Google’s Bluetooth earplugs: Pixel Buds 2 with real-time translation cost 200 euros


Google is launching the Pixel Buds 2 with a delay in Germany. The new launch is intended to offer real-time translation and can activate the Google Assistant on demand. After Apple, Google is also the first manufacturer to do something against the step reverberation of Bluetooth earplugs aka True Wireless In-Ears. There is no active noise canceling (ANC) like the Airpods Pro with the Pixel Buds 2.

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In contrast to the first generation Pixel Buds, the new Pixel Buds are the first Bluetooth earplugs from Google that no longer have an annoying cable. Like Apple, Google uses a special ventilation system for its Bluetooth earplugs, which is designed to prevent excessive pressure from building up in the ear, which in turn leads to step reverb.

Without such a ventilation system, every single step when running can be heard as a dull appearance in the ear – this noticeably disturbs the enjoyment of music. These problems exist with most earbuds and, like the Airpods Pro, should not exist with the Pixel Buds 2 either.

Pixel Buds 2 automatically adjust volume

Google has developed its own 12 mm drivers for the Pixel Buds, which should produce a powerful and clear sound. For this, a sound adjustment can be activated, which is actually a volume adjustment. If there is loud ambient noise, the volume is increased to drown out disturbing noise. Conversely, the volume should decrease automatically if there are no disturbing ambient noises. Google sees it as an advantage that there is no need to intervene itself.

On devices with Android 6.0 and higher, the Google Assistant can be activated on demand via Pixel Buds 2. There is then no need to touch the plugs to start a digital assistant. Google also promises real-time translation so that it can communicate with other people in foreign languages ​​to a limited extent. The Pixel Buds 2 translate another person’s speech and play the translation in your ear.

Pixel Buds 2 have sensor areas for control

The Pixel Buds 2 are controlled via sensor areas. These already react when you tap once. So that should bring the same problems as with the first generation Pixel Buds. If the earplugs are inserted into the ear, unwanted commands can be executed because the sensor surface was accidentally touched.

Pixel Buds 2 (Image: Google)

These control gestures are available with the Pixel Buds 2: With a simple tap, playback can be paused or continued, so calls are also accepted. Wiping the sensor sideways changes the volume. This sensor assignment already existed in the previous model. By holding the sensor surface longer, the digital assistant is called up. With a double tap a title can be jumped forward and with a triple tap a title can be jumped back.

Pixel Buds 2 have ear detection

The Pixel Buds 2 have an ear detection and should stop music when one or both plugs are removed from the ear. As soon as both plugs are in the ear again, playback should continue. The plugs work with Bluetooth 5.0 and are IPX4 certified.

Google offers an app for the Pixel Buds 2, which is only available for the Android platform. Google is thus following the unsightly example of Apple, which offers software support for Apple devices for the Airpods products. So if you want to use the Pixel Buds 2 with an iPhone, you cannot configure the Bluetooth earplugs. In addition, no new firmware can be imported, but this is very important to fix the errors that have become known in the Pixel Buds 2.

Pixel Buds 2 have five hours of battery life

Google calls the Pixel Buds 2 a battery life of five hours of music playback. Anyone who speaks a lot about this must recharge the plug batteries after 2.5 hours. The Pixel Buds 2 offer a fast charging technology, after 10 minutes of charging a runtime of 2 hours should be possible again. The plugs are fully charged in the charging case within one hour.

With the charging case, the plugs can be charged about four times, a total battery life of 24 hours is promised. The charging case supports wireless Qi charging and has a USB-C socket.

The Pixel Buds 2 are available from the Google Store at a price of 200 euros.