Google has announced its first pair of Bluetooth earphones, the Google Pixel Buds. Just like many recent Bluetooth earphone offerings from popular companies, the Google Pixel Buds include integration with a personal assistant, in this case, Google Assistant, something that brings a number of unique features to the experience.
In terms of the overall design, the search giant has opted for a circular bud along with a textured cable connecting both. The new earphones also come with a textured charging case that includes USB Type-C connectivity and holds up to 24 hours worth of charges, though the Pixel Buds themselves can provide up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge. As mentioned, deep integration with Google Assistant is a key feature, which is why the company has included a touchpad within the right bud, therefore allowing users to activate the virtual assistant, as well as answer calls, play/pause music or audio by simply tapping and change the volume by swiping up or down. Aside from all of this, thanks to the Google Assistant, owners of the earphones can now also benefit from real-time translation through Google Translate for up to 40 languages. The way this works is pretty simple, with the Pixel Buds listening to what a user says and then playing the translation through their smartphone's speaker and when the other person speaks, the translation will play directly into the user's ear. These aren't the only features, though, with the Google Assistant offering a number of other commands, such as reading or sending text messages, getting directions and reading notifications aloud.
The new Pixel Buds are compatible with Android devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, though Lollipop devices don't include access to Google Assistant. In order for the assistant to work and to benefit from "Fast Pair" with the phone in hand, it needs to be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher. Those who own an iPhone, on the other hand, are required to be running iOS 10 or above. The Silicon Valley-based company has confirmed that the Pixel Buds will be available starting November in three different colors, all of which match those of the new Google Pixel 2: Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. Lastly, in terms of pricing, the new earphones will cost $159 in the US.