Google upgrades the Pixel Buds with their first feature drop, adding bass boost, sharing detection and more

Google Pixel Buds 2020
Google Pixel Buds 2020 (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google just announced the first feature drop for its wireless earbuds.
  • Users should start receiving the software update on their Pixel Buds beginning today.
  • The update includes features like bass boost, better translation support for some languages, and improved Assistant integration.

"A genuine triumph," "worth the wait," and "my favorite wireless earbuds" are just some of the phrases the Android Central team has used to describe Google's truly wireless earbuds. And with their first feature drop, set to drop sometime today, Google plans on making the Pixel Buds even better.

Sharing your Buds with a friend? Google's software will now automatically detect this and let each person individually control the volume settings on their earbud. It even works during calls, but Google's engineers were smart enough to remember to disable one of the microphones during calls to avoid all that chaos three people talking over each other might bring.

In our review of the Pixel Buds, we found their bass output to be good, but not great, and Google agreed that it could do better with the release of a new bass boost option that's designed to give your music playlist that extra oomph.

The feature drop also improves the Buds' real-time translation feature. While conversation mode could previously play a translation of someone else speaking in another language directly into your ears, the new transcribe mode also shows you the text on-screen, making it easier to follow along if you missed something earlier.

Transcribe mode is currently only available for English translations from one of French, German, Italian, or Spanish.

Assistant also gets a few new Pixel Buds powers with the "Hey Google, what's the battery on my earbuds?" and "Hey Google, turn on/off touch controls" queries. That last query also reveals one of the new features available in this drop: the ability to turn off touch controls if you don't need them.

And last but not least, Google is playing up its AI prowess with a new feature called Attention Alerts, which automatically detects sounds like a baby crying or an emergency vehicle siren and then lowers your audio volume to ensure you don't miss out on something important. The Buds will also play a designed chime when this happens as a further reminder for you to check if everything's okay.

The drop will roll out in stages starting today, so if you haven't gotten it yet, don't fret. The upgrade process is pretty seamless and largely automatic once you connect the Buds to an Android 6.0+ smartphone with the Pixel Buds app installed. You can check the instructions for firmware updates on Google's support page here.

Google Pixel Buds (2020) render

Google Pixel Buds

While a little expensive, Google's Pixel Buds are among the best true wireless earbuds out there. And with this feature drop (hopefully the first of many to come), they're becoming even better!

Muhammad Jarir Kanji