Google Pixel Buds are finally ready to hit the market in the US, marking Google’s entry into the true wireless earphones segment. After the runaway success of the Apple AirPods range of true wireless earphones, the segment has seen many entrants, from well known audio brands like Bose and Sennheiser, to small companies you’ve never heard of. Google announced its own product in the true wireless segment back in October 2019 — the new Google Pixel Buds. After months of being in development even after the announcement, the new Google Pixel Buds have finally gone on sale in the US, priced at $179 (approximately Rs. 13,700). The new true wireless earphones are available in only a single colour option for now — Clearly White.
At this price, the earphones square up against the second-generation Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds+. The new Pixel Buds were launched alongside the Google Pixel 4 series of smartphones, as well as other products in the laptop, IoT, and smart speaker segments. The new Pixel Buds are the successor to 2017’s first-generation version, which had a cable connecting the two earpieces.
A key feature of the new Google Pixel Buds is hands-free access to Google Assistant. Like on smart speakers, the Google Pixel Buds have always-on microphones that are listening for the wake commands – usually ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ – to control music, get information, reply to messages, or hear notifications. The earphones also boast of fast pairing, better performance on calls, adaptive sound, and real-time language translation, among other features.
For now, the new Google Pixel Buds are only available in the US through select online and offline retailers. Google has stated that the product will be launched in a few more countries, but India isn’t on this list. The company’s hardware products haven’t seen much success in India, with Google announcing soon after the launch that the Pixel 4 series won’t be available in India.