Google Pixel Buds could be getting a refresh at the Made By Google event in New York today.
The annual hardware event by Google is widely-tipped to see the Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4 XL, new Google Wi-Fi, and Google Home Hub unveiled. Rumours have suggested a new pair of Google headphones – known as Pixel Buds 2 – could also debut, too.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been that much information about the new true wireless earbuds. Certainly nothing like the deluge of information we’ve seen on the Pixel 4.
But at the very least, we’d expect to see Google cut the wire between the two earbuds to make them truly wireless. It’s also very likely they’ll have always-listening microphones, like rival Apple AirPods and Amazon Echo Buds, so you can summon the AI assistant by simply stating the wake phrase out loud.
Given that Google is already rolling-out support for always-listening on its first-generation Pixel Buds, it seems like a sure thing for the next pair.
Over the weekend, Pixel Bud owners noticed an option for “Hey Google” appear in the settings app, although it’s not working at the moment, which suggests the feature isn’t quite ready and has gone live early – or is reserved for the new hardware and appeared in the app by mistake.
As it stands, Google Pixel Bud owners need to tap one of the earbuds to summon Google Assistant.
It’s unclear whether Google is bringing active noise-cancellation to the earbuds. This is something available in the Surface Earbuds, as well as the Sony WF-1000XM3.
If Google wants to compete with these new rivals, it’ll want to try and keep shoulder-to-shoulder in terms of features. Or offer something unique to Android users that only it can provide – like the painless pairing and instant syncing to all of your devices that Apple offers with its AirPods.
Google Senior VP Hiroshi Lockheimer has provided a few hints of where the Mountain View firm is headed with its true wireless earbuds, thanks to a tweet posted earlier this year. The Google Senior Vice President shared a list of features that would make the “perfect pair of truly wireless buds”.
Lockheimer states: “Great sound quality, latest codecs. 10+ hours before needing a charge. A case that fits in tight pockets, USB-C. Sweat-proof for workouts. Intuitive, tactile buttons. Auto mutes when someone is talking to me.”
Now, the Google Senior Vice President might’ve just been musing to himself in a tweet after a long day on the Google campus. But that doesn’t seem quite right. After all, why would Google VP Lockheimer list a load of features that Google doesn’t offer in any of its audio accessories at the moment?
Thankfully, we don’t have long left to wait. Made By Google kickstarts at 7am Pacific Time, 10am Eastern Time, and 3pm here in the UK.