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Google Pixel Buds 2 release date: New Google earbuds now available in the UK

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Google’s second-generation Pixel Buds are now available to buy in the UK - here’s everything you need to know about them

The wait is over: Google’s new Pixel Buds headphones have finally made their way to UK shores. First announced at a Made by Google event in October last year, the Google Pixel Buds (2020) have been on sale in the US since April but have only just received a wider international launch.

They’re the successors to the first-generation Pixel Buds, which were released in late 2017. We described the original Buds as “innovative, clever and exciting all at once” but felt they were let down by a lack of comfort, messy touch controls and fussy features.

This new model has undergone a significant overhaul – they’re now true wireless earbuds rather than earphones connected by a length of wire – but the majority of the features Google championed last time around make a return. Among them are quick pairing with Android devices, an always-listening Google Assistant and real-time foreign language translation.

We’ll be getting a pair in for review soon but for the time being, here’s the lowdown on everything we know about Google’s latest in-ear offering.

Google Pixel Buds (2020): Everything you need to know

Google Pixel Buds (2020) price: How much do they cost?

The new Pixel Buds will set you back £179. To put that price in context, Apple sells its AirPods for £159 or £199 depending on whether you want a case capable of wireless charging and its Pro version retails at £249. Sony’s WF-1000XM3 have an RRP of £220 but are typically found selling for closer to £170, while our favourite wireless earbuds, the Libratone Track Air+ cost £179.

So, the Pixel Buds are priced relatively competitively, though a number of the aforementioned options offer active noise cancelling, while the Pixel Buds only offer what Google describes as “adaptive sound capabilities”, which there will be more on later.

Google Pixel Buds (2020) release date: When can you buy them?

The new Pixel Buds are available for purchase directly from the Google Store but we’ve also seen them being sold by Argos, John Lewis and BT, with more retailers likely to be stocking them in the coming weeks.

Buy now from Google Store


Google Pixel Buds (2020) features and specs: What’s new?

As mentioned above, Google has joined the true wireless revolution with its new Pixel Buds. Gone is the wiring connecting the earpieces and the Pixel Buds look a lot better for it.

Unlike their predecessors, the buds feature silicone eartips that will seal your ear canals rather than sit in the recesses of your ears. Spatial vents have been incorporated into the design to allow a certain amount of environmental sound in and prevent the feeling of totally plugged-up ears.

Inside the buds are 12mm dynamic drivers that utilise something called adaptive sound technology. This adjusts the volume of your audio depending on your environment, though manually adjusting your volume temporarily disables the feature.

The stated battery life of the buds is up to five hours of listening time, while the charging case takes the total listening time up to 24 hours. The case can be charged wirelessly using a Qi charger or via a USB-C cable.

The Pixel Buds are IPX4 rated meaning they’re sweat- and splash-resistant and there are touch controls on both buds, allowing you to control your audio without having to take your phone out of your pocket.

Probably the Pixel Buds’ biggest selling point is their integration of Google Assistant. The assistant is always listening so, in theory at least, you should be able to control every aspect of them with your voice. They can also operate as a real-time language translation tool using Google Translate. Other features include the ability to locate your earbuds using the Find My Device app and one-tap pairing with Android devices.

You’re going to need an Android-powered device to get the most out of the Pixel Buds as many of the features listed above require Android 6.0 (or above) to function. This limits their widespread appeal, but those that are part of the Android ecosystem may finally have earbuds to rival Apple’s AirPods.

Look out for our full review of Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) coming soon.

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