Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Hitting almost all the right notes

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Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Hitting almost all the right notes

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Google Pixel Buds Pro

Google Pixel Buds Pro review (Image: GOOGLE • GETTY)

Google Pixel Buds Pro: 60-second review

Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are unquestionably impressive. They are comfy to wear, belt out rich and bass-packed audio plus they’ll keep the music playing for around seven hours without needing a refill.

Simple touch controls make it easy to pump up the volume or switch tracks plus there’s some good noise cancellation which, while not market-leading, does just enough to make sure you enjoy your tunes and nothing else.

Like the previous Pixel Buds, the Pro version also arrive tucked inside a very neat charging case which actually feels more premium than all of its rivals – including the more expensive AirPods Pro.

Other extras include wireless charging, slick connectivity with Pixel phones and they are fully IPX4 water resistant so they should survive the Great British weather. There’s plenty to like about the Pixel Buds Pro but there are some niggles including the high £180 price (the Pixel Buds A currently cost £79.99) and a slightly loose fit which means they’re not ideal for the gym.

They are also probably best left alone for anyone with an iPhone as Apple devices don’t get all the features, such as fast pairing, found on Android.

That said, the Pixel Buds Pro are a solid pair of wireless earbuds that hit many of the right notes.

Google Pixel Buds Pro full review

Google is back with new earbuds that aim to take your playlists up a level. These mini music makers come packed with extras such as clever Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), long battery life and simple pairing when connecting to most Android phones.

It’s a big upgrade over the entry-level Pixel Buds A but all that tech certainly doesn’t come cheap with the Buds Pro costing a pretty hefty £179.

So, are they worth all that money and do they offer enough bang for the bucks?

Here is our full Pixel Buds Pro review

Google Pixel Buds Pro

The Pixel Buds Pro are simple to set up if you own a Pixel phone (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Right out of the packaging Google is trying to make things as seamless as possible to get your music started. Simply open the neat little charging case and, as long as you have a recent Android device, a message will magically appear on the screen to instantly pair things up and get the playlists started.

This Fast Pair feature certainly beats digging into endless Bluetooth settings and takes the pain out of the usually tedious connection process.

It’s worth noting that the Buds Pro work best with Pixel devices. They also connect to iPhones although you will have to link them up the old-fashioned way.

Once the Pixel Buds are hooked up to your phone it’s time to pop them in your ears and you shouldn’t find any issues when it comes to comfort. We’ve been wearing them for hours on end without any issues and they ship with three changeable tips to help make sure you get the best fit. To help make sure things are correct there’s also a Fit Test found within the Pixel App which indicates whether you need to try a different tip.

Although the Buds Pro are very pleasant to wear they won’t suit fitness fantastic as the slightly loose fit means they constantly feel like they are about to fly out when pounding on the treadmill.

Gym bunnies might be better looking at buds that have a wing-style design such as those offered by Beats and Jaybird.

Google Pixel Buds Pro

Google Pixel Buds Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Of course, the Buds Pro are built to keep you entertained and there are no issues when it comes to sound quality.

Pump up the music and you’ll be treated to rich audio with bucket-loads of bass. Using them for a movie binge is also impressive with plenty of depth when you hear the rumble of a plane or bang of an explosion. Things should improve even further thanks to a Spatial Audio update that’s set to be released soon that should make you feel like you are right in the heart of what you are watching.

Everything we’ve been listening to sounds crystal clear and we’d happily use them all day long. They even cope well when pushed to maximum volume and we’ve not noticed any distortion when things get loud.

Unlike the cheaper Pixel Buds A, the Pro get full Active Noise Cancellation with Google even featuring tech called Silent Seal which adapts to your unique ear shape to maximise the amount of noise blocked.

Google Pixel Buds Pro

The Buds Pro feature ANC technology which blocks out all background audio (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

The ANC certainly works well and you’ll hear very little background sound once it’s switched on.

Although the noise cancelling is good, we’ve not been convinced that it beats rivals such as the AirPods Pro with our tests showing a little more audio leaking through when using Google’s earbuds.

For those times when you do need to listen out for things such as flight announcements, there is the usual Transparency mode which lets some noise into your ears.

One final audio mode to mention is Volume EQ which has been added to adapt dynamically to your listening volume. It basically makes subtle changes to the frequency curve and ensures that highs, mids and lows are balanced.

As we mentioned earlier, battery life is impressive with the Buds Pro lasting for around 7 hours on a single charge – that’s around two hours more than anything Apple offers.

Once they do run low the neat charging case, which can be refilled wirelessly, offers a total of 20 hours of playback.

Google Pixel Buds Pro

The Pixel Buds have a seven hour battery life (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

There’s also fast refilling with the Buds Pro getting an hour of battery power from just five minutes in the case.

Other nice extras include good touch controls which will help you skip tracks, turn off the ANC and pump up the volume without reaching for your phone.

They also work seamlessly with the Google Assistant and are fully water and sweat-resistant.

It’s all impressive stuff but it should be considered the price. Right now, the Pixel Buds A are on sale for just £79.99 – that’s £100 less than the Buds Pro.

Although that does sound pricey, Google’s new music makers are cheaper than the AirPods Pro (£249) and the upcoming Galaxy Buds Pro 2 from Samsung (£220).

Google Pixel Buds Pro: Final Verdict

Pixel Buds Pro – at a glance

What We Loved

  • Solid sound
  • Long battery life
  • Neat charging case that refills wirelessly
  • Simple touch controls
  • Easy pairing if you have the right Android phone

What We Didn’t Love

  • ANC could be better
  • Loose fit means they are no good for the gym
  • iPhone fans might want to look elsewhere
  • Pretty expensive compared to the Buds A

There’s plenty to like about the Pixel Buds Pro and if you own a Pixel smartphone you’re not going to find a more compatible companion.

The seamless connection, solid sound, good ANC and long battery life are all features to like.

Google’s pucked-shaped charging case is also one of our favourites and feels far more premium than most of its rivals.

The fit is comfy although it won’t suit everyone and those looking for buds that they can take to gym might want to look elsewhere.

The price also feels pretty punchy, especially when compared to the Buds A, and Google is facing a vast amount of competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Jabra, Huawei, Beats and Sony.

If you own an iPhone it’s definitely worth waiting to see what Apple reveals later this year with rumours suggesting new AirPods Pro are on their way.

Google has done a solid job and we genuinely like the Buds Pro. If you own a Pixel and want the easiest way to tune into your favourite playlists you won’t be disappointed.



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