Google Pixel Buds Review: Overview & Price
In this Google Pixel Buds review, we go over everything you need to know about Google’s wireless headphones.
We even showcase the best Google Pixel Buds deals here in the UK, ensuring you get the best price possible.
The Google Pixel Buds cover the basics, however, they do have quite a few flaws.
The Buds offer “real-time” translation, but when used in the real world we found a lot of issues with this software.
We did try this out with our friend who is French and it worked well, so we gather that the feature is rather hit and miss.
The Google Pixel Buds release date was way back on October 4th of 2017, alongside the Google Pixel 2.
They almost fell completely undetected by many as the focus on the launch event was based mostly on the Pixel 2.
The Pixel Buds are priced at £159 here in the UK, although now in 2019 can be attained for much cheaper.
With impressive battery life and touch-sensitive controls, these buds are something to consider with the release of the new Pixel 4.
Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer..
Google Pixel Buds Review: Design
The first thing we noticed about the Google Pixel Buds design is that they still have a wire involved, this wire is designed to go around the back of your neck when having the buds in.
This is disappointing as it would have been great to see Google produce a truly wireless Earbuds, but you won’t get than on the Pixel Buds.
The wire is supposed to catch on your outer ear to help secure the buds in place, but when you look at the Airpods there is no reason to have such a wire, as they stay in place perfectly fine.
We did test the Google Pixel Buds out in the gym whilst running on a treadmill, and this design did work well as they didn’t fall out even when running at pace.
However, we wouldn’t recommend using the buds in the gym, as they are not waterproof at all, not even sweat proof.
Now because the loop of the wire is adjusted by pulling the cord, we would find when placing them back into their case the wire would often be accidentally adjusted.
Therefore when putting them back in my ear I would find that they would be loose so would need to be adjusted again.
The buds come in three colours, White, Black or Blue, which match the colour of the new Google Pixel 2.
The buds do feel rather clunky, and are not extremely comfortable in your ear like we hoped.
There is an earbud section which is the part that actually goes into your ear, then there is a disc-like exterior which has the ‘G’ of the Google logo on which sits on the outside.
The Google Pixel buds charging case has a stylish design, it is made from a felt material and small enough to easily fit into your pocket.
The felt helps it grip to the inside of your pocket too, so we didn’t have any issues with them slipping out if we placed something else in our pocket as we did with the Airpods.
The case has the ‘G’ logo on the top, symbolising that these are Google made.
Inside of the case are two little indents in which each bud sits, it does take some fiddling to get the buds to sit in there properly due to the wire, and the wire does need to be wrapped up for the case to close properly.
The buds will only actually switch off if they are placed into the magnetic holders, so if you happen to miss or just throw them in and close the case, you’ll find that when taking them out you have run out of charge.
A little LED light to notify that the Google Buds haven’t been placed correctly into the magnetic holders would be ideal, but unfortunately Google hasn’t done this.
Around the back of the charging case is a USB-C port which is used for giving them charge, the battery life is decent but we will get on to that shortly.
On each are bud are small buttons, which are used to pause and play music. However we did find that they are super sensitive, so even when placing them into your ear you will not be at the same point where you left the track.
Overall the Google Pixel Buds design is just awkward, they don’t feel fantastic in your ear and after a while, they do get very uncomfortable.
The wire gets in the way and we feel really holds back the Pixel Buds from what they could be, not only this but the button are ridiculously sensitive which means your always pausing and rewinding tracks by accident.
These buds definitely do not feel like they are Google made at all, let’s hope the Google Pixel Buds 2 design is better.
Google Pixel Buds Review: Performance
When it comes to connecting the Google Pixel Buds to our phone it was incredibly easy.
Simply turn your Bluetooth on, and open the Google Pixel Buds case whilst having them still in the box, this will bring up a menu with a picture of the buds, and give you information on how to fit them in your ear correctly.
From the moment the case is open the Buds begin searching for a device to connect too.
The Pixel Buds are definitely more geared towards Google Pixel users, they most definitely will work with other Android devices, but they do not give the same level of ease.
