In this article, we are review Google Pixel Buds Pro. The fantastic Pixel Buds A-Series, which were released more than a year ago, were Google’s last genuine wireless earbuds before the new Google Buds Pro. With a slightly eye-watering price of $141, The Google Buds Pro cost $70 more than the A-Series earbuds. But for that extra scratch, you get active noise cancellation, longer battery life, wireless charging, and a few extra tasty bonuses.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Design and Comfort
Similar to the Google Pixel Buds A-Series, the Pixel Buds Pro case boasts a sleek and round design reminiscent of a pebble. It seamlessly fits into any pocket or bag, avoiding any unsightly bulges. The Pixel Buds Pro themselves feature a pleasantly compact and smooth, rounded design, ensuring a discreet appearance. Unlike some of Google’s earlier models, these buds don’t protrude noticeably from your ears, providing a more subtle aesthetic. Additionally, the matte surface of the buds remains clean and free from smudges or grease.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro come in four stylish colors: charcoal, fog, lemongrass, and coral, despite lacking ear hooks, which initially sparked concerns about stability and the need for frequent readjustment, these buds stay securely in place even during brisk walks or light jogging. I put them to the test during a jog, and to my relief, they remained firmly in my ears. The key lies in selecting the right size of silicone tip, and with three sizes included, finding the perfect fit is a breeze. The Pixel Buds app also offers a fit test to confirm the ideal fit.
For added comfort, Google has incorporated sensors into the Pixel Buds Pro that monitor ear pressure levels, ensuring a comfortable fit for extended wear. Whatever technology they’ve employed works like magic; I can wear these buds for hours without any discomfort. The secure fit eliminates the need for constant adjustments, contributing to a hassle-free experience. Moreover, Google Pixel Buds Pro boast an IPX4 water and sweat-resistant rating, making them ideal for jogging or gym workouts, no need to worry about the elements interfering with your audio experience.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Setup and Connectivity
Initially, connecting Google Pixel Buds Pro to various Android smartphones went smoothly without any pairing issues. However, the Pixel Buds Pro app posed a challenge in the beginning, requiring a download for additional features, settings, and toggles. Fortunately, this hiccup only persisted for the first 24 hours, and afterward, the app functioned flawlessly just a minor glitch during the pre-release phase.
The app provides a range of extra controls, which are fairly standard for true wireless earbuds. Users can customize controls, adjust the ANC level, and perform the ear tip seal check mentioned earlier. Notably, there’s a handy Find My Device feature in case the Pixel Buds Pro go missing. Switching between two devices is effortless, allowing seamless connectivity between your laptop and smartphone by simply attaching the headphones to them.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Controls and Customization
The touch controls on Pixel Buds pro earbuds, I must say, are absolutely excellent. A single tap on either bud effortlessly pauses your music, with another tap seamlessly resuming playback. The double-tap function skips forward, while a triple-tap skips backward. Unlike some other earbuds where multiple taps can be finicky, the touch controls on the Pixel Buds Pro work flawlessly every single time.
What’s even better is the direct volume control feature. A simple swipe forward increases the volume, while swiping backward decreases it. This is a slight departure from the typical swipe up and down motion found in most true wireless earbuds.
Furthermore, a long press on either bud allows you to switch between the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) mode and Transparency mode the opposite of ANC. Transparency mode permits external sounds like conversations and announcements, keeping you aware of your surroundings. The default setup cycles between ANC on, ANC off, and Transparency, providing a convenient way to manage your audio experience.
Google Assistant Support
Engaging with the Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds Pro is a seamless process; there’s no need to poke or press any buttons. Simply utilize the standard voice activation phrase, which I won’t mention here to avoid triggering your smart home devices. However, it’s worth noting that the Assistant can spontaneously chime in and notify you of newly arrived smartphone notifications, excluding instances when it’s in hibernation mode. While this real-time alert feature can be handy, it might become a tad intrusive during moments of podcast enjoyment, audiobook immersion, or focused work on the go. Thankfully, you can easily disable this function in the Pixel Buds Pro settings if it doesn’t align with your preferences.
