As expected, Google has used today's Made by Google 2019 event to introduce its next-gen Pixel Buds headphones.
The forthcoming AirPods-rivalling true wireless buds build on the original Pixel Buds' Google Assistant voice control (of which a highlight was real-time language translation) with an improved hands-free command experience. They also have a long-range Bluetooth connection that Google says is stable "up to three rooms away" or, outside, "across a football field".
Google recognised that the Buds have to deliver "excellent sound quality" (fingers crossed they bring big improvements over the first-gen model, then), and that journey starts with custom speakers. A spacial vent underneath the buds is designed to reduce the 'plugged' feeling and let through some environmental sounds, while volume will dynamically adjust according to the user's circumstance to save them having to lower and raise it themselves.
There's also a custom battery, which has allowed Google to make the Buds fit flush against an ear. Battery life is still a modest five hours, although a charging case takes that to a more impressive, market-competitive 24 hours.
The new Pixel Buds will hit shelves in spring of next year for $179 (£tbc), with more details expected in the months leading up to their release date.