Trying to pair them up with our Samsung Galaxy S10 proved a much more difficult task, although the Google Pixel Buds can connect with up to 8 devices, you do need to follow the instructions every time which becomes very annoying.
Now one of the main reasons to buy the Google Pixel Buds is down to their Google Assistant.
To activate this simply hold the right touch panel and the Google Assistant will start listening for your commands.
This is great as it means you can keep your phone in your pocket. Either that or you can use the trusty ‘Hey-Google’ voice command as the Pixel Buds are always listening and waiting for your voice.
This allows you to check the weather, football scores and traffic updates. It can be an extremely beneficial tool if you’re someone who lives in the city and walks to work.
We tried this out walking around Newcastle town centre, as we would be listening to music and could also check the news and weather.
The feeling of having the Google Assistant in your ear is fantastic, we have to say it’s an experience like no other to be able to talk to the assistant and have it answer back with accurate and reliable information.
You can ask the Google Assistant what notifications you have at any time, and it will reply with any notifications that you have not yet seen.
Another key selling point of the Google Pixel Buds is the Google Translate feature.
This allows you to press the right bud, which activates the assistant, then simply say what you have to in any language, then this will send a signal to the phone and the Google Pixel device will read out what you have said in your chosen language.
We tried this with our French friend and he understood exactly what we were saying to him in French, granted it does skip a few words here and there, but the core content is understandable and very convenient for those travelling or in a foreign country.
This technology does have its flaws, as mentioned you the translator does miss words here and there, and you do need the buds in your ears to be able to use this feature accurately.
However this is an extremely promising technology, we are excited to review the Google Pixel Buds 2 as we hope Google has taken this to the next level.
The Pixel Buds can be used for hands-free calling too, they work rather well as the microphones do a great job at picking up your voice, its crystal clear and there is barely any background noise at all.
As a whole the Google Pixel Buds performance is impressive, we love the translation feature and can see great development for this in the future.
As well as having the convenience of Google Assistant in your ear, which makes for easy updates and notifications without the need to touch your phone.
Google Pixel Buds Review: Sound Quality & Battery Life
The Google Pixel Buds sound quality is impressive, they sound extremely clear when using them for voice calls and the volume levels are able to get very loud yet still clear.
Bass sounds good through the Pixel Buds and even when having them on a high volume we found the Google Pixel Buds sound quality wouldn’t distort and make it uncomfortable.
We did find that sometimes they wouldn’t sound as good as the previous time we used them, but this was down to adjusting the wire as if they are loose then you’ll notice the sound quality dips.
One thing we did notice is that they are certainly not noise cancelling, you can still hear background noise when using the Google Pixel Buds.
The Google Pixel Buds battery life will last around 5 hours, for the most part, the charging case allows for 24 hours worth of recharging too, so anytime you place them back in the case they will be charging back up which is handy.
We would typically keep our charging case in the car with us and store the buds there, over the course of the week we had the Pixel Buds we only actually had to take them out of the car once to fully charge the case and buds up in the house, as the charging case had us covered every time we left them in the car.
As a whole sound quality is decent, it’s not going to blow you away and if you are someone who is big into headphones then you will likely not be stunned at the quality of the buds.
However the Pixel Buds battery life is impressive, the case charges it up every time they are not in use, and 5 hours is accurate for the time we got out of the buds.
Google Pixel Buds Review: Summary
So should you buy the Google Pixel Buds?
Well if you are not fussed by the annoying wire what goes around the back of your neck, and you don’t want to wait for the new Pixel Buds 2, then yes.
Personally we would definitely wait for the new version of these buds, we found that there is definitely a lot of room for improvement with these buds.
The translator feature has great potential, but it’s not real-time and does have a lot of issues.
The Google Pixel Buds sound quality isn’t going to blow you away either, it has no noise cancellation feature which means you can still hear a lot of background noise even when having them in your ear.
The Pixel Buds have dropped rather significantly in price, so we do feel they are worth the cheaper price tag in 2019, but personally we advise waiting for the Pixel Buds 2.
We hope you have enjoyed our Google Pixel Buds review, feel free to check out the best deals for the Pixel Buds at the top of the post.