It’s taken a while but Google seems to have finally nailed its TWS Bluetooth Earbuds game with its latest offering. The Pixel Buds Pro come with many firsts for Google’s Pixel Buds line. These are the first buds with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and also promise a superior acoustic experience. But they don’t come cheap. With an asking price of almost 20K, these are also among the most expensive Bluetooth earbuds you can buy. Do they justify the premium? The short answer is ‘yes’. Read on to find out why
The pebble-shaped case is almost indistinguishable from the Pixel buds A-series that we checked out about a year ago but the similarity ends there. There’s a two-tone colour finish – the inside of the case is black while both colour options for India (black and white) are finished with a white case. The buds ditch the ‘stabiliser arc’ that was a talking point of the A-series buds with a new design approach that feels secure in your ear. The default tips (medium size) worked well for me, you can swap it out for the other two sizes of ear tips bundled in the box. I paired these with a Google Pixel 6a and the pairing process was seamless. You get a prompt for a 20-second ear seal test and then you’re all set.
ANC done right
It might be the first time for Google but the Pixel Buds Pro nail Active Noise Cancellation. Google calls it ‘Silent Seal’, a solution that adapts to your unique ear shape and maximises the noise blocked while delivering sound directly to your ear without leakage. Google also claims that when Active Noise Cancellation is on, sensors also constantly measure the pressure in your ear canal so the earbuds can actively relieve it and stay comfortable. This is one of the most effective ANC solutions we’ve experienced on any pair of TWS earbuds
Brilliant sound stage
It’s noy just the ANC, Google hits it out of the park with the overall sound quality. I put these buds through a variety of singles and genres, from Imagine Dragons’ Sharks to a bunch of chillout tracks and it aced everything. There’s a single 11mm dynamic driver inside each bud but it’s the digital signal processing and noise cancelling that elevates the soundstage. Google also plays up Volume EQ, a feature that adapts dynamically to your listening volume, making subtle changes to the frequency curve as you change the volume. This ensures that highs, mids and lows are balanced and nuanced at any volume. We generally evaluate the sound quality of earbuds depending on how they respond to high volumes (89-90%) and the Pixel Pro coped really well. Google will add Spatial Audio later this year to these buds.
The best buds for Android users?
Just like Apple reserves some features for iPhone users for its AirPods Pro, you have to be on Android to take advantage of some of Google smarts like Live translate and seamless Google Assistant integration. Even the upcoming spatial audio feature won’t work for iPhones. But if you’re an Android user, these buds are a no-brainer. The gesture controls work really well, you get wireless charging, sweat and water resistance. And then there’s the terrific battery life – our tests validated Google’s claims of 7 hours for the buds with ANC on. A 5-minute charge in the case gives you up to 1 hour of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation on. But above all that, it’s the brilliant soundstage that makes the Google Pixel Buds Pro a compelling proposition if you’re in the market for premium earbuds.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro cost Rs 19,990 and come in Black and White