The Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless are the successor to the Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless but feature a different truly wireless design. Due to their sleek, lightweight design and shallow fit, they're quite comfortable. They also look and feel quite premium, and Android users can pair them very easily by simply opening the charging case near an Android device. Their sound profile is versatile enough for most genres and content, though unfortunately, their selection of sound customization options is rather limited. They don't filter out much ambient noise either.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are decent truly wireless headphones for neutral sound. They have a well-balanced sound profile that should suit most genres, though their underemphasized low-bass range may bother fans of genres like EDM or hip-hop. Furthermore, they have a closed-off soundstage, though that's fairly normal for closed-back in-ears.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are okay for commuting and traveling. While they're exceptionally portable and comfortable enough to wear for long periods, they block very little background noise, especially the low engine rumble of buses or planes. Their near seven-hour continuous battery life should be long enough for your daily commutes, but might not be sufficient for overnight flights. On the bright side, Google advertises two hours of playback from a quick 10-minute charge, though we don't test this.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are great truly wireless headphones for sports. Thanks to their lightweight design and stability fins, they feel very stable in the ear and don't move or slide around, even with more vigorous head movements. Their IPX4 rating for water resistance makes them a good fit for outdoor runs, though we don't currently test this. They look and feel very well-built and durable, so they should endure a couple of minor drops and bumps.
The Google Pixel Buds 2 are passable for office use. They're comfortable enough to wear all day, but their battery may not last long enough to get you through an entire workday. Unfortunately, they don't help much with blocking background noise, but they don't leak much audio, so you can turn your music up without bothering nearby coworkers.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are Bluetooth-only headphones that aren't recommended for wireless gaming. While you can game with them on a mobile device or Bluetooth-enabled PC, their high audio latency makes them less than ideal for this use.
The Google Pixel Buds 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.
The Google Pixel Buds 2 are mediocre headphones for phone calls. Their integrated mic makes your voice sound thin and muffled, though it does a good job of isolating it from background noise. Their poor noise isolation capability can also make it difficult for you to follow what's being said on a call if you're in a noisy environment.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 come in four color variants: 'Clearly White', 'Almost Black', 'Oh So Orange', and 'Quite Mint'. We tested the 'Clearly White' model, but expect the other variants to perform similarly overall.
Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant, so we can update our review.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are the successor to the Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless but now have a truly wireless design. They look and feel premium, and can easily pair with newer Android devices by simply opening the charging case near your device. They're as comfortable as the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, but unfortunately, unlike the Apple, they don't have ANC and block very little background noise. Check out our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds, and the best wireless earbuds for Android.
The Google Pixel Buds A-Series Truly Wireless are the budget-friendly sibling of the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless but perform very similarly. Both headphones have a comfortable and well-built design with balanced sound profiles. However, the Pixel Buds 2020 have a higher total battery life and offer volume control. They also support wireless charging.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are an upgrade from the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Pro version has a different sound profile that's more v-shaped than neutral, which you may prefer if you like genres like pop and rock. They also have an ANC system and can block out an excellent amount of ambient noise around you, have a significantly better battery performance, and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with two devices simultaneously. However, the 2020 headphones are more comfortable.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Samsung have a better-balanced sound profile, block a lot more background noise, and have a much longer battery life. On the other hand, the Google pair to Android devices almost instantly, and have a better control scheme that's very easy to use.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Galaxy Buds have a better-balanced sound profile and isolate much more background noise. On the other hand, the Pixel Buds pair to Android devices almost instantly, and have a much easier-to-use control scheme. Their companion app is also compatible with both Android and iOS, though it doesn't offer much in terms of customization options.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless are better wireless headphones than the Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless but with a different design. While the 2017 model have a wire connecting each earbud, the new Pixel Buds 2020 are truly wireless. Other than that, the 2020 Pixel Buds are more comfortable, have a much better-balanced sound profile, and have a longer single-charge battery life. On the other hand, the 2017 Pixel Buds can be paired to two devices at once, though the newer model now has instant pairing with Android devices.
The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are much better truly wireless in-ears than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Apple block significantly more background noise, thanks in part to their great ANC feature. They also have a slightly better-balanced sound profile with a bit more bass. On the other hand, the Google last longer off a single charge, and have an easier-to-use control scheme.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are better truly wireless in-ears than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Jabra have a higher IP rating for water and dust resistance and physical buttons that offer more functionality. They also block way more background noise, have better microphone recording quality, support multi-device pairing, and have a much better app with access to a graphic EQ and presets. On the other hand, the Pixel's case holds more charges, and can fully charge your earbuds much faster. They also pair instantly with Android devices.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless are much better truly wireless headphones than the Microsoft Surface Earbuds Truly Wireless. The Google are more comfortable and have a better control scheme that's much easier to use. They also feel more stable in the ear and have a much better-balanced sound profile that's much more consistent between different users. They also last longer off a single charge, and their case holds a lot more full charges. On the other hand, some people may prefer the fit of the Microsoft as they don't enter the ear canal nearly as deeply. Their companion app also gives access to a graphic EQ and presets
The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Amazon have an ANC feature and isolate you from much more ambient noise. Their integrated mic has a significantly better recording quality, and you can customize their sound profile with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. However, the Google come with a case that holds a greater number of additional charges, and their touch-sensitive controls are easier to use.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless and Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless have different strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung block out more ambient noise, provide a longer continuous runtime, have more customization options in their companion app, and have far lower wireless latency on mobile devices. Meanwhile, the Google in-ears are comfier, have a more comprehensive control scheme, provide a more consistent listening experience, and leak less noise. Their integrated mic also does a better job of isolating speech from background noise.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 are premium-looking headphones with a minimalist style. They're compact, sleek, and don't feature much in the way of flashy branding or accents. Unlike the first-generation Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless, they're now truly wireless headphones with an in-ear fit. We tested the white version, which have a mix of matte white and black on both the earbuds and the case. They're also available in black, orange, or green, though the case is the same for all color options, and the black part of the earbud remains unchanged.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 have okay controls. Each earbud has a touch-sensitive surface so you can make commands without having to push the headphones further into your ear. They're very easy to use, and you can issue all commands on either ear, which can be handy if your hands are full. One tap pauses and plays media, two taps skips forward, and three taps rewinds the track. Swiping forward or backward increases or decreases volume, respectively. A long press turns on your phone's voice assistant. There's a fair bit of feedback in the form of beeps for playback adjustments, though there are no audio cues for volume changes except for once you've reached the minimum or maximum increments. Unlike the older Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless, which were prone to erroneous inputs, we didn't have this issue with these headphones.
