The new Pixel Buds have plenty going for them: they're modern and sleek, they sound nice, and their Android integration is top-notch. But a quick glance at the Pixel Buds support forums shows tons of reports of connectivity problems. The good news is that Google is aware of these issues and a fix is on the way — eventually.

Users have been reporting connectivity troubles that make the earbuds difficult to use, especially outdoors. These problems have surfaced on different firmware releases — both version 225, which the buds launched with, and newer version 295 — and when paired with phones from multiple manufacturers. Some units are losing connection when covered by a hand, or only playing audio through one side.

A few cases seem to have been resolved by unpairing and re-pairing the buds with their source device, but not all. The problem isn't universal, at least: I've been using the Pixel Buds for more than a month now, and while I have complaints, none of them are related to connection. My review unit maintains its connection fine indoors and out, only getting a little choppy when I keep my phone in my back pocket.

After seeing these complaints pile up for weeks, we're finally starting to get a response from Google, with a representative posting in support forums that the company is aware of these connection issues and its engineers are preparing software updates aimed at addressing them. Specifically, Google lists problems with connection cut-outs, connection auto-recovery, and stability of media playback as things that are going to be addressed.

What we don't have, though, is a firm ETA, and the best Google can do is give us a heads-up that we should hope to see those solutions land "in the coming weeks." Before that one lands, though, we're set to see the release of firmware 296 later this week, and while that won't do anything about these connection problems, it will be trying to eliminate the hissing/static noise many users have reported.

New fix details

Updated with even more information on Google's response.

  • Thanks:
  • Darius