Google challenges Apple's AirPods by unveiling Pixel Buds

Google has announced its Pixel Buds headphones to take on Apple's AirPods and bring its Assistant to your ears.

Google Pixel buds
Google Pixel Buds set to make things difficult for Apple’s AirPods Google

Following the footsteps of Apple, Google has launched its Pixel Buds. The new wireless headphones are specifically designed to beat Apple's AirPods that were debuted alongside the iPhone 7 family back in September 2016.

The Sundar Pichai-led team has powered the new Pixel Buds with Google Assistant that lets you make phone calls or get directions without using your smartphone. The Assistant integration also provides you with voice-based notifications and even reads an incoming message or a calendar event -- just like a personal assistant.

"These wireless headphones not only sound great, they are seamless to use and charge, offer help from the Google Assistant and have a few extra smarts so you can get the answers you need while keeping your eyes up," said Adam Champy, product manager for Google Pixel Buds.

Also read: Plug in headphones and charge your iPhone simultaneously through Apple's new adapter

Google Assistant's presence on Pixel Buds is quite similar to the availability of Siri on AirPods. Additionally, Google has bundled a charging case that automatically establishes a wireless connection between the headphones and your Android 7.0 Nougat running, Assistant-based smartphone, once you open it for the first time.

Similar to AirPods, Pixel Buds don't have any buttons to control its operations. The right earbud from the pair, however, does have a touchpad that allows you to adjust volume with swipe forward and backward gestures and play or pause music with a single tap.

Multilingual translation

One thing that separates Pixel Buds from Apple's AirPods is Google Translate support that works in 40 international languages. This is something smarter than most of the smart devices as you can translate your own words in real-time using the headphones, and the output will be played through the speaker of your smartphone. But there is one catch -- you need to own a Pixel phone.

Google Pixel Buds are coming to the US in November at a price of US$159 (approximately SG$217). There are also plans to bring the headphones in three colour options to other regions, including Singapore, sometime in the same month.