Google Pixel Buds Pro could go toe-to-toe with AirPods Pro


Google's top new earbuds will come in several colors.
Google's top new earbuds will come in several colors.
Photo: Google

Google brought out a range of new Pixel devices to compete with Apple products at its I/O developer conference Wednesday. They include Pixel Buds Pro, premium earbuds with a number of AirPods Pro features.

But Google’s new buds, available July 21, will cost about $50 less than Apple’s top wireless earbuds.

New Pixel Buds Pro offer ANC, Transparency mode, voice control and more

Rolled out at Google’s I/O developer conference Wednesday, Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s new premium wireless earbuds with similar features as AirPods Pro. The new buds become available for preorder on July 21.

Features include active noise cancellation (ANC), a Transparency mode that lets ambient noise in, hands-free “Hey Google” voice control, automatic switching between previously paired Bluetooth devices and Google Find My Device app integration for tracking. Spatial audio support starts later this year, Google said.

‘Silent Seal’ maximizes noise cancellation

With a feature called Silent Seal, Pixel Buds Pro adapt to your ear to maximize noise cancellation. Meanwhile, Google said, built-in sensors measure the pressure in your ear canal to make sure they are comfortable to wear during long listening sessions.

You will be able to pair Pixel Buds Pro with any Bluetooth 4.0+ device. So they’re compatible with devices like Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. However, it seems unlikely there will be an iOS app for the buds for to control ANC, equalizer and the like.

Google’s new buds charge wirelessly in a case and offer up to 11 hours of listening time per charge. With ANC engaged, that goes down to seven hours. The case does not support wireless charging but can be charged via USB-C.

A worthy AirPods Pro competitor?

Clearly, Pixel Buds Pro look like a solid competitor to AirPods Pro. But the more direct competitor for dominance in the Android world would be Samsung’s Galaxy Buds lineup.

AirPods Pro have seen no hardware updates since their release in October 2019. Rumors suggest second-generation AirPods Pro should arrive later this year with an upgraded wireless chip, motion sensors for fitness tracking and potentially a more compact design with no stem.

Google’s new earbuds have a soft matte finish and will come in four color options: Coral, Lemongrass, Fog and Charcoal.

Google said you should be able to preorder Pixel Buds Pro starting on July 21, with pricing set at $199 (compared to $249 for AirPods Pro).


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