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[Update: Removed] Google Pixel Buds (2020) get wireless charging certification ahead of release

First unveiled at the 2019 Made by Google Event, Google’s second generation of Pixel Buds wireless headphones are set to debut sometime this spring. With their release growing closer, the 2020 Google Pixel Buds have become certified for wireless charging.

Just as a device needs to be certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group to use Bluetooth, any device that wants to have Qi wireless charging needs to be certified by the Wireless Power Consortium. Today, the 2020 Google Pixel Buds have been listed with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), giving them the Qi charging stamp of approval.

The WPC certification is fairly light on details overall, but there are two key things that we learn about the Pixel Buds. When we last saw the Pixel Buds, at the Bluetooth SIG, we noted that there were two model numbers, G1007 and G1008. On today’s wireless charging certification, the 2020 Pixel Buds are listed with the model number G1013.

As the charging case is the only part of the 2020 Pixel Buds that deals with wireless charging, that most likely means G1013 is the model number for the case, while G1007 and G1008 perhaps represent the left and right earbuds.

Pixel Buds Wireless Power Consortium charging certification

Secondly, and more importantly, the WPC listing reveals the speed of charging allowed by the Pixel Buds. Most sets of wireless earbuds, like the AirPods Pro, are capable of between 1W and 2W wireless charging. Meanwhile, the WPC reveals that the Pixel Buds can receive up to a 5W wireless charge. Combined with the Google Pixel 5’s likely ability to do reverse wireless charging, similar to the Galaxy S10 and S20 series, 5W wireless charging is almost overkill for 2020 Pixel Buds battery.

What’s also particularly interesting about today’s listing is that Google devices, thus far, haven’t appeared on the Wireless Power Consortium website until after release. Hopefully this means that the 2020 Pixel Buds are closer to release than we originally expected.

Update 2/5: As of this morning, the Wireless Power Consortium has removed the 2020 Google Pixel Buds from their website.

Last year, Google held a mid-year mini Made by Google hardware launch — starring the Pixel 3a — at their annual developer conference, Google I/O. This led us to guess I/O 2020 as a potential release date for the new Pixel Buds. However, as of yesterday, the “physical” in-person portion of this year’s Google I/O have been canceled to ensure the health and safety of attendees in response to the coronavirus.

Perhaps Google will surprise us and release the Pixel Buds sooner than May. After all, we’ve already seen the buds begin to be listed at third-party retailers, starting last month.

This article has been updated to reflect the charging speeds of competing wireless earbuds.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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