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Google’s 2nd Generation Pixel Buds Improve Design, Sound, and Fit

05.21.20 | By
Google’s 2nd Generation Pixel Buds Improve Design, Sound, and Fit
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The new 2020 Google Pixel Buds improve upon everything the first iteration fell short in delivering, jettisoning the neckbud design of the original for a truly wireless earbud design delivering hands-free access to Google Assistant, custom-designed 12mm dynamic drivers, the ability to translate foreign languages in real time, adaptive audio volume, all encased within an egg-centric minimalist design.

The new Pixel Buds represent a continuation of Google’s identifiably warmer, yet still undeniably “Googley” modern design – an ethos and aesthetic established by Ivy Ross intended to deliver a cohesive collection of consumer hardware humanizing the company’s big data engineering into approachable forms. In its more colorful iterations of mint and orange, the circular button design of the earbuds offer the playful appearances of a certain candy, a convergence of form and function offering a fairly large surface for users to reach for to use the earbud’s integrated touch controls.

While active noise cancellation is sadly not included in this updated design, Google has incorporated a combination of noise-isolating fit aided with the inclusion of built-in fins, spatial vents to ease pressure, alongside an adaptive audio that not only changes output according to environmental sounds around the wearer, but also according to the shape/fit of their ears.

Outfitted with sensors and mics honing in on the human voice, the new Pixel Buds are designed to filter ambient noise and improve call/voice quality – particularly desirable for those frequently taking calls in the city, in airports, in cars, or even within loud office environments.

And of course, with the inclusion of a built-in mic, these earbuds can perform well for both audio and video conferencing with a 5 hour battery life, with a total of 24 hours playback factoring in the recharge available via the case (heaven forbid any meeting lasting longer than that!)

The Google Pixel Buds will be available in four 2-tone combinations – Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint, Almost Black – for $179. Join the waitlist to configure a pair at the Google Store, or shop the Design Milk Shop now for other earphone and headphone options here.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.