Google released the Pixel Buds in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia earlier this month, having expanded the availability of its first earphones four months after debuting them in the United States and Canada. As expected, the wearable is somewhat more expensive in other markets than it is in the U.S. where Google is still selling it for $159. British consumers will be expected to pay £159 ($220) for the Pixel Buds, whereas those looking to purchase them in Germany will be met with a €179 ($219) price tag. Finally, buying the Pixel Buds in Australia will set you back AUD $249 ($194).
The device itself has been met with a mixed response from both critics and consumers alike. While many praised its real-time translation capabilities powered by the Google Translate service, native support for the Google Assistant, and day-long battery life, the earbuds were criticized for their rubberized plastic design and general audio quality that some felt didn't justify the relatively high price tag that puts the wearable in the high-end segment of the market. The Pixel Buds are primarily advertised as an accessory for the Pixel and Pixel 2 lineups of Google-made Android flagships but they can also be used with most other smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth, though third-party devices won't be able to take advantage of their translation functionality. It's presently unclear whether the Alphabet-owned company is looking to follow up on its first pair of earphones later this year once it announces the Pixel 3 series.
As a whole, the Pixel Buds represent yet another step in Google's long-term plan to become a major force in the consumer electronics segment, with the company's hardware division recently absorbing a lot of talent and patents from HTC as part of a $1.1 billion deal which was officially completed last month. The Google Home speakers, Google Clips automated camera, and the Chrome OS-powered Pixelbook are also meant to fuel the firm's growing hardware ambitions. As part of the same endeavor, Google recently decided to reabsorb Nest only a year and a half after spinning it off into a standalone entity, claiming the move will allow it to do a better job at integrating its artificial intelligence technologies into the firm's smart home gadgets.