Google is a relatively new player in the headphone industry. The company’s technology, Google Assistant, has been available in headphones for some time, but the Google Pixel Buds Pro are just Google’s fourth pair of headphones in terms of hardware. The next-generation Pixel Buds didn’t make an attempt to improve the experience until 2020, even though the Google Pixel Buds set the trend in 2017. The Pixel Buds A-Series and Pixel Buds Pro were added in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro feel like a shift in Google’s strategy in many respects, giving up one of the Buds’ basic tenets but keeping Google services at its heart. In comparison to Google’s earlier models, the Google Pixel Buds Pro are substantially stronger. There is a lot to dig your teeth into here thanks to the comfortable fit, decent sound quality, and plenty of capabilities. They also make more sense to someone who is already familiar with the Google ecosystem, with the Pixel phones providing the most seamless usage.
However, there are headphones available that are more portable, have more sophisticated noise-cancelling systems, and simply sound better. These Google Pixel Buds also provide a wider selection of codecs for additional connectivity options when using a high-res source. Another thing that could cause you to halt is the sporadic quality drop, which points to a connection issue.
Google Pixel Buds Pro Review:
The Google Pixel Buds Pro accomplish a lot of things well, but there are also several options in this market niche that provide strong competition.
Built-In and Design
- Earbuds are 22.33 x 22.03 x 23.72mm and weigh 6.2g
- The case is 63.2 x 50 x 25mm.
- Pebble-style case
- IPX4 buds; IPX2 case
Google hasn’t deviated too much from the design direction established by earlier Google Pixel Buds models with the same pebble-like shell. Although it is somewhat broader than the 2020 Pixel Buds or Buds A-Series, the design and feel are quite similar. While your attention is elsewhere, you may flip it over in your palm and stroke the still-smooth surface. Because the buds themselves are bigger, the case is also bigger. The design has also changed a lot. The body is now wider, and the hook that was used to keep the Bud in your ear has been taken away.
That was something we had only ever found annoying, so its absence makes us very happy. Each Bud is one gramme heavier than the Buds A-Series due to the bigger body and increased weight. Although it might not seem like much, the weight has increased by roughly 20%. This is mostly due to a shift in Google’s headphone philosophy, which used to emphasise not closing you off from the outside world but is now very much focused on doing just that (if that’s what you want). Even though the new shape is safer, more comfortable, and more effective, these buds look way too big.
The flattened touch-sensitive cap now has exterior mic grilles to assist power the noise reduction and transparency modes the Buds Pro offers. There are four colours to pick from. The earphones have IPX4 protection, which means they won’t mind a little sweat or rain, and the case has IPX2 protection as well. Although it’s not the maximum level available on earphones, it’s sufficient to provide you comfort if you get caught in the rain. The Google Pixel Buds Pro are really comfortable, and we have discovered that extended listening sessions are not an issue. tying in, setting up, and managing.
Google Bluetooth Fast Pair Multipoint
Given how simple it is to connect to an Android phone, Pixel Buds may be considered the AirPods of Android. When you open the Buds case, your phone will recognize them thanks to Google Fast Pair, and you’ll receive an invitation to connect. The controls for the headphones are provided by default on Pixel smartphones, while other Android devices will prompt you to download the Pixel Buds app for more control.
Although it’s not strictly essential, you should still acquire this programme because it manages firmware upgrades and many of the complex settings. The cool thing about using Google Fast Pair with these headphones is that it will identify them as headphones you’ve previously connected to your Android smartphone and offer to connect them to the new device since they are associated with your account when you switch to a new one.
Multipoint Bluetooth is supported. You will be able to connect to several devices as a result. Since this is cross-platform, you may, for instance, connect your phone and PC. It is a relatively new technology, but the drawback is that while utilising multipoint, it won’t enable higher-resolution connections. You must toggle it on in the programme in order to use it; otherwise, it won’t be available.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro’s coloured ends may be controlled with a variety of taps and swipes since they are touch sensitive. At this stage, the taps are essentially universal: one touch to play/pause, two taps to change songs, and three taps to resume or reverse the track. After that, a swipe will increase or decrease the volume, and a push and hold will activate unique functionalities. Each side may have a distinct version of this, such as a toggle for ANC or transparency or a Google Assistant button. Basic tasks are straightforward, but the goal of the built-in Google Assistant is to let you do much more with these headphones using touch or speech.
The Google Assistant’s capabilities
- Notifications using voice control
- Full access to the Google Assistant
You must allow Google Assistant a number of permissions in order to use it to its full potential on your headphones. As a result, Google Assistant will have access to your contacts, alerts, and other critical information even while your screen is closed. A small tone will sound in your ear to let you know you have a notification, and you may press and release the button to get further tones before your notice is read aloud.
