True wireless earbuds are all the rage these days, and two pairs in particular stand out amongst the pricier options: Google's second-gen Pixel Buds and the ever-popular Jabra Elite 75ts. Both offer great experiences in their own ways, but each set is designed with different users in mind. Which pair of true wireless earbuds is best for you depends on which user you are.
Hands-free voice commands versus tailored audio
When you're spending nearly $200 on a pair of earbuds, you expect a certain level of quality. Thankfully both companies delivered with excellent build quality in both the earbuds themselves and the cases they charge in. The Pixel Buds ditch the clumsy cable and fabric shell case of the previous generation in favor of an almost egg-shaped charging case that snaps open and shut with a satisfying click. It's sleek and slim enough to even fit into the change pocket of most jeans.
The Pixel Buds have a delightfully snappy case that charges wirelessly.
The case for the Jabra Elite 75t, while not quite as svelte, is equally impressive. The earbuds are held firmly in place by strong magnets, as is the lid. You won't get quite the same snap of the Pixel Buds, but even held upside-down, you won't be able to shake the earbuds out of place without significant force.
One distinct advantage of the Pixel Buds' charging case is its wireless charging capability. While Jabra offers a variant of its Elite 75t earbuds that come with a wireless charging case, the standard model has no such support. On the bright side, both cases charge over USB-C.
As for the earbuds themselves, the Elite 75t have an immediate advantage thanks to EQ controls that allow you to fine-tune the sound for different types of music. With the Pixel Buds, the same simplicity that makes its app easy to use means that you're stuck with the sound you get. Thankfully, both pairs of earbuds sound fantastic out of the box, both for listening and making calls.
You get three sets of eartips in different sizes with each pair of earbuds, and the Pixel Buds feature a wing on each earbud that allows for a tight seal in your ear. Comfort is subjective, of course, and you may or may not like the wing, but it's there to keep the Pixel Buds from falling out of your ears during exercise.
You'll also get passthrough audio with each set of earbuds, though neither feature active noise cancellation of any kind — for that, you'll need to look at other options like the Sony WF-1000XM3 or Apple Airpods Pro.
Both earbuds also allow you to control music playback without pulling out your phone. The Elite 75ts feature a button on each earbud that you can press to play, pause, or skip tracks, or activate a voice assistant of your choosing. The tactile feel of a button is convenient, but you can certainly feel pressure in your ear with each press. The Pixel Buds, on the other hand, feature both touch and swipe controls, allowing you to not only control your music but also adjust your volume.
The adjustable EQ settings and outstanding audio quality of the Elite 75ts are a huge plus.
Another trick up the Pixel Buds' sleeve: Google. While the Jabras can activate a voice assistant with a button press, the Pixel Buds feature the same always-listening Google Assistant access as the company's smart speakers. Just say "Hey Google" and dictate your voice command. They also feature Adaptive Sound, which analyzes the ambient noise around you to automatically increase and decrease playback volume seamlessly.
Of course, battery life is an important factor as well. On their own, the Elite 75ts outlast the Pixel Buds by two hours, with seven hours and five hours per charge, respectively, and with the charging case you can get all the way up to 28 hours of battery life on the Jabras — the Pixel Buds land a shorter but still excellent 24 hours. The Pixel Buds have an advantage in charging speeds, however, landing two hours of battery life in just 10 minutes, while the Jabras net a single hour with a 15-minute charge.
Ultimately, both earbuds are excellent options for nearly any shopper. If you want the easiest access to Google Assistant at all times, the Pixel Buds are the obvious choice — you'll love the snappy case and simple touch controls. For the absolute best sound quality and longest battery life, though, the Jabras still pull through with an extra two hours per charge and adjustable audio quality.
Jabra Elite 75t
Remarkable sound and all-day battery life
The Elite 75t lasts for 7.5 hours on a charge, and feature excellent audio and call quality. The case doesn't wirelessly charge, but it holds an additional 20.5 hours of battery life.
Google Pixel Buds (2020)
Touchless controls and a satisfying case
The Pixel Buds comes in a compact charging case that opens with a satisfying click, and carries 3-4 additional charges. They sound superb and feature an always-listening Google Assistant.
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