Pixel Buds Pro Review: Google’s best headphones so far
Google is enjoying great success with the Pixel line, but until now this has mainly been known for smartphones. Headphones were already on offer, but they fell more into the “ok, but not much more” category. The new Pixel Buds Pro is said to be the turnaround.
Along with the Pixel 6a, the Pixel Buds Pro was released some time ago, and while the Californian’s latest smartphone is an entry-level model that undoubtedly offers good value for money, the new in-ears from Google are in the upper class. You can see that from the price alone because with an RRP of 219 euros, Google headphones are positioned in a segment that is characterized by strong competition.
Competition is Tough
Because the Pixel Buds Pro sees itself on the same level as True Wireless headphones like Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, Sony WF-1000XM4, the Bose QuietComfort, and Apple’s AirPods Pro. And that’s certainly some damn tough competition. Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, testing headphones is always a matter of taste, more so than just about any other tech category, especially when it comes to sound.
Because everyone perceives the sound of headphones differently, which not only depends on subjective feelings but also on the preferred music. So much in advance: the Pixel Buds Pro is not quite at eye or ear level with the aforementioned headphones, especially not in terms of sound. You’re just a little bit behind, but still behind.
The sound quality is the best of all Pixel headphones so far, but the bar is not particularly high here. But you just can’t get close to the competitors from Sennheiser and Sony, especially if you count yourself among the audiophiles. This is primarily due to the mids, which are a bit flat. Google has hit the bass and treble well, especially the bass is full, but not exaggerated. It could be a little more pressure, but the bass emphasis is also purely a matter of taste.
ANC and transparency mode
In the (important) secondary disciplines, the Pixel Buds Pro does well to excellent: The noise suppression, i.e. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), works perfectly, and Google certainly doesn’t need to hide here. This applies to the usual situations such as airplanes or trains, i.e. when even frequencies have to be filtered out. The Pros could be a little better at voices and other “sudden” noises, but that’s definitely high-level whining.
The transparency mode, with which you can hear the surrounding noises (better), also works more than adequately, whether you define the sound or the letting through of the noises as “good” is also a matter of opinion. But it’s all pretty easy to understand and that’s the only thing that really counts in a mode like this.
Battery lasts longer
The battery life, however, is excellent. Without ANC, the Pixel Buds Pro lasts almost eleven hours, with active noise cancellation it’s around seven. At least that’s the information provided by Google and it largely applies in practice. The running time can be extended to around 19 to 20 hours by using the charging case and placing the buds in it several times.
Under the “hood” of the audio experience, however, one has to report disappointments. The reason for this is that Google only supports AAC and SBC for the codecs, but not aptX, LDAC, or LHC. The same applies to the Bluetooth version, only 5.0 is on board here, not 5.2 or even 5.3.
I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.