When you initially link your headphones with a phone, you’ll be guided through the entire process. Some of this isn’t handled by the Google Pixel Buds app; it’s governed by the Google Assistant settings that regulate how the service interacts with external devices. In the Google Assistant settings, you can also choose what information you wish to get. For example, you may choose not to receive alerts from particular applications.
Returning to the experience itself, it is complex but not much different from other devices that make use of the service. When you press and hold for a tone, you can speak to Google Assistant and receive the typical replies you may desire, such as asking a question or operating a connected smart home device. You can also use the voice command “Ok Google” to initiate a response.
As with previous versions of the service, you may use it to manage various features of your device, such as requesting music or directions to a specific area, at which time Google Maps will launch and begin directing you. The option to react to messages is then available. For instance, when a WhatsApp message is received, you may listen to it, voice your reply, have it validated, and then send it. Because the same Google Assistant powers both WearOS and Android Auto, the experience is quite comparable to those platforms.
While we did find the Buds Pro to reply a little quicker than competitors like the Sony LinkBuds S, which are a touch slower, not much sets them apart from other headphones that support Google Assistant in this aspect. If you’re a die-hard lover of Google Assistant, the Buds Pro are the clear pick. The Google Assistant may also be turned off if you believe you won’t ever use it, which is totally logical given that these headphones provide a lot more functionality than simply artificial intelligence.
ANC and sound quality
- 11mm speaker driver
- 6-core audio chip
While there are many factors that contribute to superb sound quality, active noise cancellation (ANC) plays a significant role when you’re out and about. The ability of the headset to detect and adjust to the environment you’re in, as well as a secure fit in your ear, are all necessary for ANC to function. The ANC does a good job of removing background noises, such as the hiss of aeroplane noise or the talk of other customers in a café. While certain Jabra headphones or Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4 have ANC that is more effective, this is a fantastic option, and we have been quite delighted with the Google experience.
Transparency is readily available, allowing you to be more aware of what is going on around you. This is useful when buying a coffee, listening to train station announcements, or simply being more alert while walking in crowded areas.While making calls, we found the call quality to be decent; nevertheless, callers could plainly hear background noise while on calls. The Galaxy Buds Pro may be an alternative you take into consideration as Samsung has exceptional noise cancellation in this area.
An excellent foundation for sound quality is provided by the ANC. The Google Pixel Buds Pro deliver a strong performance and sound quality that clearly surpasses earlier Pixel Bud versions. This is largely due to improved fit and design, but it is also helped by the capability for high-res music through AAC. For the greatest results, you’ll obviously need a source device that supports that, as well as a music service that delivers hi-res audio, like Tidal. It’s strange that Google has decided not to support other codecs like aptX HD or LDAC, which are also commonly used on Android phones.
With the exception of Volume EQ, which seeks to balance the bass and treble at lower levels, the Pixel Buds Pro sound well-balanced and suitable for most music genres, movies, or voice recordings. However, there is no control over the sound output. Some devices may have system-level settings to regulate the output, such as DSEE, Dolby sound, or 360 Reality Audio on a Sony Xperia, although Google’s Pixel phones don’t have those features. As the headphones themselves don’t provide any of these settings, your experience will vary based on the linked phone.
At some point in the future, Google will add a five-channel EQ to these headphones, allowing you to further customise them to your tastes. It’s a shame that these functions aren’t included with the headphones right out of the box. Google will also be adding spatial audio in a future update to provide more immersive audio effects from both music and TV programming.
The sound quality of these headphones is excellent all around. It’s difficult to find many things we don’t like about them when they’re supported by such reliable ANC and a lovely neutral tone after many months of listening. However, we did notice that the sound quality would periodically degrade. This was frequently a brief issue that could be resolved by pausing and resuming the music, but it appears that this could be a glitch. It didn’t seem to make a difference when we switched between AAC and SBC, but it only seemed to happen while we were moving—not at all on the phones we used to test the headphones. If you’re thinking about purchasing these headphones, you should look out for this since it could indicate a connection vulnerability.
- Wireless charging via Qi and USB-C
- ANC: 7 hours, totaling 20 hours.
- No ANC: 11 hours, totaling 31 hours.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a normal battery life of about 7 hours on a charge (with ANC) and 20 hours overall when using the case. These numbers come from Google, and we’ve found them to be fairly accurate. They also provide excellent feedback when you connect to your phone to check the battery life. On an Android phone, the Bluetooth toggle’s quick settings also show the battery level.
Naturally, the battery life can vary depending on how you use your headphones, but it can be increased by cutting back on ANC for a total of over 30 hours. The case’s USB-C connector, which also supports Qi wireless charging, is used for charging. This implies that you only need to plug it into a charger at home or in your car for it to be ready to use when you are.
With a superior overall aesthetic and active noise cancellation, the Google Pixel Buds provide an advance over the company’s prior products. Although these earbuds seem a bit heavy and occasionally the music quality drops, the interaction with Google Assistant is excellent. This implies that there may be a connection fault. But when they function properly, they’re a respectable pair of headphones.