There was always something off about the Pixel Buds. Google released the smart, wireless headphones a full year after Apple released the AirPods. But the Pixel Buds aren't exactly wireless, and they're not exactly smart, either. In fact, after spending a few days with the product, I'm prepared to say it: the Pixel Buds suck.
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With the Pixel 2, Google joined Apple in the race to kill the headphone jack. But you can't kill the jack if you don't have a solid wireless solution to fall back on. Which is why, on Wednesday, Google announced that its doing a riff on one of the Apple's coolest features, the seamless pairing of phones to Bluetooth headphones like the Apple Airpods. Now you should be able to pair your new Google headphones to your Android device with a tap.
With all the glitz of Google's October event last week focusing on the new Pixel 2 phone, it was easy to miss two other announcements: a new miniature Google Home speaker called the Home Mini (and a big one called the Max), and a pair of Bluetooth earphones called the Pixel Buds that pack in some Google Assistant AI smarts. If you're wondering when they're coming to Australia and how much they'll cost, this is where you find out.
Google announced some new hardware at a characteristically low key event in San Francisco on today. Nearly everything had been leaked ahead of the event, but there were a few surprises -- some more exciting than others. Inevitably, one thing seemed clear: Google wants to be a gadget company, too.