Google Pixel Buds 2 will take on Apple AirPods from spring 2020

The smart earbuds finally go wireless, but you'll have to wait to buy them
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Google has officially unveiled its first pair of truly wireless earbuds, but you won't be able to own them until spring 2020.

The 'New Pixel Buds' were unveiled at the Made by Google event in New York, and, following in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung, Amazon and others, Google is ditching the headphone cable.

Hands on: New Google Pixel Buds review

Pricing for the second generation model of the Pixel Buds is $179, which makes them cheaper than the latest Apple AirPods. Amazon Echo Buds are still cheaper, though, coming in at $129. When they are available, you'll be able to pick from four colors: Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint and Almost Black.

And, unlike before, the earbuds sit flush inside the ear, which Google say will ensure you get full, rich sound that minimizes sound leak. The company has packed in custom sensors, speakers and batteries inside of the Pixel Buds 2 to ensure they can be worn discreetly, too.

The wireless headphones are also now sweat and water resistant, making them suitable for the gym, and there's touch controls built into the earbuds. Those controls give you the ability to tap to play or pause music or swipe to adjust volume.

The buds will feature an adaptive sound feature that can automatically adjust the volume, depending on the kind of environment you're in. Google says the buds include long-range Bluetooth connectivity, as well, so can stay connected to a paired device from three rooms away.

There's the promise of clearer call quality through the dual on-board microphones, real-time translations and hands-free access to Google Assistant just by saying, "Hey Google".

A built-in voice accelerometer is able to detect speech through the vibrations of your jawbone. This means you can be heard in windy conditions. Handy, if you're out for a run, we imagine.

Battery life for the new Pixel Buds is five hours off a single charge, which isn't anything out of the ordinary in comparison to other truly wireless earbuds. It will also come with a wireless charging case that gives you 24 hours of battery to top up your buds.

The bad news, obviously, is that the second generation Google Pixel buds are not launching until next year. That's an odd move by Google, but it might mean it's planning to bring additional features, or refine current ones, before the full launch.

The first Pixel Buds launched in 2017, and it's fair to say they were an abject failure. The headphones were oddly designed, with sound leaks and plenty of issues with the headline feature, translation.

The hearable landscape has changed since Google entered it, so we hope it's got it right this time when the new Pixel Buds are finally up for grabs.

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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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