With many devices, the second generation cannot really be distinguished from the first generation.
The innovations are too insignificant.
It's different with the new Pixel Buds from Google, even if the earbuds have the same name as the first attempt.
Because the Google engineers have done a lot of work.
However, the test shows that not everything has gotten better.
The Pixel Buds in the charging and storage box
The obvious change is the missing cord between the two earbuds.
The Pixel Buds are now what is called “true wireless”, they lack any cable.
In the test, we really liked the design.
The charging and storage box makes a high-quality impression, feels comfortable in the hand, and even the click when closing it sounds good.
In contrast to the first Pixel Buds, the new Buds are not just placed in the auricle, but actually put into the ear.
To ensure that they fit, three ear tips of different sizes are included.
Users should try something out here, because each ear is uniquely shaped.
The Pixel Buds also have a stabilizing arch made of plastic, which gives them a good hold in the ear.
The earphones also stayed firmly in the ear during the workout.
They are also sweat and water resistant.
Because they barely stick out of the ear, you don't lose them straight away if you take off your face mask or a sweater, for example.
The sound has improved compared to the previous model, which is due to the fact that they now lock in the ear and allow less ambient noise to pass through.
Google emphasizes that the new Pixel Buds have built-in dynamic twelve-millimeter speaker drivers that they have developed.
Unfortunately, they lack the active noise cancellation that competing earphones in this price range have.
We found the bass a bit weak, but that is a matter of taste.
Simple design: a Pixel Bud
The operation is extremely easy, the set-up with an Android smartphone is done quickly: all you have to do is open the storage box, whereupon the phone recognizes the buds and offers pairing via Bluetooth.
To connect the Pixel Buds to an iPhone, users also have to hold down a button on the box.
The earphones then appear in the Bluetooth settings, where you can also connect them with a fingertip.
Both earphones have a touch-sensitive surface.
Telephone calls can be accepted or rejected with a fingertip.
The music can also be controlled this way.
We particularly liked the fact that swiping over the earphones increases or decreases the volume.
Many competing products do without this, so that users then have to pick up their smartphones again to turn the music up or down.
Automatic sound adjustment
Dual beamforming microphones also enable calls to be made with good voice quality.
This is also a weak point with many other earphones.
The interaction between the Google earphones and the Pixel smartphones from Google works best.
Here you can even easily read the battery level of the earphones in the Bluetooth settings.
Users of other Android smartphones need to install the Pixel Buds app on their device.
A helpful function is the automatic sound adjustment.
The Pixel Buds recognize ambient noises such as a running water tap and then automatically adjust the volume of the earphones.
Unfortunately, these intelligent functions are reserved for Android smartphones only.
If you connect the Pixel Buds to an iPhone, you can still listen to music and make phone calls.
But iPhone users have to do without automatic sound adjustment.
Battery life is rather average
The battery level cannot be read on Apple devices either.
In addition, the wearing detection does not work there, which ensures that the music is paused when the user takes an earphone out of the ear.
With the iPhone, the music simply continues to play.
In contrast to the first generation of Pixel Buds, the earphones can no longer activate the Siri digital assistant.
With the Google Assistant on Android smartphones, this works great.
Conclusion: iPhone users are not advised to use the Pixel Buds.
You have to forego too many functions.
Anyone who has an Android smartphone will not have this problem.
The Pixel Buds cost 199 euros.
Unfortunately, they don't have active noise cancellation built in, which is a huge minus point.
But there are innovations such as automatic sound adjustment.
In addition, the Pixel Buds can now also be charged wirelessly using the Qi standard.
The battery life is rather average.
You can call them for 2.5 hours or listen to music for a good 4.5 hours.
The storage box charges the buds several times, so that a total of 24 hours of music are possible.
This article was first published in July 2020.
This article was first published in July 2020.