Of all the things announced at Google’s hardware event today, the revamped Pixel Buds were my favorite. That’s not just based on the fact that I’m very impressed by them; it is also because they were the only thing that didn’t fully leak out ahead of time. Knowing they were coming was enough to whet my appetite and spur my imagination around what Google might just do with a great set of wireless earbuds. And they did not disappoint.
Well, that’s not true. They did disappoint in one big way, but we’ll hit that in a second. What Google managed to announce for the Pixel Buds is basically everything on my wishlist for a set of wireless earbuds. They are truly wireless, have excellent battery life (5 hours along, 24 hours with the charging case), look great, fit great, have adaptive ambient noise pass-through, have a tiny/pocketable case, capacitive touch inputs, bone conduction for clearer calls, and a well-engineered body that is lightweight and fits perfectly in your ear.
Add to that feature set the fact that you can get them in multiple colors (white, orange, mint or black) and an asking price of $179 and I think you get a winning combination all around. Assuming these earbuds can deliver on quality sound and handle the automatic balancing of ambient noise reduction well, there’s little doubt that these will be my favorite wireless earbuds when they release.
The bad news
That release date, however, is much farther into the future than anyone wanted to see. After rolling the great videos about all that went into designing these earbuds, I was basically throwing my money at the stage. When the availability date of “Spring 2020” flashed onto the screen, I felt like I was punched right in the gut. Sure, I know that could be in 6 months or so, but to see a product that hits so many high notes be announced and then know that we all have to wait around half a year to actually get it felt like a low blow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love everything the Pixel Buds are set to bring to the table. I think they will be fantastic headphones and I think I’ll love using them very much. I just wasn’t ready for the wait and I wonder what ill effect that wait will have on the success of these insanely-promising earbuds. Only time will tell.