Google’s first attempt at a pair of earbuds was just atrocious, in my opinion. A wire connected the two buds, and constantly got tangled, leaving most people with an unsatisfactory experience. This was only topped by their second generation Pixel Buds that I tried my best to fall in love with, but couldn’t. They constantly cut out and were unreliable on a whole new level.
At this point, I had given up on the company’s attempts to provide an in-ear device. However, I gave them one last chance with the latest pair, the Pixel Buds A-Series, and lo and behold, all of the cutout issues were completely gone! Now, and only now, I absolutely love the Pixel Buds.
Yesterday at Google I/O 2022, Google’s developer conference where they often reveal new hardware and software innovations, it introduced yet another pair of earbuds – the Pixel Buds Pro, and they’re much more premium, and it’s clear that Google wants to compete directly with the Apple Airpods yet again.
The brand new Pixel Buds Pro will become available for pre-order alongside the new Pixel 6A smartphone on July 21, 2022, and will appear in stores like Best Buy on July 28, 2022! At first glance, you’ll notice something very different about these buds, even though they come in practically the same charging case – they’re a different shape (to sit deeper in your ear) and have two microphones on the top of them. The primary draw of the revamped design is that they come with Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC, which is powered by a custom 6-core audio chip and Google algorithms designed to put the focus on your music and nothing else!
You can grab a pair in either Coral, Fog, Charcoal, or Lemongrass color as pictured above. Regarding their battery life, it will vary depending on whether or not you have ANC activated, but on average, you’ll get up to 31 hours of total listening time (remember, the case charges the buds in between usage, so you’ll get about 7 hours with ANC on, and 11 without between charges!)
Because the design is no longer semi-occluded as they were in the past, meaning that even with music playing you could hear what was happening in the world outside of your ears for safety reasons, the Pixel Buds Pro come with a “Transparency Mode”, which will let you hear outside sounds in real-time so you can continue to be more aware of your surroundings while crossing a street. Of course, Assistant is baked in too, so it will continue to have all of its benefits in addition to everything discussed here today.
They’re also IPX4 water-resistant, meaning that you can run through the rain without having to take them out as they are resistant to splashes from any direction (though they can’t sustain low-pressure water jet spray, so don’t get hosed down or anything, alright?)
“the best mobile audio hardware we’ve ever designed.”Google Senior VP of devices and services, Rick Osterloh
Similar to how Apple’s Airpods can swap between your devices seamlessly, Google is working on technology that will allow Pixel Buds users to jump between their Android phone, and Chromebook without having to go through a lengthy pairing process. Fast Pair recently launched on ChromeOS, but improvements to the overall experience from start to finish are inbound which will make Google’s new Pixel hardware ecosystem on par with Apple’s!
Okay, so now that you know a bunch about how Google’s new Pixel Buds Pro will operate, you’re probably telling me to get to the price already. My favorite thing about them is that they will ship at $199.99 USD – that’s fifty bucks less expensive than the Apple Airpods Pro. Google continues to create premium products at affordable prices, and while they’re twice as expensive as the A-Series buds, I think the improvements will be well worth it. The Pixel Buds Pro have a drastically different design and a set of features to rival the competition, so I’ll gladly pay two hundred bucks, but only if they don’t cut out.