Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are superior to most headphones


Price: €219

Google Pixelbuds pro

Advantages: great sound, good fit, good ANC, multipoint switching

Disadvantages: Multipoint varies between devices

Active noise cancellation (ANC) on earbuds used to be deplorable. Now it’s actually quite good, even if it’s not quite on par with overhead headphones.

Google’s new Pixel Buds Pro block a surprising amount of external sound. I would compare it to Apple’s AirPods Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, both of which are more expensive.

The only pair I’ve tested that arguably beats it in terms of ANC are Huawei’s Freebuds 2 Pro ($199).

One factor that contributes to the decent ANC is the good fit. While buds are notoriously more prone to falling out on certain types of ear shapes, these fit fairly comfortably. This helps both the ANC and the audio quality.

That audio quality, which is an improvement over the last Pixel Buds I’ve tried, is driven in part by the larger 11mm driver included here.

For me, the sound was pretty crystal clear, with the right amount of bass to give me drive without being fuzzy. However, there is no equalizer. So unless you’re particularly concerned about the sound, there’s not much you can do about it.

One of the big advantages of the Pixel Buds Pro over standard buds is the multipoint connections. In English this means that if your Buds Pro are connected to your laptop and you see a call on your phone, the Buds Pro will automatically switch to your phone when you answer the call.

If you’re watching a video on one device and want to catch a quick social media clip on another, you don’t need to go into the second device’s settings to manually connect the Buds Pro via Bluetooth.

When it works, it’s great – I’ve spent several happy evenings switching between the Pixel 6a phone I’ve been testing and my trusty iPad Pro 12.9, as well as between the same iPad and an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

However, it’s not perfect. For me, the feature wouldn’t work between two phones – the Pixel 6a and the iPhone 13 Pro. I kept having to go into the settings to manually connect to the iPhone. If I did, it wouldn’t then switch back to the Pixel 6a or the iPad Pro.

Worse, the Pixel 6a then didn’t output any audio from any content at all unless I holstered the Buds Pro or told the Pixel phone to forget them in Settings. I suspect it may need some firmware updates to make it more consistent across devices.

And then there’s the basic challenge of turning it on. If you don’t have an Android device to begin with, there doesn’t seem to be a way to turn on multipoint functionality as it’s off by default.

This isn’t an absolute deal breaker, but it does tone down the Pixel Buds Pro’s pitch a bit for iPhone users, especially when there are so many other decent earbuds out there.

Overall these are worth the money. Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are superior to most headphones

Fry Electronics Team

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