Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Great true wireless earbuds for Android users
This review was first published on 29 July 2022.
The start “Pro” Pixel Buds
Why a company with the vast resources of Google would need nearly five years to release flagship-course true wireless earbuds will forever remain a mystery. But, the Google Pixel Buds Pro is finally hither and information technology is the company’s near premium and advanced earbuds yet.
It has all the features yous’d await from a fix of flagship-course earbuds: active dissonance-cancellation, h2o resistance, an ambient sound style, wireless charging, multipoint connectivity, and more. And what’south particularly exciting about the Pixel Buds Pro is that, at
S$299, it’s one of the more affordable flagship-grade true wireless earbuds that you can purchase. So, information technology comes at a great price and has loads of features, but is it whatsoever proficient? Allow’s find out.
Design & features
The Pixel Buds Pro resemble the Pixel Buds A-Series of last twelvemonth. The charging case looks similar and the earbuds themselves expect similar the Pixel Buds A-Series earbuds minus the ear hooks.
Though the Pixel Buds Pro was appear in iv colours, but one will be available in Singapore (don’t ask why) and that’due south
Charcoal, which is really but a fancy way of saying it’south blackness. The charging case is white so the entire device has a dramatic monochromatic Stormtrooper-like color scheme going for it.
The charging case charges via USB-C and supports wireless charging. Claimed bombardment life is up to
vii hours with ANC turned on
and up to
20 hours with the charging case. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to properly test these claims. What I can tell you, however, is that the earbuds lasted a few work days with on-and-off listening (approximately 15 hours in full) without requiring a charge. So Google’southward claims are probably right.
The crucial bit is that the Pixel Buds Pro is compact. The charging case is roughly the same size as the AirPods Pro’s which also ways it’ll fit into pockets easily. The earbuds themselves have a smooth bean-similar shape and are lite. They will slide into ears easily and sit there comfortably for hours.
Google provides a pair of smaller and larger eartips and I found that I needed the larger ones to get a practiced fit. The buds felt quite snug one time I had the larger eartips but it doesn’t quite feel every bit secure equally some of its rivals similar the Apple AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4. Role of the reason why is because the silicone tips don’t go quite as deep. The upside, of course, is that these earbuds are more comfy to clothing – particularly for folks who have an aversion to sticking things into their ears. You lot tin can take these earbuds exercising because it has an IPX4 water resistance rating.
Every bit you’d expect from Google’southward flagship-form earbuds, the Pixel Buds Pro has a fast pairing characteristic that works with any Android 6.0+ device. Also, the Pixel Buds Pro accept touch sensors and it’due south one of the improve implementations I’ve seen. To offset, the sensors are responsive and, by default, the touch on sensors volition permit y’all accommodate book, control playback, and activate Google Assistant. I’d recommend going into the Pixel Buds app (more on it later) and customising information technology a petty and so that one earbud activates Google Assistant and the other toggles between the ANC and Transparency modes. This mode, you have total control over the earbuds.
The Pixel Buds Pro likewise work with the
Pixel Buds app. The app is clean and easy to use, but light on features. It lets users customise the touch sensors and Google Assistant features, and at that place’s a handy eartip seal test if you are not sure you lot are wearing the buds correctly, and that’s nigh it. You tin can’t conform the level of ANC like you tin can with Sonys and, very curiously, there’s no EQ role either so you are stuck with how the buds sound.
Also strange is that Pixel Buds Pro
support multipoint connexion only it is not enabled past default. You need the app to turn information technology on. Just one time yous do, information technology works flawlessly. It switches between source devices very seamlessly.
Noise cancellation & transparency mode
This is the first Pixel Buds to have active noise cancellation simply Google is coy about how it works. It would only say that the characteristic is possible because of a
custom 6-core audio chip
“that runs Google-developed algorithms.” It also touts a engineering science called Silent Seal that “adapts” to your ear shape and maximises the corporeality of noise blocked. They also say each earbud has three mics.
That’s all nice and, crucially, it all works. The active noise cancellation characteristic on the Pixel Buds Pro is easily ane of the all-time I’ve heard. Of course, part of this will be dependent on how practiced of a seal y’all can reach. I don’t accept Sony’s WF-1000XM4 with me correct at present, but based off my memory, I remember the Pixel Buds Pro are about as good. It’s eerily competent at blocking out depression frequencies noises and likewise air current noise.
There’s also an ambient sound mode that Google calls Transparency Mode that lets y’all hear your surroundings. According to Google, the Pixel Buds “processes a wide range of frequencies with depression latency” to keep the effect sounding natural and in sync. The terminate result, I’m afraid, is not quite equally good. While in that location’s no discernible lag between what you hear and what’s happening, there’s an uneasy sense that some frequencies are thrown abroad and some are over-emphasised. I’m not sure I can trust information technology. The consolation is that whatever you practise hear really sounds quite natural.
Sound comes from
custom-designed 11mm dynamic drivers. Google didn’t reveal the material for the driver’s diaphragm. Even so, they did say that the drivers are tuned in-house by their own audio applied science team with an emphasis on clean bass, clarity, and dynamics.
The first thing I noticed about the Pixel Buds Pro is how broad they sound and how much it sounds like I was listening to speakers. Imaging and staging are splendid for earbuds.
True enough, the bass is indeed very clean, with only just the slightest corporeality of bloat to give it a sense of torso. Yet, the overall levels are depression, making the Pixel Buds Pro 1 of the more bass-shy earbuds I’ve heard. The quality is irreproachable, but it could use a piddling more than quantity. And because the app doesn’t take an EQ feature, you’ll can’t change the mode it sounds.
Fortunately, the mids and treble are very good. The mids are smooth and full-bodied, while the treble is articulate and easy on the ears. The net effect of these is that the Pixel Buds Pro has outstanding clarity and sense of air.
If there’southward anything I would nitpick, information technology would be the disuse (the way sound ends). Notes seem to drib-off and end abruptly. This seems most evident on drums and strings. This results in the Pixel Buds Pro sounding a picayune artificial and synthesised, especially if you are listening to music with a lot of drums and strings, like rock or jazz.
But overall, the Pixel Buds Pro are easily one of the meliorate-sounding earbuds you can buy today. As I said, information technology could do with more than bass energy and a more than natural-sounding decay, merely the staging and the way it handles mids and treble are and so adept that information technology’s easy to overlook these shortcomings.
Android users tin rejoice at the noesis that there’s now another excellent truthful wireless earbuds that they tin can buy. The Pixel Buds Pro has deep integration with Android, excellent ANC, good battery life, and sounds quite great. And as I said in the offset, at
S$299, it’s ane of the more affordable flagship-grade true wireless earbuds available. And when you consider its features and how competent it is, it turns out it’s also ane of the all-time value-for-money earbuds you can buy. Considering this is Google’southward outset try at a high-stop earbud with ANC, it’southward an impressive and mostly wonderful effort.
The Pixel Buds Pro are available at the post-obit retailers: Google Shop, Shopee, Amazon SG, Courts Online, Challenger Online.