From our point of view, the only way is up. The first-gen Pixel Buds were awful, getting a rare two-star review. Despite clever translation features, the design was absolutely terrible with poor fit and buds that left us in pain after less than an hour of use.
The fabric cord fit was also odd, and the case was fiddly and badly made. The sound quality was pretty good but with zero noise isolation, we could not recommend them. Hopefully Google has taken these two years to thoroughly improve what should be a flagship product to sit alongside the Pixel phones.
For what it’s worth, we much prefer the wired USB-C Pixel earbuds that come in the box with the Pixel 3 or are sold separately for £30.