It makes perfect sense for Google to come out with its own pair of wireless earbuds because it serves two things simultaneously: rival Apple's own set of AirPods while mitigating customers' disappointment toward the lack of a headphone jack on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
A clever recourse, by all means, but perhaps not actually. That's because the new Bluetooth Pixel Buds headphones, which promises instant language translation on the fly, doesn't seem to be winning over critics. Some of them think it's too hard to set up, too complicated to use, and lacking in quality.
Pixel Buds Get Bad Reviews
Nearly all reviewers complain about the earbuds' "unintuitive" setup process, some find real-time translation lacking, while others aren't impressed with its unusually bulky design and form factor.
Here's what the critics are saying:
• Gizmodo: "If Apple products are so self explanatory your grandparents can use them, this Google product is so counterintuitive that figuring out the nuances feels like solving a trigonometry problem."
The review goes on to say that setting up the Pixel Buds proved to be difficult, as was trying to connect them to a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL — the only phones that enable its instant translation feature.
"I'd like to say that using the Pixel Buds was maddening or frustrating. That wouldn't be precise, though. It's confusing."
• Digital Trends: "Unless you're a Pixel phone owner who travels abroad on a regular basis, we'd recommend looking elsewhere."
Digital Trends found little to be dazzled by but did note that the Pixel Buds offered good audio, and its controls worked well enough. While instant translation was fun, it was only "relatively accurate."
"There's almost zero delay between when you press and hold on the right earbud and when you can start talking, and responses are speedy," said Digital Trends in reference to instant translation.
"It's not really new, but using the feature with the earbuds is fluid and easy, and we could see it coming in handy while traveling. The app can still struggle at times, but it's a huge step forward on the path to fluid conversation abroad."
• TechCrunch: "The Pixel Buds have many of the trappings of a first-generation product. There are software issues and strange hardware choices. They're a disappointing showing from what may be Google's most eagerly anticipated hardware product this year, a slew of interesting ideas and valiant attempts wrapped up in a product that just doesn't deliver."
• Wired: "Where AirPods are brilliantly simple, pairing and connecting and charging with perfect ease, every single thing about the Pixel Buds confuses me," said Wired. Even still, the reviewer found that the Pixel Buds offer great sound quality.
"The good news about the Pixel Buds: Once they're in your ears, they're great. They pump out deeper, richer, louder sound than the AirPods (again, low bar), with at least enough bass to make Sam Smith's low tenor resonate."
• SlashGear: "The Pixel Buds are an unexpectedly muted point in Google's 2017 device line-up. In fact, it's hard to escape the idea that they were rushed out to compete with AirPods, and in an attempt to assuage the complaints of those missing a headphone jack on the Pixel 2. Unfortunately, while they promise plenty, the actual experience underwhelms."
Google Pixel Buds Pricing And Availability
The Pixel Buds are available now at Google's online store for $159.
What do you think about Google's Pixel Buds? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!