Last year Google had everyone excited over its Pixel Buds. Sadly, they never lived up to the hype. This year, if Google wants to give Apple’s AirPods a run for their money we need to see some serious changes. With that in mind, here we’ll go over five things we want from the Pixel Buds 2.
We know a new Pixel 3 smartphone is on the way, and along with it will be Google’s second attempt at headphones. We’re hoping this time they have a premium design, are truly wireless and fit inside the case provided. That’s just a few of many things they need if they want to succeed.
Completely Wireless Pixel Buds 2
If Google’s new Pixel Buds 2 want to compete with Apple’s Airpods, or possibly outdo them, they need to make them completely wireless. And honestly, at this point, they have to be. Considering Apple didn’t announce Airpods 2 in September, Google’s in a great position to take the lead.
The current Pixel Buds have a wire connecting the two, which wraps around the back of your neck. This style isn’t new and isn’t enough to win any buyers over in 2018 and 2019. We’re almost positive Google will unleash a new set of Pixel Buds 2 at its Pixel launch event on October 9th. And when they do, they’ll be 100% wireless.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018
For whatever reason, the original Buds only looked wireless. The Bluetooth chip, battery, microphone and more were all inside the bud, but Google still connected them with a wire. Most manufacturers put all of that in the wire to keep the buds small, portable, and comfortable. We’re not sure what happened with Google’s first attempt, but they simply have to ditch the wires. Especially considering the Pixel 3 won’t have a headphone jack.
The Pixel Buds 2 must compete with the AirPods, new Galaxy Icon headphones from Samsung, wireless buds from Bose, Jabra, Jaybird, and the many other alternatives on the market.
Better Sound & Features
If there’s one thing the original Pixel Buds had going for them it was bass. All about that bass. They have a pretty impressive bass-heavy sound for how small they are. However, that’s not for everyone. How about the rest of the sound? Well, it’s decent, or average.
If we can get some better mids, highs, and even some improved clarity all while making the second-gen buds wireless, count me in. The Google Home Max has some impressive sound, not to mention technology that makes the sound improve and learn from its surroundings.
Google must improve the audio, use some technology to make the Pixel Buds 2 learn from the users’ ears, and make things like translate and the Google Assistant better. Not to mention some basic features that pause the music when they’re removed from your ear, easy forward/back controls, and other things the competition already has.
Improved Smaller Design
The two biggest complaints I had with the Pixel Buds were the massive size, and how terribly they fit my ears. I have smaller ears than a lot of people, so that’s not entirely Google’s fault, but I’m not the only one saying that. Plus, those same two complaints were heard loud and clear around the web. The Buds were too big and too uncomfortable.
Google needs to slim things down, a lot, and improve the design. We know it’s hard to shove all of those electronics into a tiny thing that goes inside your ear, but Apple did it. We don’t want Q-tips sticking out of our ears, but Google needs to deliver a better, smaller, sleeker design.
A Slim Case (With Wireless Charging)
For a 1st generation product, the Pixel Buds weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either. A big part of the experience is the case and one that recharges the earbuds. Google offered a nice little fabric case for its headphones, but we want something better.
If Google wants to compete with Apple’s Airpods, they need to make the case slim, portable, pack a big battery, and maybe even offer wireless charging. A rumor floating around suggests the unannounced Airpod 2 case would double as a wireless charger battery pack. That way iPhone Xs owners can put their phone on the headphone case for a quick battery top-off.
Please do something similar Google. The Pixel 3 XL has wireless charging, so add this feature so it blends nicely with the Pixel Stand. Or, let us charge the headphones with the phone, like the upcoming Huawei Freebuds.
Longer Battery Life
And last but not least, Google’s Pixel Buds 2 should have the best battery life on the market. Most wireless earbuds only last 3-4 hours, at the most. Apple’s AirPods pushed that to 5 hours and set a new industry standard for what customers expect from wireless earbuds. Well, mostly.
Basically, Google’s new truly wireless Pixel Buds 2 must offer 5-6 hours of battery life, or more, and have plenty of juice to spare in the charging case. The originals claimed 5 hours, but we never had ours last that long.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several things Google could do to make its next headphone better than ever before. These five will simply make them worth buying, and an alternative to the competition. We’re expecting some neat new AI features, Google Assistant commands and routines, and a sleek design.
That said, Google could always surprise us and make tons of changes that make these the best wireless earbuds of the year. We’ll have to wait and see. Google will officially unveil the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Buds 2, and possibly a new PixelBook and more on October 9th in New York City. So, stay tuned for more details.
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