AirPods; meet your match. With all of the talk of the Google Pixel 2 dropping the headphone port, there has also been a lot of talk about the potential Google Pixel 2 headphones that could make us forget all about the headphone port that we have come to know and love. After taking shots at Apple for dropping the headphone port in the iPhone 7 just one year ago, Google appears to be following the same trend with the launch of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
After some initial discussion around the high price of the Apple AirPods, people seem to have settled down and grown to love the device. Apple has had trouble keeping up with demand for the tiny wireless earbuds and it appears Google wants in on some of that action. Android Police recently did a teardown of the new Google app on Android and found some interesting information that may confirm Google Pixel 2 headphones.
Bisto is the codename for the wireless Google Pixel 2 headphones. The code reveals some interesting pieces of information. First, the headphones will be able to keep you aware of how their battery level is doing. It looks like an audio and/or visual notification will be used when the headphones are connected to notify the user of battery life. In addition, it also looks like there will be a persistent icon in the notification bar that shows the headphone’s battery level. Basically, Google doesn’t want you to ever unexpectedly have your headphones die on you.
Another interesting part of the code mentions assistant. As we have heard throughout the summer, it looks like these Pixel 2 headphones will come with Google Assistant built in to help you get through your day. It’s unclear if the headphones will have limited Google Assistant functionality or if they will have additional features that you can’t find on your smartphone. There’s also no indication as to whether these will work with other Android devices but you have to imagine Google would want as big of a market as possible.
Finally, the most interesting piece of code from the Bisto leak is the mention of buttons. In the example, Google Assistant asks the user to press certain buttons to perform certain tasks. Could this mean that all Google Pixel 2 headphones are coming with buttons built in or could there be multiple models? It’s hard to imagine fitting many buttons on small AirPod-like earbuds but it would be much easier to get a few buttons onto a set of over the ear headphones. If Google does offer multiple Assistant-powered headphones then this could really set their offering apart from Apple. With Apple, the AirPods come in one size. You want over the ear headphones? Buy Beats. Google may be able to pull in several different markets of headphone buyers by offering a range of products. AirPod-like earbuds for the minimalists and over the ear headphones for the audiophile. Perhaps they will even work in features like active noise cancellation for the over the ear model.
Of course, these are all just rumors. We are assuming Bisto is a reference to headphones and the code certainly seems to point that way but there’s still a small possibility that this could be a small connected speaker, like a portable Google Home. Again, that seems unlikely but it’s important not to definitively declare that Google is coming out with Pixel 2 headphones simply based on leaks and rumors. As I always say; nothing is official until the company makes it official.
With that said; it would make a lot of sense for Google to launch Pixel 2 headphones powered by Google Assistant. If the removal of the headphone port is, in fact, happening on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL then Google needs something that makes users feel like the removal isn’t a huge inconvenience. Offering awesome headphones that provide new features is probably the best way to do that. It worked for Apple and, as we know, this industry is just as much about keeping up with the Jones’ as it is about innovation. Personally, I’m excited to see what Google could have in store with their Assistant-powered Google Pixel 2 headphones. What do you think? Would you be interested in checking out wireless headphones from Google or are you a 3.5mm headphone port loyalist?