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Pixel Buds can alert you to crying babies and emergency sirens

You'll also get bass boost, sharing detection, improved translation, and more.

Published onAugust 20, 2020

A picture of the Google Pixel Buds 2020 true wireless earbuds case hand 2
  • Google is releasing the first Pixel Buds feature drop, including some experimental features.
  • An Attention Alerts experiment lowers the volume when it detects crying babies, sirens, or other sounds that need your focus.
  • You can also expect bass boost, easy audio sharing, transcriptions for translations, and more.

It’s not just Pixel phones getting feature dropsas promised, Google is releasing a collection of features for the Pixel Buds, including a stand-out experiment.

The Attention Alerts experiment will automatically lower the volume if the true wireless earbuds detect sounds that may need your attention, such as a crying baby, a barking dog, or an emergency vehicle siren. You can theoretically tune out the world without worrying that you’ll miss something urgent.

Other updates are more conventional. You now have a bass boost option directly in the Pixel Buds settings in case your dance music or hip-hop needs an extra kick. Sharing detection, meanwhile, can tell when you pass an earbud to someone else (when it’s safe, at least) and let both listeners change volume independently.

Read more: The best wireless earbuds

The Buds’ distinctive translation feature now has a transcription mode that feeds translations directly to your ear as they arrive, making it easier to follow along with a conversation. It’s first available for French, German, Italian, and Spanish users translating English.

Other additions? Pixel Buds now appear in Find My Device to show you their last known location, and you can use Google Assistant to both toggle touch controls and ask about your battery life. Google also promised to fix audio cutouts with this update, so the buds should be more reliable.

The feature drop starts rolling out today. These additions won’t necessarily sway you toward the Pixel Buds, but they do suggest that Google will treat its latest wireless audio hardware as a ‘living’ product whose features aren’t set in stone.