While wireless earbuds might be a dime a dozen these days, Google is still going at it with their latest product, the Pixel Buds Pro.
Design & Hardware
On the surface, the Pixel Buds Pro shares a familiar design with past Pixel Buds models. But compared to the 2nd Gen model, the Pixel Buds Pro is larger.
This is so Google could fit their custom 6-core audio chip in each earbud that powers Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), the Transparency mode, Volume EQ and active in-ear press relief.
For sound quality, the earbuds use an 11mm dynamic speaker driver that sounds great at all volumes. The bass has the just right amount of punch and the treble is clear and crisp. If you want a bit punchier bass, you can enable the Volume EQ that enhances bass and treble.
Each earbud features three microphones for calls and uses with ANC, a voice accelerometer, an IR proximity sensor for in-ear detection and wind-block mesh covers. To control the earbuds, each bud features a capacitive touch sensor that supports tapping and swiping.
The touch controls worked well and any type of action like tapping for playing/pausing or swiping forward/backwards for volume controls was almost instant.
As mentioned previously, the Pixel Buds Pro features Active Noise Cancellation which you can use to block out external noises. There’s also a Transparency mode that lets you hear ambient noise.
Overall, the ANC on the Pixel Buds Pro is pretty good but it doesn’t block out all noise. While wearing the earbuds with ANC on, I could still hear some outside noise. This could also depend on how snuggly the earbuds fit in your ears.
Thankfully, Google also provides two other ear tip sizes, Small and Large in addition to Medium tips that are already pre-installed.
Battery life on the Pixel Buds Pro is around 11 hours with ANC off and 31 hours additional from the charging case. With ANC on, you’re looking at 7 hours and 20 hours additional from the case.
Another great thing is that the charging case has a USB-C port with fast charging (15 mins gets 3 hrs of extra listening time) and there’s also Qi wireless charging support.
Other specs of the Pixel Buds Pro include Bluetooth 5.0, IPX4 for the earbuds and IPX2 for the case.
The Pixel Buds Pro is available now for $259 CAD ($199 USD) from the Google Store. The earbuds are available in three colours, Charcoal, Fog and Lemongrass. Some regions will get a fourth colour option with Coral.
Setting up the Pixel Buds Pro is super simple, just open up the case and thanks for Fast Pair, you should see a pop-up to pair your new earbuds.
If you’re using the earbuds with another Android phone besides the Pixel phones, you’ll need the Pixel Buds app.
The Pixel Buds app is where you can see the battery life of the earbuds and case, set up the Google Assistant, change touch controls, adjust sound, firmware updates and do an ear tip seal check for optimal ANC performance.
Like past Pixel Buds, the Pixel Buds Pro can be used to talk to the Google Assistant. You can either talk to the Google Assistant by touching and holding one of the earbuds or speaking. The other option is to say, “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” and then ask your inquiry.
When you talk to the Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds Pro, you’ll hear a chime and then a voice response. You can also use the Google Translate app with the earbuds and use the conversation mode to translate what you’re speaking.
Using the Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds Pro worked well and was quick to respond when using the touch activation or voice prompt.
Overall, the Google Pixel Buds Pro is a great set of earbuds with good ANC, Google Assistant support and solid battery life.
- Good sound
- Great battery life
- Google Assistant is quick
- Wireless charging case
- ANC could be better
- No way to adjust any EQ settings