The accelerated death of the headphone port (or jack) on many flagship smartphones increased usage and prevalence of Bluetooth earbuds such as the Pixel Buds, which means that finding accessories and extras is becoming a minefield. We’re going to simplify that process with our dedicated gift guide for wireless audio.
Because earbuds are now effectively an “everyday accessory” akin to a case or a charger, you might not even have thought about picking up some extras to improve longevity, the audio experience, or add some protection. Google’s updated Pixel Buds are the firm’s first proper true wireless earbuds, they come with some awesome software and hardware features but with a few affordable accessories, they can be even better.
Obviously, with almost every single Android OEM now producing their own version of Bluetooth earbuds, we’ve tailored our gift guide to help make this as generic or general as possible. However, we’re still more honed in on the Google Pixel Buds, which are the perfect audio companion for any of the recent Pixel series devices.
Video — Best Pixel Buds and Bluetooth earbuds accessories
Improved audio/comfort: High-quality earbud tips
Unfortunately, unless you spend an exorbitant amount of money on your headphones or earbuds, you won’t often get high-quality earbud tips. Yes, you may get a few extras as part of your “accessories pack” within the packaging of your Pixel Buds or Bluetooth buds. Although if you want to elevate your experience — in some cases exponentially — then it’s worthwhile picking up some “premium” earbud tips.
Often in the packaging of your earbuds, you’ll get a few sizes of cheap, thin silicone tips that just “do the job”. Our advice is to spend a little more money and get some higher quality options from the likes of Comply at around $15. We’ve chosen these as they conform to standard sizing. This means that even in a case they should fit perfectly on your Bluetooth earbuds — although please check ahead of purchase.
There’s the added bonus that with higher quality earbud tips, your Bluetooth listening experience on your Pixel Buds or any other wireless earbuds for that matter will be elevated thanks to better isolation. If you find that your earbuds fall out or won’t say in your ears, some added earbud tips are a great purchase for an improved fit.
Easy battery management: Wireless charger
Okay so not all wireless earbuds can be charged wirelessly but a heck of a lot are starting to add the option. When you can just stick your earbud case down and top up without needing to dig out a charge cable, it really becomes apparent just how much neater and convenient it is in this form factor.
For those with the Pixel Buds, Galaxy Buds, or AirPods, a wireless charger is a must-have in terms of extra accessories. Those with a Pixel 5 or Samsung Galaxy device can simply use the awesome reverse wireless charging feature to achieve the same but a cheap dedicated wireless charger for your earbuds is a great gift idea. You can pick up Qi-compatible wireless chargers for as low as $12.99 from the likes of Anker and Spigen that are exceptionally well made, safe, and reliable.
Everyday protection: Earbuds case
You’re probably rocking a case for your smartphone already, so why not do the same for your earbuds? Because most earbud cases are smaller and get thrown into bags, purses, and pockets they can pick up some notable scars of daily use and abuse. This makes a carry case or protective case one of the best accessories for the Pixel Buds or other Bluetooth earbuds.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many options available out there from reputable brands. Sure you can pick up a cheap $3 silicone cover but that might not provide much in the way of protection. Spigen makes some notable slipcase options for around $18 that include a carabiner clip so that you can strap your Pixel Buds to your bag or within your bag so that you don’t lose them as easily.
Deep cleaning essentials: Earphone cleaning kit
Earbuds need to be cleaned, especially as with heavy wear you’ll get a gunk and dirt build-up that you simply don’t want to be putting into your ear canal. The popularity of Apple’s own AirPods means that you can pick up dedicated cleaning kits and accessories for the Pixel Buds and other branded earbuds.
Getting granular, you can build a cleaning kit yourself with an alcohol cleaning spray, microfiber cloth, foam swabs, dust blower, soft cleaning brush, and cotton swabs. That’s all you’ll need as a “kit” to help give your earbuds a full deep clean on a regular basis. There are some dedicated earbud cleaning kits that come with all of the extras starting at around $8 but don’t include a dust blower which lets you clear away debris without damage for around $5.
Quick everyday santization: Alcohol pads
You’re not always able to give your earbuds a full, deep clean when you’re out and about. It’s just not viable to carry around all of the accoutrement to ensure that your audio is clean, clear, and concise. With COVID-19 still being a very real everyday concern, you’re likely already following increased handwashing protocols and procedures.
A great way to just make sure that you’re not plugging dirt, grime, bacteria, and germs into your ear canal is to pick up some alcohol cleaning pads. It’s one of the first Pixel Buds or earbud accessories that I carry with me in my wallet. Just being able to give each bud, the case, and my phone a quick wipe has been a nice safety net when heading out.
The portable, disposable alcohol pads are a great option as they can just slide into your pocket and cost very little — around $5 for 200 — for an extra sanitization bonus for your Pixel Buds or any other tech for that matter.
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