it possible to interact with the mobile without taking it out of your pocket at all? With Pixel Buds, the Google Assistant goes straight to your ears, and you’re getting a little closer to it.
With just a few taps on these wireless headphones or by asking directly with your voice, it is possible to make calls, play songs, read notifications and answer WhatsApp messages.
Pairing the headphones is a breeze. You just have to open the case, activate the smartphone’s Bluetooth and press a notification that automatically pops up on the screen. Pixel Buds are discreet and quite comfortable.
They come with three pads of different sizes for each user to choose which ones fit them best. Google claims to have analyzed thousands of ears to prevent the headphones from falling off when putting on a hat, taking off a jacket or wearing earrings.
The headphones have a small silicone bow designed to prevent them from moving, but which can be a bit annoying after wearing them for hours at a time.
The Pixel Buds, which cost 199 euros and are resistant to water and sweat, offer high-quality sound. They detect when you have them on and when you take them off.
When you do, the audio stops automatically and when you put them back on, it picks up where you left off. It is missing that they include noise cancellation. When wearing them, the ambient sound is slightly heard, so it is possible to be aware of what is happening around you but impossible to achieve a totally immersive experience.
In addition, it has an adaptive sound function that adjusts the volume if it detects that the environment changes from quiet to noisy or vice versa to avoid having to constantly turn it up and down. This option, which is activated from the Pixel Buds application and only works when the background noise is continuous, can be especially useful when using public transport.
The headphones have two microphones designed to reduce background noise and pick up your voice clearly. They also have a voice accelerometer that detects jaw vibrations to know when you are speaking. The goal is for calls to sound clear even in noisy or windy environments. For example, when running or cycling.
Sound pickup is also especially important when interacting with the Google Assistant. To do this, simply invoke it with an “Ok, Google” or press and hold one of the headphones and, after hearing a beep, ask for an order or launch a question. “Start a video call with mom on Skype” or “what’s on my schedule tomorrow?” These are just some of the questions that the assistant answers.
It also warns of notifications. Read the emails that come to the phone or WhatsApp texts. It does not play the recordings that another user sends, but it does describe each emoticon: from the “happy tears” to the “pensive face” to the “nerd face”.
Mention the most recent messages first and indicate who sent them. “Do you want to answer?” He asks immediately. If the answer is yes, it is possible to record a voice message. The Pixel Buds repeat what they have understood so that the user gives their approval before sending it.
In addition to reading messages, the assistant also reports the weather or calendar events and plays music on Spotify. The wizard understands most user requests, but a bit of fluency is missing. Its weak point is the dictation of email addresses. Nor is it entirely correct when asking you to send a WhatsApp to a specific contact.
Like headphones like the LG Tone Free, the AirPods or the Galaxy Buds +, the Pixel Buds have touch controls that work properly. One touch plays or pauses an audio or answers a call. With two, it goes from song or hangs up.
With three, he goes to the previous track. One of the remarkable features of these headphones is that they allow you to raise and lower the volume by simply sliding a finger forward or backward on its touch surface.
An interpreter in real time. “Ok Google, help me speak Japanese.” With this command it is possible to convert the assistant into an interpreter, which can be especially useful if you are abroad.
But to start translating, you need to unlock your phone and have Google translator installed. Then just press and hold the headset for the assistant to transcribe the audio and translate it in real time.
Five hours of playback. Pixel Buds are stored in a case that works as a cover and a charging station. It’s white so it can get a bit dirty, and small so it fits in any pocket. Allows up to five hours of playtime on a single charge and 24 hours with the case.
In the app it is possible to check the battery level of the case and of each of the headphones separately. A curious fact is that they are not downloaded equally even if they are used at the same time.
Conclusion. The first fully wireless headphones from Google have a minimalist and attractive design and offer good quality sound. For those who usually use the Google assistant, the Pixel Buds can be very useful on a day-to-day basis.
For example, to carry out actions without taking your mobile out of your pocket when going down the street. One of the drawbacks is that they lack noise cancellation. In addition, with an iPhone the functionalities are quite limited, since you can not use the assistant or download the application from the headphones.