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Home / Tips and Tricks / Google’s Pixel Buds 2 have a number of magical properties. Here are 9 of them

Google’s Pixel Buds 2 have a number of magical properties. Here are 9 of them

Pixel Buds 2 Google

Google’s Pixel Buds 2 have a lot of features you need to learn.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Google Pixel Buds 2 its the real deal. They sound great, are sweat resistant and offer a great fit thanks to the interchangeable tips and a fin that keeps them in your ears. But there’s more to the Pixel Buds 2 than just fit and sound quality. For example, you can use these little gadgets to keep an eye on your inbox because of Google Assistant integration and while they don’t have active noise canceling, they automatically adjust the volume according to the noise level of your environment.

From quick pairing and checking battery levels to pairing your Pixel Buds 2 with a non-Android phone, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the Pixel Buds 2 below.

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1. Installation is as easy as 1, 2, 3

Link the Pixel Buds to your Android phone or tablet takes less than 30 seconds. Serious. All you need to do is open the Pixel Buds case next to your unlocked phone and wait for the prompt. Here’s what it looks like:

Pairing only takes a few seconds. Really.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Once the prompt shows up, tap it and let your phone and Buds do the rest of the work. Note that the warning says that the Pixel Buds will be connected to your Google account, which means you can quickly connect to the Pixel Buds on any Android device you are signed in to. Just open the case near your other phone or tablet and wait for a notification to pop up on your screen saying something like “Your saved device is available” and tap it to connect.

After pairing the Pixel Buds, you should see a prompt asking if you want to install the Pixel Buds app. The answer is yes, you do – the app is how you unlock more cool features.

If you pair the Pixel Buds with a Pixel phone, you do not need to install the app, it is built into your device. You can access it by opening the Bluetooth settings page and tapping the gear icon next to your Pixel Buds.

We have instructions on how to pair the Pixel Buds with a non-Android device at the bottom of this post.

Pixel Buds 2 Google

The charging case has a battery indicator, but what about the Buds?

Juan Garzon / CNET

2. Simply check the battery level

There are two ways to check the battery status of your Pixel Buds and the charging case. You can open the Pixel Buds app, where battery stats are prominently displayed at the top. Or you can unlock your phone and open the charging case with the Pixel Buds still in it, and a second or two later, an alert will tell you everything you need to know about the battery level.

You can charge the Pixel Buds case by placing it on a wireless charging station or via the USB-C port on the bottom.

pixel-buds-2 installation

Go through the Pixel Buds tutorial to get the hang of the gestures and controls.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Learn the ministry

Both Pixel Buds act as giant touch panels, so you can tap or swipe them to play or pause music, for example, or to ask the Google Assistant to read your notifications. Here’s a quick rundown of the gestures you should know about:

Single tap: Play / pause or answer an incoming call.

Double tap: Skip numbers, end or decline a call, and quit Google Assistant.

Triple tap: Go back one track.

Swipe forward: Increase the volume.

Swipe back: Reduce the volume.

Long press: You can talk to the Google Assistant while you tap one of the buttons, or if you let go after hearing the bell, the Google Assistant will read your notifications.

4. In-ear detection is pretty cool

You don’t have to worry about the break before taking out a Pixel Bud. They’re smart enough to know when they’re in your ears and automatically pause when you take one out. Replace it to resume playback.

pixel buds adaptive sound

Adaptive Sound is an indispensable feature.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

5. Magic volume control

The Pixel Buds can automatically adjust their volume based on how quiet or noisy the environment you are in. Custom Sound is turned off by default, but you can – and should – turn it on.

Open the Pixel Buds app or settings page, tap Adaptive Sound and slide the switch to the On position.

With Adaptive Sound turned on, your Pixel Buds will make subtle adjustments to their volume levels as the sound around you changes. If you make a manual adjustment, Adaptive Sound temporarily stops making changes until the surrounding sound changes significantly. Pretty cool stuff.


Google Assistant adds an extra layer of features to Pixel Buds 2 that you shouldn’t miss.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

6. Set up Google Assistant

After the initial pairing, you will be asked if you want to set up Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds. Doing so will allow Google Assistant to read new notifications from apps of your choice and reply without answering your phone.

Of course, the normal Google Assistant-type tasks are also possible, such as controlling a smart lamp or adjusting your Nest thermostat.

Open the Pixel Buds app and tap Google Assistant to start the setup process, allowing your Assistant to access your phone’s notifications. When you’re done, you can customize which app notifications you’ve automatically read aloud and whether or not the Pixel Buds respond to the ‘Hey, Google’ wake-up phrase.

Pixel Buds 2 Google

The Search device function can save you a day.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Find a lost Bud

Fully wireless earbuds are great, but they are also very easy to lose. One minute you are listening to your favorite tunes, then you take one out, put it down and walk away. Fortunately, Google has included a tool that can help you find your lost Bud in the Pixel Buds app.

Open the app and select Search deviceThen tap the button that is missing and listen. The Bud will start playing a sound, soft at first, but slowly getting louder, until you hopefully find it.

Pixel Buds 2 Google

Pairing with a non-Android device is painless.

Juan Garzon / CNET

8. Pair with an iPhone, PC or Mac

The Pixel Buds can be used with any Bluetooth device such as iPhone, iPad ($ 385 on eBay), Mac or PC. Granted, you won’t be able to use some of the more advanced features such as quick link and Google Assistant, but not all is lost. You still have automatic pause and play, and volume control gestures, along with tap controls, also work.

Follow these steps to pair your Pixel Buds with a non-Android device:

1. Open the Pixel Buds with the charging case and press and hold the button on the back of the case.

2. The white light between the buttons starts to flash.

3. Open the Bluetooth settings menu on your device and find your Pixel Buds.

4. Select your Pixel Buds on your device and follow the instructions to complete pairing.

Pixel Buds 2 Google

Factory reset your Pixel Buds 2 with the button on the back of the charging case.

Juan Garzon / CNET

9. Factory reset your Pixel Buds

If you’re ready to pass your Pixel Buds on to someone else, or just want to start over, you can easily reset them to factory settings. Charge the case via the USB-C port, with the Pixel Buds inside, then press and hold the button on the back until the pairing light stops blinking.

The light will then blink white and amber for a few seconds and then only blink white again to indicate that the reset is complete.

Now that you’ve mastered your Pixel Buds 2, it’s time to master your Android phone. We’ve found a few killer hidden functions, and have one full walkthrough of all android 10 gesturesAnd we can’t forget to include our guide to the most important ones Android 11 Features You Should KnowPlus, Android 12 is on the way, and here are the 3 Important Things Android 12 Can Do That Android 11 Can’t

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