Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods, Pixel Buds, have been launched to mostly negative reviews. This is despite the fact that they are cleverly designed with features such as an adjustable loop which makes them easy to fit in ears of various sizes. Just like AirPods they are being sold at a price of $159.

According to some reviews the carrying case has been described as finicky and pairing them has been observed to be needlessly difficult. Some reviews have also found inconsistencies with regards to touch controls.

Real-time language translation

One of the key features of the Pixel Buds was supposed to be real-time language translation but this has been found to be under par and this has been attributed to weaknesses found in Google’s translation app which is responsible for facilitating real-time language. With software updates it is expected that the performance should improve with time.

One of the strong points of the wireless earphones developed by Google is audio quality. Another strong point is Google Assistant which has been observed to be better than Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. To get Google Assistant started on the Pixel Buds, users are required to touch and hold the right earbud. Double-tapping of the right earbud will trigger notifications on the other hand.

Battery life

The average battery life of the Pixel Buds is similar to that of AirPods – five hours of use and another four hours while in the case. Google’s hardware operations are expanding at a time when the future is being viewed as mostly wireless. Both Pixel 2 Xl and Pixel 2 have both done away with the headphone jack and this comes a year after the iPhone maker also did the same with iPhone 7.

In the market for Bluetooth earphones, Apple is leading pack in the United States as it currently has an 85% revenue share, per a report compiled by NPD. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant classifies AirPods as wearables and this business brought in revenues totaling $6.7 billion in fiscal 2017. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, classifies hardware under ‘other revenues’ and sales in this segment grew by 40% in the last quarter to reach a figure of $3.4 billion.