Google Buds Pro was announced along with the Pixel 6a smartphone a few months ago. Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s Pro version of true wireless earbuds, similar to Apple and Samsung that have their own Pro headphones on the market. Compared to these two brands, Google has big shoes to fill, especially after the unimpressive debut of its Pixel Buds earbuds last year.
Pixel Buds Pro also carries a higher price tag of Rs 19,990 which makes it almost impossible to go wrong with Google this time around. So how does the Google Pixel Buds Pro build on the regular Pixel Buds and does it live up to its promise of being a premium version? We’ve used it for over a week and here’s our review.
Google Pixel Buds Pro review: What’s so cool?
The design of the Pixel Buds Pro sparked interesting insights. Some have questioned its ergonomics, while some have questioned its overall effectiveness for shutting out ambient noise. Well, using the earbuds gave us a clear idea of how the Pixel Buds Pro work when worn and used for a longer time.
The earbuds fit comfortably in our ears, and Google has a feature in the Pixel Buds app to make sure the earphones are completely closed off. If not, you can try the different bud sizes available in the box.
Even the charging case is compact, and unlike most of our earbuds with a stem design (like the AirPods), Google opted for something funky, and it works well. Pixel Buds Pro get custom 11mm drivers that not only give you accurate sound but also result in larger, larger earbuds.
The active noise cancellation offered on the Pixel Buds Pro does a good job of blocking out noise and letting you focus on the main things, like watching a movie in a busy airport, or even sitting inside an office with people around you. Google allows you to hold the right earbud to activate/disable NC, when you get the transparency mode. Touch controls let you change the volume, and the smart gesture means the video plays, or the audio stops the moment the earbuds are away from your ears.
The sound quality of the Pixel Buds Pro surprised us a bit, especially in the higher tones, where the clarity of the sound was impressive, and the mid-level bass was strong enough to keep the music going.
Even while watching movies and listening to podcasts, the sound was clear and you can easily count on the Pixel Buds Pro for your daily use, audiophiles will probably feel it’s missing the x factor they crave.
Google claims that the Pixel Buds Pro have a longer battery life, and during our tests this became apparent. We were able to charge the earbuds and the case to 100 percent, and didn’t need to charge them for the next week. For most people, this is more than enough.
Google Pixel Buds Pro review: What’s not cool?
To be picky, the Google Pixel Buds Pro has some challenges with its NC feature. When you compare their quality to the NC on Sony or Sennheiser earbuds in this price range, the Pixel Buds Pro emit a high-pitched hissing sound, which doesn’t come out of nowhere when ANC is enabled. Hopefully now this is not a recurring problem, and Google can fix this with a software update.
Likewise, we found the Pixel Buds Pro’s transparency mode frustrating. It certainly pales in comparison to the performance offered by either the Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Sennheiser earbuds. These are some of the things Google can work on and improve with the next iteration.
Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Verdict
Google has definitely pushed the envelope with the Pixel Buds Pro and a huge price jump was to be expected. The design is unique and may not work for everyone, but it still manages to make sense. Pixel Buds Pro gets active noise cancellation, which is pretty effective, but the Transparency mode could be better.
The battery life is adequate, and in terms of sound quality, it will satisfy most people who need high-end wireless earbuds that offer good bass, powerful mids and good enough for podcasts as well. But the competition is tough, and for Android users, you also have other recognized brands like Sony and Sennheiser. If Pixel Buds Pro suits your case, really, it’s worth going for it.