I tried the new Google Pixel Buds 2: Here are my thoughts

Kate Mendonca
·Shopping Editor
·4 min read

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Google Pixel Buds 2 are now available in Canada. (Google)
Google Pixel Buds 2 are now available in Canada. Image courtesy of Google.

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If you’re on the lookout for a new pair of wireless headphones, Google’s latest pair of Pixel Buds 2 are finally available to shop in Canada after their initial release in the U.S. back in April.

The second generation is meant to provide major improvements on the original version Google Pixel Buds, which first launched in late 2017. Now completely wireless, they rival other similar earbuds on the market like Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds, but feature all of the Google Assistant features that you’ve come to know and love.

While I’m no tech expert, I was able to give them a test run in advance of today’s Pixel Buds 2 launch, and have been putting through the paces over the last week or so. Curious to hear more? Check out my thoughts on the new earbuds below.

First impressions

When I first opened up the new Pixel Buds, I was impressed by the look and feel of the case, which has a similar appearance to Apple’s AirPods, though Google’s version has more of a matte feel while the AirPods case is glossy.

Both sets of earbuds come in a magnetic charging case that can easily be stowed away in your pocket, and keeps the wireless buds safely intact when not in use. Though they come with a charging cable, they’re also compatible with charging pads if you’re looking for a truly wireless experience.

Google Pixel Buds 2 vs. Apple AirPods cases. (Image courtesy of Kate Mendonca)
Google Pixel Buds 2 vs. Apple AirPods cases. (Image courtesy of Kate Mendonca)

Key features

The Google Pixel Buds 2 come with a whole host of special features, which have definitely come in handy while working and playing primarily indoors these days. Along with easy pairing to Android devices, they offer simple gestures that let you control what you’re listening to.

You can quickly answer calls, skip songs, and increase and decrease the volume with just a single tap or swipe. If connected to a phone running Android 6.0 or newer, you can also speak to your Google Assistant and search for your earbuds if they’re ever misplaced.

Though I likely won’t be heading on vacation any time soon, these earbuds will certainly be a valuable asset when I do, since they’re also enabled with Google Translate. Harnessing the power of Google’s translation features in more than 40 languages, they’re able to translate in real-time with Conversation Mode and the Google Translate app on your phone.

Google Pixel Buds 2 were designed to be completely sweat-proof to last through your toughest workouts. (Google)
Google Pixel Buds 2 were designed to be completely sweat-proof to last through your toughest workouts. (Google)

Personally, my favourite feature of the Pixel Buds is that they were designed to be completely sweat-proof, a fact that’s even more valuable during at-home workouts in my 500 square foot condo. They easily pair with my laptop, which makes following along with YouTube and Zoom workouts a breeze, without disturbing the quiet while my partner is busy doing other things.

Speaking of my partner, he’s a total headphone enthusiast, and was equally impressed with the Google Pixel Buds 2 when I let him test them out. His favourite aspect of the earbuds was the fact that they lay flat in your ear, which makes for a more comfortable experience when using them while laying down, like he does before bed while listening to audiobooks. They also come with three different sizes of eartips (small, medium and large) so you can find your perfect fit.

Are they worth it?

If you’re an Android user, I’d definitely recommend these earbuds for their ease of use and connectivity to your other devices. I’m an Apple user and have been for a while, and while the Pixel Buds 2 worked well as a regular set of headphones when connected to my iPhone and MacBook, there are definitely some key features that I’m missing out on.

They’re currently only available in white, but you can also join the waitlist to purchase them in mint or black once they’re available. Retailing for $239, they’re priced right in the middle of the road between Apple’s newest AirPods Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Buds, making them a great choice for those who may be looking to upgrade to wireless earbuds.

If you’re considering picking up your own pair of Pixel Buds 2, shop them at Google now.

Google Pixel Buds 2

Google Pixel Buds. Image courtesy of Google.
Google Pixel Buds. Image courtesy of Google.

SHOP IT: Google, $239

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