Google’s Pixel Buds 2 offers an enjoyable smart listening experience

Quite Mint model in wireless case

More and more people have already “cut the cord” when it comes to home entertainment, so why not make life more convenient and easier on your ears with your smartphones and tablets, as well? If you’re the active type or constantly on the go and happen to be a modern Android user, then Google may have the answer you’re looking for. No, not the search engine, but the rather the Google Pixel Buds 2.

More than just another set of earbuds, the second generation offering from the search engine giant are completely wireless – and smart, too. They’re designed to be easy-to- use and enhance your talking and listening experience, incorporating features, some that Google is known for, some that you may expect only to be available for use in your home or office. 

Pixel Buds 2 comfortable and snug fit

They feature an aesthetically pleasing button-shaped top with winged rubber tips with stabilizer arcs that gently press up on the inside edge of your ear for a nice, snug fit. They’re also sweat-proof and water-splash resistant, in case you’re caught up in the rain. 

And, unlike clunky headphones, they’re compact and easy to carry around and store in a charging case that is smaller than the palm of your hand. The case incorporates built-in magnets, which allows you to simply drop your buds in, and they fall properly into place. All totalled, the package weighs a mere 67 grams. 

They’re also easy to use. 

Auto-paring allows you to simply open the case, and your phone auto-detects your Pixel Buds. They can be controlled a number of ways, including simple taps or swipes on the buds themselves. You can also use Google Assistant, which triggers by pressing and holding either earbud, or simply say something like, “Hey Google, what’s the temperature outside?” 

Take your Pixel Buds 2 anywhere

The companion Pixel Buds app gives you further functionality, including monitoring the buds’ battery level, as well as battery level in your case. This way you know at a glance how much power you have left in either, as well as additional controls to configure or toggle on or off. 

One of these features is “Find My Buds,” where you can determine their location – where you lefty them or send off a signal that causes them to ring. Another is in-ear detection, which pauses your audio when you remove them from your ear, handy for when you need to stop and talk to someone. The audio then resumes when you put them back in. 

Another feature, Adaptive Sound, casually and automatically adjusts the volume, dependent on your environment. This can be particularly handy when you move from, let’s say, a quiet place to a noisy street. It is important to note that the design of the buds themselves allows for some noise reduction for spatial awareness – such as a car horn – but do not have active noise cancellation like Apple AirPods, which have specially designed circuits to eliminate outside noise. If you like listening with the volume cranked up, you may also find that they are as loud as perhaps ear-cup headphones.

Beyond listening, Pixel Buds 2 are also optimized for making phone calls. Amazingly, their dual beam- forming microphones are able to zero in on your voice. Meanwhile, the voice-detecting accelerometer senses sounds resonating from your jawbone to differentiate them from background noise. 

Communicate in another language with Translation Mode

Pixel Buds 2 also support on the fly translation in conjunction with the Google Translate app. By simply tapping your buds and saying for example, “help me speak,” you can carry on a conversation with someone in another language.

Earbud battery life is average – rated at up to five hours of listening time or 2.5 hours of talk time. With a fully charged case, you can get up to 24 hours of listening time and 12 hours talking without recharging. If you happen to run out of juice at an inconvenient time, a quick 10-minute charge will keep you going for another two hours listening or one hour talking. 

Google Pixel Buds 2 are designed for use with later model Android devices running 6.0 or later. They work quite well on an iPhone or iPad, but if you own only Apple devices, these would be overkill.  You will not be able to take full advantage of many of the advanced features it offers if you are an iOS user. 

Retail price in Canada is $239, including the earbuds, ear-tips with three size options for a good fit, a Qi compatible wireless charging case (which can also be used wired) and a USB cable. They’re available in three colours: Clearly White, Almost Black and Quite Mint. 

For more info in Canada you can check out the Google Store and places like Staples and Best Buy

A syndicated version of the article also appears at Troy Media and affiliated syndicated sites. It was also published in Active-Life Magazine (pages 34-35).

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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