Hands-on: iON Wireless Duo charger for Pixel Buds & phone

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The folks at iOttie have crafted the “Made for Google” iON Wireless Duo, a 2-in-1 wireless charger designed to fit both the Pixel Buds and your favorite Android phone. Let’s take a closer look!

As we add more tech to our daily lives, surface space and outlets can become more scarce, especially on your desk and nightstand. Near my own nightstand in particular, due to trendy but unwise choices by my landlord, I only have one outlet and two USB ports. While those ports are fine for charging unimportant devices slowly, I prefer to use a wireless charger for my main devices, which means my two-year-old Pixel Stand pulls double duty.

While it understandably may not be an issue for others, the iON Wireless Duo solves a direct problem in my day-to-day tech habits. With one outlet, I can now charge my Pixel 5 — or any Qi-compatible phone, including iPhones — and Pixel Buds side by side.

Setting up the iON Wireless Duo is a dead simple process – simply unbox it and plug it in. The “barrel” jack used on the underside is an interesting choice but has been shaped in such a way as to ensure the charger sits flat on a surface. Considering the bulk of the charger itself as well as its power cable, I wouldn’t recommend the iON Wireless Duo as a travel charger, but honestly, who travels these days?

On the left side of the Duo, you’ll find a tilted stand for your phone, which has two Qi coils capable of charging your Android phone at up to 10W (7.5W for iPhone). This stand is covered with a fabric that is pleasant to the touch and helps the iON Wireless Duo better blend into a modern home. The charger also holds your phone upright at an angle, perfect for checking notifications without picking it up, as well as for the Google Clock app’s Sunrise alarms, once a Pixel Stand exclusive.

Over on the right side, you’ll see a uniquely oval-shaped pad, that is unmistakably designed to holster an egg charge the Pixel Buds at up to 5W. In particular, I love the detail of the line in the plastic that lines up with the lid. This attention to detail exemplifies what I think the “Made for Google” accessory program is really about.

Pixel Buds shaped charging pad on iOttie iON Wireless Duo, with line where the Pixel Buds lid opens

On the front of the base, there are two indicator lights, one for your phone and one for your Pixel Buds. The one way in which the iON Wireless Duo is a downgrade from the Pixel Stand is that these indicator lights don’t turn off when the room is dark. Considering every other wireless charger works this same way, though, I won’t hold that against it. Thankfully, if the iON Wireless Duo is your desk charger, this shouldn’t be a concern.

Setting the looks aside, the iON Wireless Duo is otherwise a straightforward product, a wireless charger like any other. You drop your phone and Pixel Buds on it and walk away. It does precisely what it needs to do with little to no fuss. On only one occasion during my testing period did the charger blink red to indicate an issue; a far more frequent occurrence on other chargers I’ve used.

Closeup of charging indicators on iOttie iON Wireless Duo, with an egg jokingly placed on the earbuds charging pad instead of the Pixel Buds

Simply put, the iON Wireless Duo is easy to use, easy on the eyes, and does what it needs to do. At $49.99, I really can’t ask for much more than that.

If the Pixel Buds aren’t your choice of true wireless earbuds, iOttie also offers a standard edition of the iON Wireless Duo, which offers a more rectangular pad for your buds. This other design should be perfect for things like Galaxy Buds or AirPods. That said, I was able to charge a set of AirPods on the Made for Google model without issue.

The Made for Google model of iON Wireless Duo is available for $49.99, exclusively on the Google Store. Meanwhile, the more generalized model retails for $59.99 and is available from Amazon as well as directly from iOttie.

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