Saying that the pixel buds of Google have been "maligned" puts it lightly. We even said they felt unfinished compared to the competition (most notably the AirPods from Apple). But with a truly wireless pair, Google gives it another go. The new pixel buds (no differentiator of numbers here) do not look terribly difference from the originals, but this time there is no wire connecting the two.
And they've got a nice two-tone finish that matches the new Pixel phones' colors. Google says that the performance has also been strengthened. A variety of critics reported that over long periods of time, the originals were not particularly comfortable to wear. But the fit is supposed to have been re-engineered here and they're sitting flush with your ear instead of sticking out like some kind of high-tech costume jewelry (or a half-breaked Q-Tip).
Google is also venturing the battery life and the mobile scope. The Pixel Buds are credited on a charge of up to 5 hours of continuous listening time, with a maximum of 24 hours of battery life using the wireless charging case. It's exactly the same as the AirPods from Apple. Yet Google says that Pixel Buds can maintain the Bluetooth link back from three indoor rooms and from outside to the length of a football field. Although, to test that claim, we'll have to wait for a review unit.
No active noise cancelation (ANC) appears to occur here. There is actually a small port that allows for a small amount of ambient noise. Nonetheless, this is not a bad thing in fact. While you might need ANC when you're on a plane 30,000 feet in the air, it's important to be aware of your surroundings when you're jogging down busy streets. Pixel Buds actually block it out using Adaptive Sound instead of canceling sound out. Essentially, if you go from a quiet room to a busy subway station, they automatically adjust the sound.
Of instance, the biggest thing here is Google Assistant's hands-free access. The built-in microphones (two in each bud) enable you to simply say "Hey Google" or "OK Google" without having to touch something. The new Pixel Buds will not be eligible until 2020 for some reason. And when packing, it will cost $179, which is $20 less than AirPods with a wireless charge case.