Furthermore, the Pixel Buds Pro grants you the flexibility to tailor the Assistant’s behavior. You can opt to receive alerts exclusively for high-priority notifications, turn it off for specific apps, or activate it only for selected applications. This high degree of customization empowers you to mold the Assistant’s presence and notifications to suit your individual preferences.
Active Noise Canceling
A notable improvement in the Google Pixel Buds Pro, compared to the older Pixel Buds A-Series, is the integration of active noise cancellation (ANC) controlled by a custom Google processor. However, it’s important to clarify that it doesn’t feature adaptive ANC, meaning it doesn’t dynamically adjust based on your surroundings. While it may not deliver the most effective noise cancellation at this price point, as there is some leakage of external sounds albeit in a subdued state, it might not be the top choice for frequent travelers, especially when compared to contenders like Bose.
Nevertheless, the Google Pixel Buds Pro do provide sufficient noise cancellation for comfortable listening to audiobooks or podcasts even while strolling down a bustling and noisy high street without having to max out the volume. An added bonus is the absence of noticeable interference from wind, offering a seamless experience. While it might not be the absolute best in its class, the ANC capabilities of the Pixel Buds Pro adequately serve everyday use.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Audio Quality and Mic
Let’s delve into the sound quality of the Google Pixel Buds Pro, These buds offer commendable audio performance, delivering sound that resonates in your ears. It’s essential to note, however, that the codec support is somewhat limited. Throughout my testing, I primarily used SBC, and while there’s a possibility of AAC support, the absence of LDAC or aptX HD support is a bit disappointing given the price tag of these buds. The bass output, in particular, felt a bit subdued for my preferences, and adjusting the volume didn’t seem to alter its strength or impact as expected. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed using the Pixel Buds Pro for podcasts, audiobooks, and music. The entire audio range is clear and well-articulated, with no noticeable issues. Notably, the vocals come through strongly, which is great news for podcast enthusiasts.
For those who use their earbuds for calls, the Pixel Buds Pro’s beamforming microphones excel at capturing your voice while effectively minimizing background noise. This feature proves especially valuable when making calls in bustling environments, such as walking down a busy high street.
Now recording my voice using the microphones of the Google Pixel Buds, I’m currently in a relatively quiet studio environment, so capturing my voice clearly should be a straightforward task for the microphones. However, let’s challenge them with some simulated high street noises, including loud and obnoxious traffic sounds positioned right next to my head. These sounds replicate the bustling atmosphere of a busy street or a dual carriageway. Even in the midst of these loud noises, the microphones continue to do an impressive job of picking up my voice.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Battery life
Finally, let’s delve into the battery life aspect of this Google Pixel Buds Pro review. According to Google, you can enjoy up to seven hours of usage on a single charge before the buds completely run out of power. In my testing, I achieved just under the advertised duration, approximately six and a half hours, with active noise cancellation turned on. Disabling ANC allows you to extend usage beyond the seven-hour estimate, which is truly impressive and well above the average for true wireless earbuds, even in 2022. This longevity makes them ideal for extended journeys, except perhaps for those transatlantic extravaganzas.
Turning attention to the charging case, while it may not boast the largest battery capacity, it can fully recharge the Pixel Buds Pro nearly two times before requiring its own recharge. The positive aspect here is that it supports both Type-C charging and wireless charging, meeting the expectations at this premium price point.
That concludes my comprehensive review of the Google Pixel Buds Pro. Having used them as my true wireless earbuds for a few days, I can genuinely say that I find them enjoyable. While the ANC might not match the strength of some competitors, the impressive customization options, fantastic touch controls, and the added bonus of dedicated Google Assistant support make them a compelling choice. If you own an Android smartphone and are a Google enthusiast, I would recommend them without hesitation. The battery life is commendable, and the design offers a comfortable fit. However, for those on a tighter budget, less concerned about ANC, and with battery life not being a top priority, the more affordable Pixel Buds A-Series is also worth considering.
It's compact, feels great in the hand and pocket, and I especially love the way it flips open like a lighter. Additionally, the case itself has an IPX2 water resistance rating, which means it can handle a bit of moisture, although not as much as the earbuds.
Active Noise Canceling8