Like most truly wireless in-ears, the Google Pixel Buds 2 are very portable. They should be easy to store in your pocket, and their case is small enough to be tossed in a pouch or bag with little concern.
The Google Pixel Buds 2's case is amazing. It looks and feels very premium, with an unusual rounded-off shape, and supports Qi wireless charging as well as conventional cable charging over USB-C. While there's an indicator light on the outside, it only tells you when the case itself is charged. You need to open the lid to see the interior indicator light that shows whether your earbuds are finished charging or not, which can be a bit annoying.
The Google Pixel Buds 2 look and feel well-made and durable. They're made from dense high-grade plastic and have a matte finish that feels fairly scratch-resistant. They feel like they should be able to withstand a few accidental drops or bumps without sustaining any damage. They're rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't test for this.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020's sound profile is fairly well-balanced. While they're lacking some low-end bass out-of-the-box, which may displease fans of EDM or hip-hop, vocals and lead instruments should still sound full-bodied, present, and clear.
Note 09/17/2020: These headphones received a firmware update that adds a 'Bass Boost' feature within their companion app. When turned on, this feature adds quite a bit more bass, which is great if you find their default sound to be a bit light on thump and rumble.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020's bass accuracy is decent. Low-bass is quite recessed, resulting in a lack of thump and rumble. This may not be too noticeable with all music, but fans of EDM or dubstep are likely to be disappointed. They also lack a bit of kick and body, which is noticeable with most genres. On the bright side, their bass doesn't sound boomy, cluttered, or overpowering.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020's treble accuracy is decent. Vocals and instruments are detailed and well-articulated thanks to their well-balanced low-treble. Their mid-treble range is also somewhat recessed, which can make sibilants sound somewhat dull and lispy.
The peaks and dips performance is excellent. A small rise in the low-treble range can give a slightly harsh quality to vocals and lead instruments. The adjacent dip and peak in the mid-treble range makes sibilants, like cymbals or S and T sounds, alternatively dull and piercing, though this shouldn't be too noticeable for most listeners.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020's imaging performance is excellent. The weighted group delay falls beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are well-matched, resulting in accurate placement of instruments and objects, like voices and footsteps, in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020 have a bad passive soundstage. An expansive soundstage relies on interaction with the outer ear, which in-ears like these bypass. Sound is perceived as though it's coming from inside your head as opposed to in front of you. That said, their slightly more shallow fit yields a marginally more open listening experience than alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless.
These are the settings used to test the Google Pixel Buds 2020. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.
The Google Pixel Buds 2020's noise isolation is bad, and they passively block a lot less noise than most in-ear headphones. Unlike the Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless, which have ANC systems, they block almost no low-frequency noises, like the low rumble of bus or plane engines. They also do a poor job of filtering out background chatter and only do a mediocre job at higher-frequency sounds like fans or AC units.
The microphone's noise handling is excellent. In moderately noisy environments, the person on the other end of the line should have no problem hearing you, though you may have trouble being understood if you call from an especially loud setting, like a subway car.
The battery performance is only sub-par overall. They provide over six and a half hours of continuous playback, which outlasts their advertised claim of five hours but still falls short of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless's 13-hour-plus single charge runtime. That said, it's worth noting that real-world battery consumption can vary with usage habits. On the bright side, their charging case holds around five additional charges, which is excellent. Google also advertises two hours of playback from a ten-minute charge, though we don't test this.
The app for the Google Pixel Buds 2020 is only satisfactory. It doesn't offer too many customization options and has no EQ settings at all, which is a shame. On the bright side, you can use it to help find your earbuds' last known location if you misplace them, which is helpful. These headphones also have a 'Bass Boost' feature to this companion app. When turned on, this feature adds quite a bit more thump and rumble to their sound profile. Try the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless if you want truly wireless headphones that work with a better app that includes a graphic EQ.
Update 10/08/2021: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported 'PC latency' at 291 ms, 'iOS latency' at 230 ms, and 'Android Latency' at 165 ms. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in different values. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.
These in-ears have alright Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support NFC or multi-device pairing, which is a little annoying if you want to stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your computer. While you can pair them with any Bluetooth device like normal, when you open the case near a compatible Android device, it automatically recognizes them, making pairing very easy. This is advertised as working with any device running Android 6.0 or newer, and while it worked with our Samsung Galaxy S10e, we can't verify which other devices are compatible. Unfortunately, they have high latency on PCs as well as iOS and Android devices, which could be quite disruptive while streaming videos. However, it's worth noting that apps and devices seem to compensate for this differently, so your experience may vary in the real world.
Like most truly wireless headphones, the charging case doesn't have any inputs. It feels quite well made and supplies roughly five additional charges. It also has a USB-C port for charging and supports Qi wireless charging.