Google’s legacy in earbuds… is complicated. There was a lot to love about the Pixel Buds series, but there were also some serious bugs. Now, we are getting ready to launch the Pixel Buds Pro, and they have to learn from Google’s bugs and problems so far.
Google Pixel Buds Problems
So far, Google has released three pairs of earbuds under the “Pixel Buds” brand.
In 2017, the company Released the first pair of Pixel Buds Along with the Pixel 2 series, it has been widely criticized. The wireless earbuds, but not fully wireless, have a heavy case, a wire that connects the two earbuds, and a price tag that didn’t really make them competitive with Apple’s AirPods that set the standard a year ago.
However, they introduced smart features and deep integration with Google Assistant that really paved the way for what was to come.
In 2019, Google announced the first truly wireless Pixel Buds, which were all released in early 2020 — which sound like a decade ago, for some reason.
Pixel Buds (2020) has been launched to much praise. Our own review They said they were “so good, we can forget the originals even existed”. The earphones have great smart features, ergonomic design, compact case, and smart ideas. Although it was pricey at $179, it was ultimately a favorite of many. To this day, I still appreciate the Pixel Buds’ stellar gesture controls and decompression aperture, and it keeps them as a pair of earbuds I use regularly.
But then, problems started to appear in Pixel Buds.
It soon became apparent after an initial flurry of impressions from reviews that Pixel Buds struggled with Bluetooth connections in certain conditions, such as crowded areas. Part of the reason that was initially missed can be traced back to the timing of the launch, right at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns across many parts of the world. However, these issues are not completely fixed. Google rolled out some software updates to try to address the disconnection, and while it helped some users, it was clear that the problem was at a hardware level.
Another issue that some users have found annoying is the “buzzing” sound when no sound is being actively played – it’s not something I’ve personally noticed at all with meaningful amplitude, but something that needs to be fixed regardless. Furthermore, some have found the ‘wing’ tip of the Pixel Buds to be a bit inconvenient, which is a problem for the simple fact that the addon cannot be removed.
Despite its problems, Google kept selling Pixel Buds (2020) for over a year before eventually discontinuing the earbuds in favor of its latest model. In mid-2021, Google announced the Pixel Buds A-Series, a downsized version of the company’s headphones that costs just $99. For this price, they had many of the same features, and lacked connectivity issues.
However, the Pixel Buds A-Series weren’t entirely without problems. The $99 buds lack some of the gesture controls that made the standard form so good, and despite Google’s efforts, wing tips and “buzz” continued as complaints from users.
Will Pixel Buds Pro Really Save?
With Pixel Buds Pro, Google puts a lot of resources into making it succeed where it failed before, and we have to hopefull This means that we will get some meaningful improvements. And there are certainly some things that we can see that are really pointing in that direction.
First, there’s the package that Pixel Buds Pro brings to the table. Active noise cancellation. Wireless charging. Full gesture controls. Battery life is 11 hours. Dedicated audio processor. that it ManyAnd that’s very good. Google has also built one heck of a team to support these efforts, with Several acquisitions the past year or two.
Second, there is a file The improvements we’ve seen in Pixel Buds A-Series. DefinitelyNow that Google has already fixed their connectivity issues at once, we won’t be taking any steps back. right?
Finally, we can only look at the risks. Truly wireless earbuds are incredibly popular, with the market value as a whole billions of dollars. Really, it’s also a pillar of creating an “ecosystem” for smartphone owners, something Google has shown a great deal of interest in. With the Pixel Watch, Pixel 7, and Pixel Tablet on the way, earbuds that connect to them all need to hit the market. There is a lot at stake.
It’s funny that it really looks like Google is going down a similar path to what happened with the standard Pixel phones. The first few Pixel smartphones were minor successes, were well received but sometimes had problems. But in the end, Google ditched all the stops with the Pixel 6 series, and a newer version really made a difference.
Hopefully that’s where the Pixel Buds Pro will end up – a great version we can all love, and only hope with a few fewer quirks the Pixel 6 series has seen thus far.
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