After ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack with the Pixel 2, Google wants us to use wired headphones once again with the new Pixel 3.
With the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the company bundles its new Pixel USB-C earbuds. Just like the Google Pixel Buds, the Pixel USB-C earbuds integrate Google Assistant into the audio experience for Pixel users.
These Made for Google headphones (well, obviously) ensure complete compatibility with Google devices and with 24-bit Digital Audio aim to provide a high-quality audio experience.
Once you plug your earbuds to the USB-C port on your Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, you’d see an Assistant notification prompting you to follow the instructions to set up the headphones. Tap on “Finish Setup” and you’d be guided through the setup for the earbuds, starting with fitting instructions.
Google suggests that the loop on the earbuds is meant to sit on the arc of your ear, so the earbuds are held in place.
You can adjust the size of the loop by either pulling on the loop to increase the size or pulling on the cable from below the earbud to decrease it in size. Once you’ve found a good fit, you’ll be prompted to set up your Google Assistant.
Note that for Google Assistant to help you with your notifications via the earbuds, notifications must be enabled in the Assistant settings menu. You’d also need to grant the Google app access to your notifications. Also, message notifications work only on Android P devices.
Once set up, you can use the Assistant simply by pressing and holding the black button in the middle of your remote while speaking to get directions, set reminders, send texts, and ask for information. This feature works only with USB-C devices running Android N and above.
Google Assistant can also give you updates on your daily itinerary, recent messages, emails, or calendar events without you having to look at your phone. All you need to do is simply press and hold the volume-up button on your remote to get the latest update from your Assistant. You can also reply to incoming texts directly while using your earbuds.
With the Pixel USB-C earbuds, you can get access to real-time translation for more than 40 languages via the Google Translate app. To try this feature, press and hold the black button, and say “Help me speak German,” for example.
Google is quite benevolent (unlike folks from Cupertino) when it comes to Pixel 3. Apart from the Pixel USB-C earbuds, the company also bundles an upgraded UBC-C digital-to-3.5mm adapter for those who prefer to use their existing 3.5mm headsets.
For those that aren’t getting the Pixel 3 but want the earbuds, the Pixel USB-C earbuds are available now for $30.