The Pixel Buds make a pretty good case for those who travel a great deal too. While Google Translate is right there on any Android device, your S$238 investment here adds a touch of convenience to proceedings by giving you in-ear, nearly-real-time translations as people speak.
It’s worth noting that the Buds themselves don’t do the translating work though – the app on your phone does. Which means they're only as good as the app itself. Serviceable, in other words.
Other benefits of using the Buds for translation purposes: you don’t need to pass the phone around when talking to someone who's speaking in another language. You can listen in and speak via your Pixel Buds, while another person can chip in using your phone. It doesn’t drastically change things, but it does save a little trouble.
Obviously, earbuds aren’t going to be an audiophile’s pick. But if you’re not ultra-picky about soundstages and active noice cancelling, these are going to serve you well.
More than just well actually, especially if you love heavy bass. Compared to the AirPods, the Pixel Buds pack in heavier, punchier bass notes, to the point that they almost overwhelm the highs (something that many of us who are into pop will appreciate). These aren’t inserts – they don’t have rubber caps that block out sound - so the substantial bass also helps to block out the majority of noise that can interfere with your music on the go.
Not into AirPods and got $250 to spare
But for that, the Pixel Buds do offer superior “smarts” and are suitably light and pretty to look at, as is their handy clamshell case that charges your earphones and lets everyone know you have a Google product. But that probably isn’t what this is about.
Google’s clearly pitting itself up against the similarly priced AirPods. If you’re not into the whole absolute-wirelessness of the AirPods and want some of the benefits afforded with Assistant integration, you may find these pretty useful.
It’s certainly an exciting start to the trend of “smart” earphones. And as voice assistants get even smarter, brands will find even more ways of working them into the way we interact with our phones and other devices. The Pixel Buds aren’t the real deal yet, but like we said, if you do end up geting a pair this Christmas or have S$250 to spare, you’ll find a fair deal to enjoy.