Google Pixel Buds (2020) review | Not exactly the ‘AirPods for Android’ you’ve been waiting for

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The new Google Pixel Buds might feel like a zeitgeisty knock-off of the work Samsung and Apple are doing, but they do in fact bring something new to the table: an always-listening Google Assistant.

That may seem like a small feature, but up until now Android devices haven’t exactly had a complete Apple AirPods-like solution. Sure, there have been some absolutely incredible true wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 that cater to that crowd, but they still weren’t perfectly and entirely in sync with your Android device.

There’s no debating that these are a huge improvement on the original Pixel Buds. The feature-set alone is a marked improvement and Google has clearly paid attention to what customers are looking for in terms of ease-of-use and sleek design.

Where the Pixel Buds could still improve is in their sound quality and lack of active noise cancellation tech – at $179 these things are table stakes and shouldn’t be absent. To that end, there are a number of other earbuds out there that sound better and cost less, or cost more and include noise cancellation.

As much as we appreciate the feature set of the Google Pixel Buds for Pixel owners, the less-than-perfect audio quality, lower battery life and loose fit keep the Google Pixel Buds from receiving our unbridled recommendation.

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