Google tried to take on Apple's AirPods with its Pixel Buds, but as we all know, that didn't work out too well – the Pixel Buds aren't truly wireless and connect to each other with a cord, and coupled with some additional issues like poor audio and a finicky charging case, they never stood a chance. However, if you bought them prepared for these problems, you still got headphones with stellar Google Assistant support and quick pairing, so there's that. Now, the Buds are receiving a new firmware update that packs reduced lag, better connectivity, and improved battery stats.

After the update, you should hear less latency between video and audio on YouTube videos and games. The Pixel Buds also finally manage to report 100% of battery at full charge – it surprises me that they didn't do that before. Improvements on the connectivity front are a little more advanced and hidden for most users since they specifically address factory resets; the headphones' Bluetooth is now discoverable within 1-2 seconds after performing one.

Pixel Buds version 2.2185.230
Updated June 11, 2019

This firmware update includes:

  • Reduced lag when playing games or YouTube videos
  • Pixel Buds now report 100% battery at full charge
  • After factory reset, Bluetooth is discoverable within 1-2 seconds

The features come with the latest firmware 2.2185.230. To check whether the update is available for your Buds, head to the Google Assistant app while your headphones are connected and tap your profile picture in the right corner. There, enter settings, and go to Assistant -> Pixel Buds. As always, we can expect Google to roll out the new software in stages, so it might take a while until you receive it. (Although, oddly, the company says the update started rolling out by May 21 – it only announced the changelog on Tuesday.)

Google Assistant
Google Assistant
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free