Google released a major firmware update for its Pixel Buds this week that adds several new features to the true wireless earbuds, including a setting for the "Bass Boost" and release detection (so you can adjust the volume for each earbud individually, if You share one of them with someone), attention alerts, and more. The updated firmware should also address the connectivity and audio dropout issues that some early Pixel Buds buyers complained about.
After listening to the Pixel Buds for some time today, I'd say that at first glance, Google was successful. Bass Boost makes for a real improvement in sound quality if you've been disappointed with the low-end performance before. However, the Pixel Buds' wireless signal is still weaker than it should be, and the frustrating music glitches linger.
After applying the update, the Bass Boost can be found in the Sound section, which also includes the new experimental alert options. Turning it on gives the lower frequencies a significant amount of extra oomph. If you've previously found the Pixel Buds to be a bit flat, you might be pleasantly surprised after trying the Bass Boost. It makes a difference without overwhelming the mids and higher frequencies, so Google did a good job with EQ tuning.
However, the connectivity fixes are not what I expected. The Pixel Buds have always worked just fine just by sitting on your couch or desk at home. And honestly, I didn't notice many issues during my review. But I've been in the weeks since then. The problem occurs when you venture outside. I just moved to a pretty busy Brooklyn street and walked a few blocks this morning to get a feel for if Google got over the Pixel Buds outage issues. In my experience, the (disappointing) answer is no. I still had a loss of signal and one earbud – usually the left one – that failed for a few seconds each.
Holding my phone at chest level clears up most of these issues. But when it's in my pocket, the connectivity of the Pixel Buds can be a mess and less reliable than other true wireless earbuds. Your results may vary, and I see reports from some people on the Google Pixel subreddit with fewer dropouts than before. There's still a lot to be done, however, and I doubt Google is done tweaking the stability of the Pixel Buds.