Google adds more colors and new features to its Pixel Buds 2 earbuds

Sarah Tew/CNET

Once they hit shops again in April, the Google Pixel Buds 2 earbuds bought quite a lot of consideration for his or her eye-catching Mentos-esque design. And whereas Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live are the wi-fi earbuds of the second — not less than when it comes to their revolutionary design — the Pixel Buds 2 could get some renewed consideration because of the arrival of latest colour choices that had been beforehand introduced however not out there for buy till now.

“Oh-so orange,” which appears a bit reddish to me, “fairly mint” and “nearly black” at the moment are formally on sale for $180 — the identical worth as the unique white model that I rated fairly extremely (read CNET’s full Pixel Buds 2 review).

New options on deck

Over the months, Google has offered some small firmware updates, together with one which fixed an issue with audio hissing that some individuals had been encountering. However with the discharge of the brand new colours, the corporate shall be rolling out a extra substantial software program replace for the Pixel Buds 2, which it says will embrace just a few new experiences. In response to Google, that features:

  • Discover My System has been expanded to incorporate the final identified location of your Buds, so you possibly can extra simply find the earbuds by seeing the place they had been final linked with an Android system.
  • Now you can toggle the contact controls on and off.
  • A brand new sharing-detection characteristic acknowledges once you’re sharing one in all your earbuds with a buddy, and permits every of you to swipe to regulate the quantity individually. 
  • Sound settings will now embrace a bass increase/EQ choice for these on the lookout for a stronger bass profile.
  • Transcribe mode shall be rolling out for Translate for English to French, German, Italian and Spanish, so you’ll ask the Assistant in these languages to “make it easier to communicate English” for smoother in-ear translations. 
  • Consideration Alerts, an experimental characteristic that makes use of AI expertise, goals to detect just a few vital sounds — a child crying, canine barking or an emergency automobile siren — and makes you conscious once you’re carrying your earbuds. 
  • New Assistant voice controls embrace, “Hey, Google, activate/off contact controls” and, “Hey, Google, what’s my battery?”

Some customers have complained about sporadic audio cutouts and Google did not say whether or not the brand new replace additionally fixes any bugs, however as quickly as I attempt the earbuds out with the up to date firmware, I will replace my evaluation to replicate any of the modifications I discover.  

Learn extra: Best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds of 2020

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David Carnoy