Google Pixel Buds (2020) Review

It’s taken Google a surprisingly long time to make good earbuds. The original Pixel Buds from 2018 were a bulky, mushroom-shaped mess that made you look like Frankenstein’s monster. The charging case was huge, the sound was middling, and when you finally worked up the courage to go outside with them, it felt like everyone wearing AirPods was laughing at you.

Ridiculously comfortable

One of the most important things about the hardware of earbuds is fit and comfort and this is something that I feel Google has absolutely nailed. The Pixel Buds are very small compared to normal silicone-tip wireless earbuds. They’re slimmer than Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and smaller in almost every dimension compared to other options.

Excellent touch gestures that could use some fine-tuning

Touch gestures are one of the best parts of Google’s Pixel Buds. Generally, truly wireless earbuds have some form of touch gestures for simple functions such as play/pause, skipping tracks, accessing your voice assistant, and

Here’s the thing, Google’s gestures are fantastic, but they could use a bit of work. Sensitivity is at times too much but at others too little. Constantly I found myself raising the volume while trying to pause music or vice versa. Part of this is just the nature of the buds. Since they’re smaller than the previous generation, there’s less space to recognize the gestures. More than likely, though, this is something Google can adjust with software updates.

Great Sound

You might occasionally use voice commands to text someone back or ask Assistant the weather, but the vast majority of your time with the Pixel Buds will be spent listening to music. For audio quality, these are some of the best wireless earbuds I’ve tried.

They’ve got one of the more nuanced sound signatures I’ve ever heard in portable earbuds. Every instrument comes through with crystal clarity, which makes denser mixes like Foxygen’s “San Francisco” come through with elegant depth. You hear the tinny cymbals in the middle, the beautiful piano notes on the far right side, with chugging acoustic guitars on the left. Each has its own musical space.