A month after launch, Google rolled out the first update to Pixel Buds, and a more substantial one soon followed to address the “static” hiss. With more patches promised, Google has detailed how firmware updates work on Pixel Buds.

From the Pixel Buds preferences page/app, visiting “More settings” will reveal a “Firmware update” menu that notes whether your device is “Up to date” and when the “last successful check” occurred. If one is present, “Update available” is listed, but there’s no real progress indicator about what’s happening as everything occurs in the background.

Google recently expanded the support page about firmware updates to explain how everything works, including the transfer and install process:

  • When an update is available, it will be transferred to your earbuds the next time you use them with your Pixel or Android 6.0+ device. This takes about 10 minutes, and during this time you can continue using your Pixel Buds.
  • The update is then installed the next time you return your earbuds to the charging case. This also takes about 10 minutes.
  • Updates will only be installed if your earbuds and charging case have sufficient charge. If they’re running low on power, plug them in.
  • It may take multiple attempts for the update to complete. For example, taking your earbuds out of the charging case while it’s being installed may pause the update. However, if any part of the process is interrupted, don’t worry—it will resume at the next opportunity.

What’s notable is how getting the new firmware from your phone to the headphones “takes about 10 minutes” and that you can continue listening while that occurs. The actual update commences when the buds are placed in the case if both are sufficiently charged. This takes another 10 minutes, with the process paused if the Pixel Buds are removed. It will automatically resume when returned.

This insight is particularly reassuring as several big updates are expected in the future and how the Pixel Buds take a relatively long time to finish compared to other gadgets.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com