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Pixel Buds Pro review: Google’s great AirPods Pro rival for Android | Google

Google’s newest Pixel Buds earbuds have been given the “professional” remedy, with higher sound, noise cancelling, multipoint Bluetooth and a comfier design geared toward rivalling Apple’s AirPods Pro however for Android customers.

The Pixel Buds Pro price £179 ($199/A$299), sitting above the agency’s £100 Pixel Buds A-Sequence as Google’s new high mannequin. They are going to work with any normal Bluetooth gadget, together with PCs and iPhones, however have particular options designed for Android.

They’re bigger than the A-Sequence earbuds however have a equally low-profile and sympathetic look that doesn’t protrude far out of your ear. A clean plastic cap with delicate “G” branding is all individuals see when they’re in your ear.

The left earbud of Google Pixel Buds Pro sitting upright in the palm of a hand.
The chunkier, stalk-free physique of the Buds Pro is designed to suit throughout the concha of your ear with out placing stress on any of the fragile components. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The earbuds are held in place with a standard silicone tip, of which three sizes are included within the field. They really feel safe and cozy to put on even for prolonged intervals with out the “plugged-in” feeling of some related fashions, however a scarcity of stabilising wing makes them much less appropriate for train.

The colored cap is touch-sensitive for a set of very efficient gesture controls. Faucet as soon as to pause or play, twice and thrice to skip tracks, or maintain to activate or off noise cancelling. Swipe forwards and backwards for quantity management, too, which could be very welcome. The music pauses whenever you take out an earbud and resumes whenever you reinsert it.

The open case of the Pixel Buds Pro showing the charging pins on its inside.
The pebble-shaped case totally costs by way of Qi wi-fi or USB-C in 70 minutes. Its clean white plastic feels good however picks up marks and discoloration simply. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Buds Pro final for as much as seven hours of playback with noise cancelling, which is longer than many rivals. They magnetically clip right into a flip-top battery case, which is well pocketable and might recharge the earbuds just below 3 times for a complete of 20 hours of playback. A five-minute fast cost of the earbuds provides an hour of listening.

Specs

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5, SBC, AAC

  • Battery life: seven hours (ANC) plus as much as 20 hours with case

  • Case dimensions and weight: 63.2 x 50 x 25mm; 50g

  • Earbud dimensions and weight: 23.7 x 22 x 22.3mm; 6.2g every

  • Water resistance: earbuds IPX4 (splash); case IPX2

  • Driver dimension: 11mm

  • Case charging: USB-C, Qi wi-fi

Good sound and noise cancelling

The Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds held in the palm of a hand.
The 11mm drivers of the Pixel Buds Pro produce large sound with loads of element and luggage of bass. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Buds Pro are Google’s best-sounding earbuds but. They produce super-clear audio with glorious separation of tones even on complicated tracks. The bass is exact and punchy, reaching the deepest of notes, mid tones are rounded and highs are fairly detailed, sounding great in most music genres.

They’re pretty bass-heavy and might sound somewhat too clear in some tracks, missing a little bit of uncooked vitality in grunge, however I feel most will get pleasure from them. The amount EQ boosts low and mid tones for higher steadiness at decrease volumes. Google guarantees so as to add a full equaliser and spatial audio for immersive film encompass sound by way of updates later this 12 months.

Total, they’re glorious earbuds that make a step up from on a regular basis listening, falling simply in need of the easiest from Sennheiser and Sony.

The noise cancelling is equally succesful, lowering most low rumbles, highway noise and that of followers, and matching the efficiency of Apple’s AirPods Pro. They aren’t fairly as succesful as Sony’s greatest, struggling extra with greater tones corresponding to keyboard clicks, however are nonetheless general superb. They endure somewhat from wind noise, and their ambient consciousness mode is sweet however not fairly as natural-sounding as the most effective.

Lastly, name high quality was superb, sounding pure and clear even in noisy environments, though somewhat little bit of background noise from the road crept into the decision.

Connectivity and settings

The Pixel Buds app showing settings and controls on a Pixel 6a smartphone.
The Pixel Buds app on Android handles settings and updates, reveals the battery degree on the earbuds and case and different bits. The app will not be accessible for iPhones or iPads, nevertheless. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Buds Pro are normal Bluetooth 5 earbuds, supporting the usual SBC and AAC audio codecs and Google’s Quick Pair with Android. They can be utilized in mono, which is useful for calls, and assist seamless switching between paired gadgets. They assist multipoint for connecting to 2 gadgets concurrently, corresponding to a telephone for calls and a laptop computer for music.

They’ve Google’s new computerized audio-switching system that connects the Buds Pro to whichever of your Android telephones or tablets is taking a name or enjoying media. It doesn’t work with PCs, Macs or different gadgets, so multipoint is usually extra helpful.

Google Assistant

The top of a Pixel Buds Pro earbud in the charging case showing the Google ‘G’ logo.
Faucet and maintain on the ‘G’ emblem or say ‘Hey Google’ to invoke the voice assistant, however solely with an Android telephone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Google Assistant is one other superior characteristic that solely works with Android. Contact and maintain one of many earbuds or use the “Hey Google” wake phrase to then make it learn your notifications or messages, ship replies, management music playback, regulate the amount, offer you instructions from Google Maps, carry out real-time translation with Google Translate and different duties.

Sustainability

Google doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery, however it ought to final in extra of 500 full-charge cycles with not less than 80% of its authentic capability. Like most wi-fi earbuds, the Pixel Buds Pro will not be repairable, making them in the end disposable.

The case incorporates recycled uncommon earth parts. The corporate publishes environmental affect reviews for a few of its merchandise, however not earbuds. It’ll recycle outdated gadgets freed from cost.

Worth

The Google Pixel Buds Pro price £179 ($199/A$299) in a selection of colors.

For comparability, the Sony WF-1000XM4 price £199, Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3 price £219.99, Beats Match Pro price £199, Apple AirPods Pro price £239, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro price £149, Jabra Elite 7 Pro price £199, Bose QC Earbuds price £209.95, and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 price £99.

Verdict

With the Pixel Buds Pro, Google has lastly nailed Bluetooth earbuds.

They’re comfy, sound great and have strong noise cancelling, and the battery lasts seven hours. The controls are glorious, as is the pocketable case. They’ve helpful options corresponding to multipoint connectivity for a couple of gadget at a time and good name high quality.

Whereas some flashier options are restricted to Android – I wouldn’t advocate shopping for them in case you didn’t primarily use an Android telephone – the fundamentals work simply as nicely with PCs and iPhones if in case you have a mixture of gadgets.

They’re overwhelmed on sound high quality and noise cancelling by the easiest, however for on a regular basis earbuds, the Pixel Buds Pro are great and undercut high rivals on worth, too.

You can not restore the earbuds or exchange the battery, which makes them in the end disposable and loses them a star.

Execs: great sound, efficient noise cancelling, lengthy battery life, very comfy, good case, great controls, Quick Pair, multipoint, fancy Google Assistant options with Android.

Cons: no high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs, no cross-platform settings app, ready on updates for EQ and spatial audio, case marks simply, no stabiliser wings for train, not repairable.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro case opens showing the slot for one of the earbuds.
Magnets make sure the earbuds slot into the correct place within the case, and the lid closes with a satisfying snap. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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