Google Pixel Buds update addresses the wireless earbuds' biggest flaw

Google Pixel Buds
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Google Pixel Buds are the company's answer to the Apple AirPods, but the true wireless earbuds didn't exactly blow us away with their weak bass response.

A new update could be about to fix that though, as Google furnishes the Pixel Buds with a raft of improvements, including a 'bass boost' feature that allows you to enhance the lower frequencies of your music via the earbuds' settings.

A poor bass response was one of the reasons we felt the Pixel Buds didn't live up to competitors like the AirPods or the Sony WF-1000XM3; in fact, we felt the soundstage exaggerated the higher frequencies to the point of being uncomfortable to listen to.

Hopefully, this new update will go some way to addressing what is arguably the earbuds' biggest flaw – as well as introducing some cool quality-of-life features.

Sharing is caring

It's not just the sound that's set to change; Google has also announced that the Pixel Buds will now be able to detect when your sharing your buds with another person and allow you to adjust the volume accordingly.

Google says that "sharing detection automatically detects when you're sharing an earbud with someone and you can both individually swipe on your respective earbud to control your own volume". 

As well as that, an "experimental" feature called Attention Alerts lowers the volume of your music when the Pixel Buds detect noise you may want to tune into – for example, "if your dog barks, baby cries, or an emergency vehicle drives by with sirens ringing". 

If you misplace your earbuds, Google has also made it easier to find them; you could already 'ring' your earbuds so you can hear where they are, but you can now see them on a map too, thanks to an update to Find My Device. (This only works if they've already been paired with an Android 6.0 device or higher.)

Finally, Google Assistant is getting a few more Pixel Buds-related tricks. You can now ask the voice assistant to turn touch controls on and off as well as checking your battery life by saying, "Hey Google, how much battery life do I have left on my earbuds?".

With all these new features, it seems as though Google has listened to some of the criticisms of the original Pixel Buds and isn't giving up on its flagship true wireless earbuds – whether the update is enough to bring them on par with the best wireless earbuds of 2020 remains to be seen.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.