Give her Pixel Buds Pro we expected so much.
After all, the Pixel Buds 2, launched in 2020, had conquered us. They were not without defects, this is true, but with their particular shape, the lack of the bar and the smart features that characterized them, they had made a dent in our hearts. And yes, they are still there today, resting on our desk and ready to use.
The new arrivals, officially landed in Italy on 28 July, had (and still have) the thankless task of overcoming the previous model. Mission accomplished? We tell you about it in this one Pixel Buds Pro review.
“They look like Mentos“.
We all thought that in front of the Pixel Buds 2.
And yes, we can say the exact same thing about the latest arrivals.
Once you open the case you will find yourself again in front of two perfect little circles reminiscent of the famous mint candies. But the color is different. This time Google ditched white in favor of four shades: anthracite gray, smoky gray, cedar green and coral. Ours therefore seem to be Mentos but with a strawberry flavor.
However, this does not mean that the design is unchanged. The Pixel Buds Pro are more subscribers and forgive the small rubberized lug which held the Pixel Buds 2 firmly anchored to the ear. Bad? Not really. During the days of lyrics we only fell once, bending us over. The absence of the fin also makes them more comfortable in the long runwhich allows you to use them for several hours straight without experiencing any discomfort.
In addition, the Pixel Buds application helps you to understand if you have chosen the right ear tips. How? With a feature called Insert insulation check. In about 20 seconds the software, using the sensors of the headphones, checks if you have made the right decision, a decision that not only affects the fit of these Bluetooth headsets but also the active noise cancellation.
This brings us to one of the other innovations introduced by Google with these Pixel Buds Pro: l’ANC.
On board, therefore, we find active noise cancellation, which can be enabled with a prolonged tap on one (or both) the earphones.
Works well? Decidedly. Suppression of external noise is satisfactory. We were able to easily exclude the rattle of the train on the tracks, the spinning of the washing machine at home and traffic noises. Instead, rumors pass, which naturally comes in handy for communicating with the people around you, from colleagues at work to the flight attendant who asks you if you want something to drink.
Always with a long tap it is possible to switch to transparency modewhich doesn’t excel but still does a good job.
Here, too, Google seemed to us to take steps forward compared to the Pixel Buds 2. On board we find new ones driver da 11 mm, a new processor and new algorithms, with the audio that is equalized according to the volume to always maintain the right balance between the various shades.
We personally find the excellent yield. Perhaps not equal to the Sony WF-1000XM4, which are still a reference for the sector today, but certainly satisfying, with a well-balanced sound, a good presence of bass (which no, they never become bulky) and crystal clear voices. The volume is then very high, also thanks to the excellent sound insulation guaranteed not only by the ANC but by the general design of these earphones.
What is missing? For now, there is no equalizer – coming in the fall – and neither is spatial audio, which should arrive by the end of the year thanks to a software update.
The quality in call is entrusted to three beamforming microphones for earphones, the voice accelerometer and the windproof retina covers.
The result? Quite convincing, with the voice that is clear and only slightly articulateeven when background noise increases.
The features of Google’s Pixel Buds Pro don’t end there. First of all you can count on Bluetooth 5.0with the connection always being very stable and reliable.
You can then call back at any time Google Assistant, either by using the hotword “Hey Google” or by associating the long press of one or both headphones with the voice assistant of Big G.
The application also provides functionality Find device which helps you locate the headphones in case of loss. Always the app allows you to activate it multipoint, which allows you to connect the headphones to two different devices. This means that you can use them with a tablet or PC and then answer on the fly on your smartphone in case a call arrives.
The only limitation of the new American earphones is iPhone. You can in fact associate them with the Apple smartphone but the Pixel Buds app is not present on the App Store. This means that you can associate and use them with iPhone without using the app to find the device, to manage the ANC, to change the association of the texts and to activate the multipoint. In short, the use is possible but with a whole series of barriers that make the Google Pixel Buds Pro more suitable for Android smartphones.
We conclude with autonomy which is more than convincing. Without active noise cancellation you get to 11 hours, which drops to 7 with the ANC. You can then count on the case that gives you 31 hours without ANC and 20 hours with ANC. Really not bad.
The case, like that of Google’s other true wireless headphones, also boasts the IPX2 certificationwith the Buds Pro reaching the level IPX4, so you can also use them for sports without worrying about sweat.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are on sale at 219 €. A top-of-the-range price for a pair of earphones that comes with high-end features. In short, we have a convincing design, a great fit, a lot of autonomy, improved audio, excellent noise cancellation… Google has done everything right. Too bad only for the equalizer and the spatial audio that are making you wait.
Is it worth it? In our opinion, yes, but with the awareness that there are equally valid but slightly less expensive products on the market.
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