Wireless earbuds have come a long way since its inception. While getting a decent pair of headphones were a hassle, given the amount of options, the same can be said about wireless earbuds. Top manufacturers like Skullcandy, Bose, Sennheiser etc are pioneers in this field, and have given us innumerable products over the years. However, companies like Apple and Google also have their own unique offerings, separate from what’s sold by other companies in the market. Apple launched the AirPods in late 2016. The headphones were pretty small and contained plenty of sensors inside for some cool features. However, people complained that these were incredibly expensive for wireless headphones.
Google Pixel Buds vs Apple AirPods
And in 2017, Google announced the Pixel Buds. This is Google’s answer to the AirPods, and it’s clear that the earbuds were made to impress. They are not fully wireless like the AirPods (which isn’t a bad thing), which basically means you’re not going to lose it that easily. There are some cool tricks underneath as well, which will no doubt make the decision easier. So how does Google’s new offering fare against the AirPods? Let’s have a look to find out.
Google Pixel Buds vs Apple AirPods best wireless earbuds
Pixel Buds come with a very simplistic design. The earbuds are held together with a rope like material, which gives it a very raw look. As we mentioned above, this rope/thread will ensure that you will never have to search for one of your earbuds again, as both of them will be together at all times. Moving on, the earbuds also act as a touchpad of sorts, allowing users to interact with it. There are no physical buttons, however.
Pros and Cons
One of the features that I personally love is the ability to translate conversations in real time using the Pixel Buds. Using this feature is pretty simple. The user has to tap and hold the earbuds and say something in his/her language. The connected Pixel phone will then translate the words you said into the language of your choice, preferably for a person near you. This person can then say something in their native tongue for the phone to translate it and send over the audio to the Pixel Buds. All of this happens pretty quickly, so there’s no lag whatsoever. This feature is still pretty new and untested, so its feasibility cannot be confirmed. However, if it performs the way Google claims, then we’re sure it will be tough to beat.
The battery life of the Pixel Buds is only five hours. This is despite packing a 120 mAh battery, which is nearly double the size of the AirPods. Five hours on a full charge is really not enough, but considering how the AirPods offer the same battery life, we’re mildly disappointed. The Pixel Buds also lack motion sensing, dual optical sensors etc, which are only found on the Apple AirPods. So despite the Pixel Buds coming with a solid feature set, it is found to be lacking in some areas. The Pixel Buds are made with Pixel phones in mind, so even though it will work just fine on all Bluetooth compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers, some of the features (like translation) will be limited to Pixel phones. So unless you have a Pixel phone at your disposal, you might not be able to use all of its features.
The Pixel Buds will set you back by $159.99, which is relatively expensive compared to other earbuds, but considering what it brings to the table, we don’t find it to be too expensive. It’s clear that Google wants to market the Pixel Buds as an alternative to the AirPods, which explains why it’s priced the same as the Pixel Buds.
The Apple AirPods have a very simple design. From the outside, they pretty much look like EarPods but without the wire. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. The device comes with an array of sensors underneath, including the W1 chip which allows it to get enhanced features like motion detection, dual optical sensors, and dual beam forming microphones. The combination of these features makes for a truly exciting experience for the customers.
Pros and Cons
One of the biggest positives of the AirPods is that it comes with support for all Bluetooth devices. However, you won’t be able to use some of the crucial features of the AirPods if you don’t have an iPhone. Let’s say you have an Android phone. Well, if you pair the AirPods with these, you will only be able to listen to music and perhaps conduct phone conversations. Some of the essential features have been limited to iPhones.
Also, the sound quality on the AirPods is really not up to the mark. Since they’re not exactly in-ear headphones, the sound seeps out of your ear more often than not. This also means that you’re likely to hear the background noise when you simply want to relax with some tunes. This could be a dealbreaker for many, considering that you’re spending this big an amount on a pair of headphones. However, the AirPods also has its benefits as we’ve mentioned above, so not all hope is lost.
I personally like the fact that the AirPods, despite featuring a 62 mAh battery, lasts almost the same time as the Pixel Buds, which comes with a 120 mAh battery underneath. This goes to show that Apple has put in a lot of work on the battery of the AirPods. It is also possible that the W1 chip inside is keeping things running efficiently.
The Apple AirPods can be purchased from a variety of retailers for $159, which puts it in the same league as the Pixel Buds. These are amazing earbuds, no doubt. However, from personal experience, I can conclude that it’s simply not worth the premium you’re paying. The features it has are pretty cool, but we’re sure you can get better audio quality on competing Bluetooth headphones.
While both phones have their own set of pros and cons, we can conclusively say that the Pixel Buds is leagues ahead of the AirPods, even in terms of features. While some of its functionality is limited to Pixel phones, Google’s innovation is what takes the cake here. Both headphones are wireless, so you won’t find any trouble with regards to compatibility. With the battery life also being on par, the only question is brand preference. It is also important to pick the headphones based on the phone you have. If you carry a Pixel or Pixel 2, getting the Pixel Buds is a no-brainer. However, if you’re entangled in the Apple ecosystem, you’re probably better off with the AirPods. Choose wisely.