When Google revealed its new Pixels earlier this year, it made a tacit statement: The age of headphone jacks on smartphones is over. So, what's a diehard Google-phone fan to do? Buy Google's new wireless earbuds -- in theory, at least. Several leaks ensured we knew they were coming, but the Pixel Buds were still a surprise because they emphasized functionality over convenience. Obviously, you can listen to music with them, but you can also sift through notifications and translate languages on the fly. Still, despite lots of potential, Google's Pixel Buds just don't live up to the hype.
Since Google's new Pixel smartphones don't have headphone jacks, the company's decision to make a pair of wireless earbuds was only logical. Unfortunately, the Pixel Buds could still use some work. In fairness, they sound better than Apple's AirPods, the translation feature works fine most of the time. It's just too bad that finagling the Buds into their charging case is inconvenient, and that the touch controls are easy to accidentally activate. We also experienced strange hiccups with Google Assistant that detracted from other pleasant performance. Ultimately, Google's first attempt at wireless earbuds show signs of promise but still feel like a $159 experiment.