Google Pixel Buds Pro Review

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 Pixel Buds Pro. With a slightly eye-watering price of $141, it cost $70 more than the A-Series earbuds.

Design and Comfort

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: 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. They 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.

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: Available Colors

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 the 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, it 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.

Setup and Connectivity

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: Setup

Initially, connecting 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 buds go missing. Switching between two devices is effortless, allowing seamless connectivity between your laptop and smartphone by simply attaching the headphones to them.

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 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 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 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 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, they 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 adequately serve everyday use.

Audio Quality and Mic

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: Case

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 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, 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.

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 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.

Final Thoughts

So, after using Pixel Buds Pro as my go-to wireless earbuds for a few days, I can honestly say I’m impressed. While the ANC might not be as strong as some competitors, the extensive customization options, excellent touch controls, and the added benefit of dedicated Google Assistant support make them a compelling choice. If you’re an Android user and a Google fan, I highly recommend them. The battery life is solid, and they offer a comfortable fit. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, less concerned about ANC, and don’t prioritize battery life, you might also consider the more affordable Pixel Buds A-Series.

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