The latest version of Google wireless earbuds haven’t been on sale in the UK for long, but we might already have our first look at the Pixel Buds 3.
Apple’s AirPods 3 might have a decent challenger, but we hope Google doesn’t make a change that will almost certainly make the earbuds worse.
When is the Pixel Buds 3 release date?
This is somewhat unclear at the moment, especially as tech releases during 2020 have been more disrupted than ever thanks to the coronavirus pandemic – Google’s Pixel 4a smartphone being a prime example.
However, we think the first possibility for the Pixel Buds 3 to arrive is this autumn (or fall if you’re in the US).
The Pixel Buds 2 were announced in October 2019 and rumours suggest Google will be launching the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 phones on 30 September so the Pixel Buds 3 could well be part of the same event.
Having a look at the possible design does suggest they are well on their way to being ready.
Whether or not they actually go on sale this year is another matter though. The Pixel Buds 2 took many months to arrive so there could be a similar story with the 3rd-gen earbuds.
How much will the Pixel Buds 3 cost?
With no rumours to go on, we must make our best guess for now. Looking at the current gen is the best guide to use and the Pixel Buds 2 retail for £179/US$179.
Unless Google makes some dramatic changes, we expect the price to be in a similar ballpark. What would be nice is a more budget-friendly version for those who can’t afford this much on headphones – a pair of Pixel Buds Lite, if you like.
What will the Pixel Buds 3 be like?
Thanks to a patent filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, spotted by 91mobiles, we have a look at what the new Pixel Buds might look like.
As you would expect, they are true wireless earbuds without the cable joining them as found on the original pair.
The listing points towards a move away from the fin design, which may be optional this time around and slot into a channel in the middle instead.
The images suggest a smaller and more ergonomic design so they could be more comfortable if it wasn’t for a major change.
The biggest surprise, which is quite possibly not good news, is that it appears Google has moved back to a similar open style fit as found on the original Pixel Buds, not the traditional ear tip shape of the Pixel Buds 2 that make a good seal in your ear canal.
We found the original Pixel Buds very uncomfortable due to the design (and the same for similar earbuds) so it’s worrying to see that Google might go back to this. It also means Google adding active noise cancelling less likely.
The popular feature can be found on open style headphones but in our experience doesn’t work well despite aiming to give you a nice balance of ambient sound. That sort of defeats the point of ANC.