The hottest type of wearable on the market right now is the wireless earbuds. Yeah, it’s funny to think of any kind of earphones as “wearables,” but the description is apt as today’s wireless earbuds have come such a long way from their earbuds of yesterday, which only delivered sound and offered no other features.

Quick Overview:

  • Pixel Buds – $179.00 
  • Surface Earbuds – $199.99 via Microsoft Store
  • Quick Verdict: For functionality and features, the Pixel Buds are the #1 option. Not only are they $20 cheaper, but they also feature Adaptive Sound and come with a wireless charging case. The Surface Buds look more fashionable, but the tradeoffs don’t support the increased cost and lack of comparable features.

Apple leads the wireless earbuds market, but two major competitors–Microsoft and Google–also offer their own wireless earbuds, the Surface Earbuds and Pixel Buds, respectfully. Here’s how the two stack up against each other.

Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) vs Microsoft's Surface Earbuds (2019)Pin


  • Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds are the little more cartoonish looking, but feature a cool stabilizer arch to help keep them in your ears.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds feature a radically different design. They can be likened to a cork stop with a broad flat surface on top. You basically look like you’re wearing a flat white coin in your ears.

Winner? Surface Earbuds – Their flat coin-like design looks a bit weird, but they are more stylized than the Google Pixel Buds.

Audio & Connectivity

  • Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds feature beam-forming microphones and a voice accelerometer, as well as connecting over Bluetooth. The Buds also have “Adaptive Sound” that automatically raises or lowers the volume based on your surroundings.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds feature dual microphones and connect over Bluetooth, too. They do not have any kind of active noise cancelation.

Winner? Pixel Buds – While neither has active noise cancelation, the Pixel Buds have Adaptive Sound, which can automatically adjust the volume in response to outside noise levels.

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Battery & Charging

  • Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds get you 5 hours of use and their case gets you 24 hours in total. The Pixel Buds ship with a wireless charging case.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds get you 8 hours of use and their case gets you 24 hours in total. However, the Surface Earbuds only offer a wired charging case.

Winner? Surface Earbuds – 8 hours of usage on a single charge is pretty impressive.

Surface EarbudsPin

Voice Assistant

  • Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds support hands-free Google Assistant.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds offer app-specific assistant features. For example, you can reply to emails in Outlook on some smartphones and use the touch controls to advance PowerPoint slides on others.

Winner? Pixel Buds – Google Assistant is the leader in voice assistants.


  • Pixel Buds – $179.99
  • Surface Earbuds – $199.99

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From a design and battery perspective, the Surface Earbuds win out. Though their flat design is a bit sci-fi-like, they look more fashionable than the Pixel Earbuds. Also, their 8-hour battery life is insane.

However, the Pixel Buds beat the Surface Earbuds in almost every other metric. For starters, then come in $20 cheaper and for that you get a wireless charging case, Google Assistant support, adaptive sound, and effortless compatibility with your Android smartphone–especially if its a Pixel phone.

Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) vs Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds (2019): Full Specs

Google’s Pixel Buds greenPin

Here are the specs for the Pixel Buds:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Wireless charging: Yes
  • Battery Life: 5 hours Pixel Buds use, 24 hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Beam-forming microphones, Voice accelerometers, Touch
  • Voice assistant support: Google Assistant + Translation
  • Noise Cancellation: No, but Adaptive Sound feature will raise and lower the volume based on outside noise
  • Sweat and water resistant: Yes

And here are the specs for the Surface Earbuds:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Battery Life: 8 hours Surface Earbuds use, 24 hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Dual microphones, Touch
  • Voice assistant support: App specific
  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Sweat and water resistant: Yes

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