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Google Pixel Buds Pro review – a big bold sound and active noise cancellation

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  • VERDICT

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are an impressive pair of earphones which not only offer excellent sound but a range of features that fit in seamlessly with our day-to-day life.

The new Google Pixel Buds Pro have active noise cancellation and provide better audio quality than its predecessors and, naturally, they work brilliantly with Android phones.

They still can be paired with an iPhone via the regular Bluetooth settings so you can hear your music and podcasts.

But Android users can take advantage of Google Fast Pair, so the Google Pixel Buds Pro appear on your home screen as soon as they are detected via Bluetooth to take you through the pairing process.

For Android users this also includes a test to ensure you have the right sized ear tips as well. There are three pairs in the box in differing sizes.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a similar size charging case to the previous Pixel Buds but the earphones themselves are slightly larger.

They have a tapered shape so they can be twisted into place in your ear.

But they are slightly larger than other earphones on the market and they won’t fit everyone.

if your ears are on the slightly smaller side, then these might not be the earphones for you.

For us, they fit quite snugly and were locked in place when we twisted them into position.

They are designed to create a passive seal with the ear tips while the active noise cancellation does the rest of the heavy lifting to ensure outside noises are virtually eliminated.

There are even built-in sensors that measure the pressure in your ear canal to ensure long term comfort.

This pressure release means you’re not going to feel like your ears are blocked and you won’t hear your footsteps in your head if you’re walking or running.

The Active Noise Cancellation is the result of a custom six-core audio chip that runs a proprietary Google algorithm to eliminate ambient sound.

We were quite impressed with the quality of the ANC but it’s not quite the level of noise cancellation produced by other more expensive earphones.

There is also a Transparency mode for those times where you want to hear the outside world Which can be accessed with a long press on either earbud.

This worked really well, and we were able hear things around us as if we had nothing in our ears.

Now let’s talk about audio quality.

The Google Pixels Buds Pro offer a rich, full-bodied sound through the onboard 11mm speaker drivers.

The bass levels are pretty conservative – we would have liked a touch more, but they still offer a very satisfying sound.

And you can play the Pixel Buds Pro quite loud without any distortion thanks to built-in Volume EQ which adjusts on the fly as you turn up the value to maintain the quality of the highs, mids and lows.

So even if you crank these all the way you’re still going to hear a clear sound.

The outer surface of the Google Pixel Buds Pro also acts as your control panel with the ability to navigate your music and even control the volume.

Adjusting the volume involves swiping forward to increase the volume and swiping backwards to reduce it.

Depending on how the Pixel Buds Pro fit inside your ear will determine how easily you can access these controls.

For us the earbuds sat inside our ears at an angle so the surface area we could access was slightly smaller.

We still managed to control our music but did find them a little too sensitive at times.

Sometimes when we toggled between ANC and Transparency we stopped the music.

Brushing forward and back to adjust the volume also triggered a song pause or change.

It took a little while to get used to the sensitivity but we’re now at a point where the Google Pixel Buds Pro are doing just what we want them to do.

You also have Google Assistant at your beck and call to find information, find directions and do things like respond to text messages completely hands free. You just have to say Hey Google and you’ll hear the Google Assistant in your ears.

And when making calls, the Google Pixel Buds Pro provide clear sound that does a good job suppressing background noise.

The people we spoke to said we were coming through loud and clear.

It was of one of the better experiences we’ve had making calls on earphones and headphones.

The earbuds also have multipoint connectivity so you can connect to two devices at once – like your computer and a tablet or a laptop. This works with Android and iOS devices and PCs and Macs.

The Pixel Buds app on Android devices offers some limited controls and a way to update the firmware and adjust the touch controls.

But there are no preset EQs or one you can customise for yourself.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have an impressive 11 hours of battery life in the earbuds themselves without ANC and up to seven hours with ANC. And the charging case provides up to a total of 31 hours of listening.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are available now in three colours – Charcoal, Fog and Lemongrass – and are priced at $299.

VERDICT

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are an impressive pair of earphones which not only offer excellent sound but a range of features that fit in seamlessly with our day-to-day life.