We’ve always seen a competition between Google and Apple, no matter what they’re launching: OS, smartphones, and now even headphones.
It’s been a year since the AirPods have been released and Apple launched itself in the business of making wireless buds. Right now, Google has just introduced Pixel Buds, which are sort of wireless.
There is a clear difference between these two types of earbuds, starting from the design and ending two ways of connection. Everyone is aching for another Google and Apple comparison, so let’s see which one is the absolute winner in matters of wireless ear buds.
The AirPods only come in white and have a nice glossy finish. They are tall and thin and are supposed to hang from your ears, and surprisingly they don’t fall even if you’re moving around more than just walking. They have small holes for speaker and microphone at the tips that are made of chrome. The AirPods have a nice little case in which they charge.
The Pixel Buds don’t have the same premium feel, as the finish on the outer pads have a plastic finish that feels cheap, compared to the AirPods. Thankfully, the inside of the buds is well made. The buds don’t’ have a perfect fit for the ears and this causes sound leakage, but they didn’t fall from our ears while we tested them. The tether that connects them to each other is quite stylish and they come with various colors: black, blue or white. The case is a bigger than that of the AirPods and is a bit too difficult to close it.
It’s obvious that in terms of design the Apple AirPods are winning the match.
Both earphones are connecting automatically to your smartphones, but the Pixel Buds has some trouble auto-pairing to devices that run Android 6.0 and above.
Apple AirPods easily pair with your phone via Bluetooth once you tap to connect them.
Here the winner is Apple AirPods, for a quick and easy setup with no issues.
Both earphones offer 5 hours of playback time after a single charge and 24 hours from their charging case. We would say that this is a tie, but the AirPods win this round, since the tethered buds should last for about 8-10 hours after a single charge.
The Audio Quality
Neither of these Buds are great if you’re looking for quality and superior sounds. For a casual listener, both are ok, but do not excel at this point.
The AirPods have a lot of interesting features: if you take one out, the music will pause. If you take both out of your ears, the buds will go to sleep mode and save battery until you put them back inside your ears. You can check battery life by keeping the charge pod near your iPhone and it will show you how much battery both buds and the case still has. The buds also benefit Siri support. One tap outside of a bud and you will activate her to communicate with her. She will tell you if you have phone calls, alarms and answer your questions.
The Pixel Buds also have some touch interactions too: tap for play and pause music or control volume by swiping. By tapping and holding the right earbud you will activate the Assistant that is quick to respond and understand your commands. It also has a translate mode, but it only works on Pixel smartphones.
Apple wins at the features department, as it has more useful and better integrated feature than the Pixel Buds, while the latter have a promising beginning which should be further developed.
Price & Compatibility
Both devices work on either iOS 10+ or on Android 5+ devices, and both have the same price: $159. We’ll call it a tie.
The earbuds are so different that they don’t address to the same people, as they each promote different ideas. You’ll have great Google Assistant integration with the Pixel buds and impressive tricks if you own a Pixel smartphone, but the AirPods have more reliable and useful features.