Pixel Buds Pro: All the details on Google’s new ANC earbuds
Ahead of Google I/O, there were some rumours that Google was looking to launch a new pair of true wireless earbuds, and the rumours turned out to be true – they’re called the Pixel Buds Pro.
After a couple of wireless earbuds that hit more affordable prices, the Pixel Buds Pro sees Google step to the big league and offer competition to the likes of Bose, Sennheiser and Sony.
Here are all the details you need to know about the Google Pixel Buds Pro.
Given the ‘Pro’ status, it’s not surprise to see that the Pixel Buds Pro command a mark-up over the Pixel Buds A-Series model.
Google announced the Pixel Buds Pro at their I/O keynote event, and so far all we know about pricing is that they will cost $199. We’ve asked Google to confirm prices for other regions.
In what’s become a trend for Google, new hardware announcements are usually followed by a cooling off period. By that we mean the products aren’t available to purchase as soon as they’re announced, it usually takes a few months before they go on sale.
And so, the Pixel Buds Pro have a pre-order date of July 21, 2022. Whether that’s for US customers or worldwide is still unknown. On sale date is July 28.
The Pixel Buds Pro look bigger than their predecessors, adopting a more traditional earphone profile. On the edges of the touch surface you can see the microphones and these are likely to work across noise cancellation and transparency modes, as well as helping out with voice calls.
They will be made available in a series of four colours: Coral, Lemongrass, Fog and Charcoal, keeping the same two-tone design from the older models. The finish is a soft matte finish, which we expect will help in terms of touch and feel when operating the buds.
They’re rated to IPX4, so they’ll be able to keep the sweat from workouts and some wet weather away, while the case is rated to a lower IPX2 (so they’re protected against water falling vertically on the product). With three ear-tip sizes there’s room for finding the best fit while there are sensors within the earbud that measure the build-up of pressure and relieve so the earphones remain comfortable when used.
Unsurprisingly there’s hands-free interaction with Google Assistant by saying the words ‘Hey Google’ when operating the headphones. There’s also the inclusion of real-time translation into over 40 languages.
The buds also boast what Google is calling Active Noise Cancellation with Silent Seal, which the tech company says adapts the earbuds to the shape of your ear, maximising the amount of noise blocked. The noise cancellation is developed by Google itself, with a custom processor married with Google’s own algorithms and custom speakers. We’ll be interested to hear what Google’s take on it is.
Where there’s noise cancellation there’s usually a transparency mode. Google says that is take on the tech processes a wide range of frequencies with low latency to keep the audio passed-through sounding natural, in-sync and all in real time.
And if you have two or more devices the Pixel Buds Pro can swap between them with its Bluetooth multipoint pairing support. As long as the device you’re using supports, the Pro can automatically switch between compatible devices. Google say it’ll be updating the earphones later in the year to support Spatial Audio technology.
Battery life is 7 hours per earbud and up to 20 hours with the charging case if you’re listening with ANC on, according to Google. There is fast-charging (5-minutes for an hour) along with wireless charging if you have a Qi plate or a Pixel Stand. We’ll confirm these battery claims when we get the buds in for review.
Previous Pixel Buds have boasted a solid sound, though in our reviews we did remark that for whatever Google’s next effort would be, that they’d be more adventurous. We’re hoping that’s the case with the Pixel Buds Pro. They support Volume EQ that dynamically adapts to listening volume and makes subtle tweaks to the frequency curve. So, for example, lower the volume and the headphones increase bass levels while maintaining balance in the mid and high frequencies.
Call quality is also on the agenda, the earbuds’ beamforming mics, voice accelerometer and wind-blocking mesh covers aiming to ensure crystal clear call performance in loud and blustery places. Bone conduction tech also analyses vibrations near a person’s jaw area to pick up voices so the wearer can be heard loud and clear.
And that’s what you need to know about the Google Pixel Buds Pro. They’ll be available for pre-order from July 21 for $199 and for the first time in the Pixel Buds series, they’ll come with active noise cancellation. We’ll be looking to give them a listen and giving our opinion when they’re released.