Google is rolling out an update to the Pixel Buds (2020) that brings several new features to the recently released wireless earbuds, including a ‘Bass Boost’ option, ‘Sharing detection,’ ‘Find My Device’ integration and more.
Google says the firmware update will automatically install when the Pixel Buds (2020) are connected to an Android 6.0 and above device and ‘Auto Updates’ are turned on. The tech giant says that the update is “rolling out in stages” starting on August 20th.
Below is a quick list of all the new features coming to the Pixel Buds:
Bass Boost: Google says turning this feature on adds more bass to the Pixel Buds. Given one of my main issues with the Buds is their lack of bass, this seems like a great addition to the Pixel Buds.
Sharing Detection: If you give one of your buds to another person, after five to 10 seconds, a chime will play, letting you know that sharing has been detected. Google says the feature works during media playback and calls.
Find My Device: Similar to Apple’s AirPods and the company’s ‘Find My’ app, it’s now easier to locate lost Pixel Buds thanks to integration with Google’s ‘Find My Device’ app. The app won’t tell you precisely where the Buds are located but will still give you a rough idea, says Google.
Transcribing mode on Google Translate: Building on the Pixel Buds’ conversation functionality, this new transcription mode allows users to follow along by reading the translated speech to you. The feature will initially allow French, German, Italian and Spanish speakers to translate English.
Attention Alerts: Described as an “experimental feature,” Google says ‘Attention Alerts’ utilize AI technology to detect important sounds like a baby crying, a dog barking or an emergency vehicle siren. The Pixel Buds will then make you aware of this noise by lowering the volume and playing a chime.
Turn touch controls on or off: While wireless earbud touch controls are great, they can also get finicky. This feature, as you may have already guessed, allows you to turn the Pixel Buds touch controls off.
New Google Assistant queries: The Pixel Buds now work with two new commands, “Hey Google, turn on/off touch controls,” and “Hey Google, what’s the battery on my earbuds?”
I was impressed with Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) and described them as the most comfortable earbuds I had every used at the time. They feature a wide sound stage and a great design, but, unfortunately, lacked significant bass and feature average battery life. It’s worth noting that I reviewed the Pixel Buds before trying Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, which I’ve been very impressed with so far (my review will be up on MobileSyrup soon).
It’s great to see Google already responding to at least some of the criticism aimed at the Pixel Buds, though I doubt the company will be able to improve the earbuds’ less than stellar battery life. I’ve briefly tested out a few of the new features and they all seem to work well. For example, the Bass Boost functionality really does add a lot of bass to the Pixel Buds.
The Pixel Buds launched in Canada in July 2020, and cost $239 CAD. Google has also launched two new Buds colours in Canada, ‘Almost Black’ and ‘Quite Mint.’ Previously only the ‘Clearly White’ Pixel Buds were available in Canada.