Pixel Buds 3 leak reveals Google's AirPods 3 killers

Pixel Buds 3 leak reveals Google’s AirPods 3 killers
(Image credit: Google)

Google hasn’t released the Google Pixel Buds 2 yet, but that hasn’t stopped a patent from popping up hinting at a third-generation set of earbuds in the works. 

A patent filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, as spotted by 91mobiles, shows a fairly simplistic pair of wireless buds that seem similar in design to the Pixel Buds 2. The second-generation earbuds have shed the wires that used to connect the original Google Pixel Buds, and the third-generation Buds look to be following its lead. 

There’s not an enormous amount of detail to go off in the patent, but it looks like the Pixel Buds 3 will be smaller and potentially more ergonomic than their as-yet-unreleased predecessors. Trimmer designs for in-ear wireless headphones are always appreciated, as they can fit more comfortably in the wearer’s ears and not look too ostentatious when the user is out and about. 

Samsung reportedly has its own compact and ergonomic earbuds on the way in its Galaxy Buds 2, which are also known as the Galaxy Bean.

We’ve seen Apple do this, too, with its AirPods Pro, refining the design of the AirPods to make a slicker set of buds that also pack better tech, such as active noise cancellation. 

We’d expect the third-generation Pixel Buds to do the same, with improved noise cancellation and potentially some smarter features, building upon those Google showcased in the Pixel Buds 2 last year during its launch of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Smarter features and boosted audio would be help pit the Pixel Buds 3 against the Apple AirPods 3, which we're expecting will make their debut as early as next month. 

Pixel Buds 3 patent

(Image credit: 91mobiles)

We've yet to test the still-unreleased Google Pixel 2. But if Google can add in more functionality, including more Google Assistant capabilities, while improving audio quality, then it could be onto a winner with next year's model.

However, there are plenty of other in-ear wireless headphones that work well with the likes of the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus is one such set of wireless headphones, and the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds offer stellar audio performance and noise cancellation. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.