Google's overhauled Pixel Buds are on sale across the web right now. B&H Photo and Best Buy have the true wireless earbuds for $159 right now, which is $20 off their normal price and the lowest we've seen them since last year's holiday season. If you're an Android devotee, now's a good opportunity to upgrade to the 2020 version of the Pixel Buds, which proved to be leaps and bounds better than the original model.
These are Google's answer to Apple's AirPods and they have many similar features. As with AirPods, you only need to flip open the Pixel Buds' case to pair them with your Android phone and the connection notification will show you battery indicators for both buds and the charging case.
While the original Pixel Buds were wired, these are wireless and have a more comfortable, secure fit. They're also IPX4 rated, meaning they'll withstand contact with sweat while you're working out. Sound quality is solid and we like the reliable touch controls on both buds that let you easily play/pause, skip and adjust volume.
While the Pixel Buds have stiff competition from the likes of Sony, Jabra and others, they really shine when it comes to hands-free Google Assistant access. They consistently pick up voice commands, and you do have the option to summon the Assistant by pressing and holding either earbud if you wish. We also liked Google's real-time language translation feature included on the Pixel Buds — using Conversation Mode in the Translation app, you can use the buds to help you speak or understand over 40 languages.
The biggest downsides to the Pixel Buds are its lack of ANC and relatively low battery life. Instead of noise cancellation, Google added a feature dubbed Adaptive Sound, which automatically adjusts the volume based on your surroundings. However, it can be hard to trigger, so consider it a work in progress rather than a feature to be relied on. As for battery life, Pixel Buds will last approximated five hours on a single charge. While low compared to some of its competitors, it's actually on-par with Apple's AirPods. The charging case has a USB-C port but it also supports Qi wireless charging.
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