Last night at Google’s hardware launch event, it became clear that the company wants to continue pushing the Google Assistant as much as possible. Not only did we see the launch of the Google Home Mini and Pixel 2 smartphone, but Google also launched ‘Pixel Buds’, which are essentially an alternative to Apple’s AirPods, with Google Assistant baked in.
As we saw at the launch last night, the Pixel 2 has no headphone jack, meaning users will need to either switch to USB Type-C headphones, or wireless ear buds. To help with that switch, Google is releasing the Pixel Buds, wireless earbuds connected by a cable intended to go behind your head. You can then use touch sensitive controls to interact with Google Assistant, adjust volume or play/pause your music.
Aside from having music controls, the Pixel Buds can interact with the Google Assistant in a number of ways. If your phone is in your pocket for instance, you can have the ear bus read your notifications out to you. You can even turn the Pixel Buds into a personal translator with commands like “help me speak German”, or any other language supported by Google Translator.
Similarly to Apple’s AirPods, Google’s Pixel Buds will be expensive. When these launch in November, they’ll cost $159, they will be available in different colours though, so you can match your new Pixel smartphone. Speaking of the new Pixel smartphone, you can read our report on that from last night, HERE.
KitGuru Says: A lot of people aren’t ready to move on from traditional headphones and the headphone jack, but it seems that this is the direction major phone makers are going in. It may take a while but eventually, I imagine more companies will follow in Apple and Google’s footsteps.