Thursday, October 12, 2017

Google Pixel Buds

Valentina Palladino:

Unlike Apple’s AirPods, the Pixel Buds have a wire connecting the two earpieces. However, that wire doesn’t connect to a smartphone or other device. […]

All of the Pixel Buds’ controls are built in to the right earpiece, which is a common hardware solution on wireless earbuds. […]

But the most intriguing feature of the Pixel Buds is the integrated Google Translate feature. Demoed on stage at Google’s event today, this feature lets two Pixel Bud wearers chat in their native languages by translating conversations in real time.


Pixel Buds have a battery that should last five hours on a single charge, which is average for wireless earbuds. They also come with a charging case that can hold up to 24 hours of battery life. Google’s Pixel Buds are available for preorder today for $159.

Dan Masters:

Kudos to Google for offering a distinct value proposition over AirPods, rather than just copying.

Nilay Patel (via Hacker News):

No one else can make W1 headphones, and obviously no one else can modify iOS to support their own custom wireless Bluetooth riff. So your choices are the four W1 headphones, and then a large market of second-class citizens.

Google’s version of this is the Pixel Buds, a set of over-ear neckbuds that serve as basic Bluetooth headphones but gain additional capabilities when used with certain phones. Seamless fast pairing? You need Android N or higher, which most Android phones don’t have. The always-on access to Google Assistant? That’s only for Android phones with Google Assistant; iPhone owners need not apply. And that cool Google Translate integration where Pixel Buds instantly translate languages in real time? Well, that’s entirely exclusive to the Pixel.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

This video from CNET shows how to use the Pixelbuds translation feature - you have to open the Google Translate app on your phone and hand it over to the other person. Doesn't seem like the buds itself are doing much of anything, except alternating microphone input.

The same thing can be achieved by just the Google Translate app. It would probably be a less awkward experience that way, because the person sans Pixelbuds can now hear the translation too instead of waiting quietly.

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