The second-generation Pixel Buds debuted a couple of months ago. We walked away unable to recommend them, but these wireless earbuds are getting a few new features today that will hopefully improve the experience a bit. They include bass boost, sharing detection, and a few others. Plus, some fixes have been implemented to hopefully alleviate the connectivity issues some have been experiencing.

These new features were teased last month along with a promise to fix the audio cutout issue that the Pixel Buds have dealt with for months. Google tells us that this version, v550, includes fixes for "decreasing instances of cut-outs during calls, better autorecovery when one or both earbuds lose connection, improving media playback stability for phones that have software audio encoding, and addresses an issue where one earbud fails to connect when pulled out of the case." We're also told that those who do continue to have connectivity issues should feel free to reach out to Google customer support.

Now onto the new features. The first is bass boost, which is pretty self-explanatory; you can turn the bass up in the Pixel Buds settings. Also new is sharing detection; the Pixel Buds are able to see when an earbud is being shared with someone else, at which point they'll allow both people to swipe on their bud to control their own volume. Pretty handy.

Google is also adding a transcribe mode, which will translate things on the fly from English to French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Understandably, it's said to work best in quiet environments with only one person talking at a time. For instance, in Spanish, the trigger would be "Hey Google, ayúdame a entender inglés" (help me understand English). Again, this only works to translate English speech to the other four languages at the moment, not vice versa. Users can also follow along on their phone to read the transcript.

Other additions include Attention Alerts, which are an experimental feature that lowers the volume of your audio if it detects dog barking, baby cries, or vehicles with sirens driving by. This seems difficult to implement, so it'll be interesting to see how effective it proves to be. There's also an update to Find My Device that will display the last known location of your Pixel Buds (when they were last connected to your phone). Lastly, there are two new Assistant commands you can use. You can now ask Google to turn your touch controls on and off. Additionally, you can ask how much battery life you have left on the earbuds, which is pretty handy.

These features are rolling out today, so keep an eye out for them. Don't forget that you'll need the latest Pixel Buds app to take advantage of all this, available now at APKMirror.

Press Release

Boost your bass and share your sounds, with Pixel Buds

Today, we’re dropping new features for Pixel Buds to help you customize your unique sound experience, find your earbuds more easily if you misplace them and get more done with your earbuds—including an experimental feature that alerts you to what's going on around you even when you have your Pixel Buds in.

Personalise your audio experience

When Pixel Buds launched earlier this year, we heard people wanted more control and customisation over their audio experience. So today, we’re introducing bass boost and sharing detection to give you more options to use Pixel Buds in a way that’s unique to you.You can enhance your bass directly in the Pixel Buds settings, and if you decide to share one of your earbuds with someone, you no longer have to sacrifice your volume preferences thanks to sharing detection. When on, sharing detection automatically detects when you're sharing an earbud with someone and you can both individually swipe on your respective earbud to control your own volume. So whether you’re listening to music or watching a movie with a friend, you can seamlessly share your Pixel Buds.

Translate, transcribe and transform your conversations

Building on the helpfulness of Pixel Buds’ conversation modetranslate feature, which helps when you’re talking back and forth with another person, the new transcribe mode lets you follow along by reading the translated speech directly into your ear, helping you understand the gist of what’s being said during longer listening experiences. Launching initially for French, German, Italian and Spanish speakers to translate English speech, transcribe mode can help you stay present in the moment and focus on the person speaking. Transcribe mode works best in a quiet environment where one person is speaking at a time. For example, simply say “Hey Google, ayúdame a entender inglés” to start listening, and optionally follow along on your phone screen to see the translated transcript.

More helpful features

If your dog barks, baby cries or an emergency vehicle drives by with sirens ringing, Attention Alerts — an experimental feature that notifies you of important things happening around you—lowers the volume of your content momentarily to alert you to what’s going on.We launched ring my earbuds earlier this year so you can hear where your Pixel Buds are if you’ve misplaced them. Now, you can see them too. We’ve added an update to Find My Device that will show you the last known location of your Pixel Buds on a map even when they’re no longer connected to your Android phone

Ask Google Assistant

Google Assistant on Pixel Buds is becoming even more helpful by allowing you to do more with your earbuds while on the go. Now, you can ask Google to turn touch controls on and off, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally triggering them. You'll also be able to turn touch controls on and off in the Pixel Buds settings. And you can now ask Google Assistant to help check your battery life by saying "Hey Google, how much battery life do I have left on my earbuds?

All of this begins rolling out today to Pixel Buds users. To learn more, head to the help center.