headphones are called that way: Google Pixel Buds. There are no twos or TWS abbreviations here!

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Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Design

This is the smallest box of TWS headphones I have ever seen:

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

A kind of cheerful minimalism.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

You will find a small and any case in the complete set, a set of interchangeable ear pads, a USB Type-C – Type-A cable for charging and a little waste paper. Everything is impeccable:

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

I really liked the case. It is matte, smooth. There are no inscriptions on it, and you don’t pay much attention to the button. It is also small and very light – 67 grams, including headphones.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

The case can be easily opened with one hand – the pad of your finger perfectly grips the matte surface. But if you decide to shake the inverted case, then the headphones in it will scatter in all directions – for Meizu POP, for example, the case will not even open from such manipulations.

The headphones themselves are located inside the case. However, there are several colour versions: mint, black, orange and white. In this case, the case will always be of the same colour:

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I was lucky: Big Geek got us exactly the white version, which, in my opinion, looks very organic compared to others.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Convenience

We take out the headphones and see the main object of criticism: the fin resting against the ear. At first, I did not understand him – he irritated my ear, interfering with listening to music.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

Then I somehow managed to contrive and insert the headphones quickly and without any discomfort. True, in this position, I still did not understand why this very fin is needed if it does not touch the ear in any way.

By the way, I love the way these headphones look in your ears. Such fresh points are direct. Very modern. Pass, Google!

But there is also a fly in the ointment: the first time you will not remember how to put the headphones in the case correctly. I more or less began to get used to it only after five days of constant use.

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The new Pixel Buds have IPX4 water resistance. That is, you can run in them. It should be noted that any talk about the convenience of earbuds and plugs is purely subjective. Just because they fit me well does not mean they will suit you.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Working with Android

Headphones connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0. Technically, you can leave everything as it is. However, these are the canon headphones for Android! Therefore, there is a Pixel Buds app. It’s pretty simple:

Of the interesting things: headphones can start reading aloud to you all the notifications that come to your smartphone. To do this, you will need to hold your finger on any of the headphones for a while.

Here the mechanized voice of the headphones informed me that two notifications had arrived. It sounds like this:

“Now it is 16 hours 51 minutes. Notification from Google and VK apps.

Google: Use Bluetooth device. You can make calls and use other functions via a Bluetooth device even if your smartphone is locked.

VK: Yan Dashevsky: “I should have removed it and you would not have noticed anything.”

Google Headphones

But here’s the problem: the screen must be unlocked. Due to this peculiarity, I cannot think of a scenario for using this function.

By the way, the Android player attached to the notification item does not read.

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Google Pixel EarBuds Review

Google Assistant functions do not work in some countries, so this menu item is not interesting. Adaptive volume is a dubious thing. According to the description of some reviewers, it resembles the adaptive volume of the media system in cars, but if you’ve heard this thing, then you know that it does not normally work anywhere. In my headphones, she didn’t do anything.

Fun function “Find device”. But how you will hear this quiet squeak of a lost earpiece is unknown. Plus, the right earpiece squeaked for some reason much quieter than the left.

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Also, for some reason, the Smart Pause function is not enabled by default, which pauses the music when you take out the earphone and starts the music again when the earphone is in your ear. It’s top-notch, but the headphones sometimes get out of sync when you take out one of them.

There were some oddities. For some reason, when working with Android, the headphones have a separate phone volume and the headphones themselves. You adjust the music volume on the phone and headphones separately – and these are two different volumes!

This was done, apparently, because of any notifications. For example, the headphones make a sound when turned on. And if they are turned on at your maximum, and the volume of the smartphone is low, then at that moment, you can become deaf from the notification of the headphones.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Working with iOS

You connect your headphones via Bluetooth. There is no application, and since “Smart Pause” will not be available to you by default, so for the normal operation, I still recommend connecting the headphones to your Android smartphone.

On iOS, you won’t change the Pixel Buds firmware, but the volume control is universal: I swiped the right earpiece with my finger, and the volume turned up on the phone. This is much more convenient than the option that Android offers.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

Switching

My Google Pixel Buds remember both connected smartphones. Automatically connect to exactly the device where they played before. Switching to another device is as easy as shelling pears: go to the Bluetooth settings and select the headphones.

If there is no device next to which the headphones were connected earlier, the headphones will automatically connect to another paired one. In this case, you do not need to disable anything.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Battery

The battery is especially worth praising. Google promises us 5 hours of headphone operation and 24 hours with the case. I feel like it is – I have been using the Pixel Buds all the time for a week and have never connected the case to a charger.

But there is also to scold for what: I do not know the case’s charge level. By the blinking yellow light, I can assume that it is sitting down, but even in the Pixel Buds Android application, information about the case cannot be found.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Sound

Google doesn’t give any audio specs for the Pixel Buds. We only know one fact about the headphones: 12mm drivers are installed here. How exactly they were installed in such a small headphone case, the weight of each of which is 5.3 grams, I do not know.

Google Pixel EarBuds Review

We don’t know about the supported codecs either. But it’s worth saying that most people won’t hear the difference between SBS, aptX, aptX HD and AAC. Moreover, according to my experience, many even have no idea how they differ and better.

So I’ll say this: These Google Pixel Buds sound really good. They have a relatively balanced sound, where the lows slightly prevail over the rest of the frequencies. But most people like this move, so you will like it too.

I’ve listened to them in rock. The “universal” Blood On Blood, which I check every headphone, has opened up very well.

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I have not experienced a problem with the perception of musical instruments. Dustin Kenjru’s voice is not overshadowed by powerful, overdriven bass. However, there is a very big “but”: the harp sounds very plain. This leads to the fact that the moment, which should, in a good way, blow up the brain, does not work.

But overall I liked the character of the song in these headphones. 

The bass is very cool. I physically feel my ears vibrate from the frequencies sent out by the headphones. The vocals don’t fail for him, and I can clearly hear Machine Gun Kelly’s flow. The hi-hat also stays in place, sounding somewhere to the right.

We will listen to contemporary academic music represented by Kirill Richter, who took part in the Hermitage. Shot with iPhone. 

Here I personally lacked the top and airiness of the violin. But these are questions, rather, for the composition’s information – it itself sounds extremely chamber.

Conversation

It seems that due to the shape of these headphones, it is not possible to speak on them. However, I talked to people both through regular communication and through various messengers. They heard me, and there were no problems with my perception. I think this is a victory.

Simultaneously, in one of the conversations I was walking very quickly down the street, a strong wind was blowing in my face. And the interlocutor did not hear the wind at all. Tell me what kind of magic?

Google Pixel EarBuds Review: Outcome

In the United States, they ask for $ 179 before taxes. And that’s a great price for these headphones. Despite many shortcomings, such as the many features that made the Google Pixel Buds difficult, or the not always interesting and catchy sound, I would buy them for that kind of money.

I think that for consumer headphones without noise reduction, this is too high a price. Not because they are not worth the money, no. Even spending that kind of money, you will be pleased with it. Unless, of course, they suit you in shape. But I don’t know how to justify a 2–2.5-fold increase in cost.

But in general, I want to summarize: these are excellent TWS headphones. Pass, Google!

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