Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s first earbuds with active noise cancellation

On top of everything today other big I/O news, Google is adding a new set of true wireless earbuds to its range of audio accessories. The Pixel Buds Pro are the company’s first earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) and will soon support spatial audio when paired with a compatible Pixel phone. Noise-blocking and immersive sound aren’t the only big features Google has packed into these $199 buttons, though.

Inside is a new custom six-core audio processor powered by Google algorithms that blows sound through custom drivers. The company says all aspects of the setup, including active noise cancellation, have been fine-tuned by its in-house audio engineers. A feature called Volume EQ function adjusts the bass, mids and trebles when you change the volume level to maintain a balanced sound profile. For example, if you turn down the volume, the earbuds automatically boost the bass while also controlling the mids and highs. Touch controls give you the ability to play/pause, skip tracks, adjust the volume, and activate (or deactivate) noise cancellation. Like both the Pixel Buds and A-Series, the Pro is IPX4 rated, so you shouldn’t have any qualms about using it during a workout.

Google has also taken into account that everyone’s ears are different. While the company says it has scanned thousands of ears to find a shape with the most comfort for most people, the included tips may not work perfectly for all users. A tool called Silent Seal allows Pixel Buds Pro to conform to your ears to maximize the effectiveness of the ANC. Google says the earbuds also monitor the pressure in your ear canal and can relieve it if needed to keep you comfortable.

Multipoint connectivity is a must for earbuds and headphones these days, allowing you to seamlessly switch between your phone and a computer or tablet. Pixel Buds Pro provides this feature, switching between the last two Bluetooth devices you connected them to, including TVs and iPhones. There’s also hands-free access to the Google Assistant, so you don’t have to reach for your phone to call for help with a series of tasks. And yes, the list of chores still includes real-time translation for 40 languages. Transparency mode is another useful feature, allowing outside noise to come in when you need to be aware of your surroundings or have a quick chat.

Pixel Buds Pro

google

Speaking of voice, Google has used bone conduction to pick up your speech during conversations. Combined with beamforming microphones, a voice accelerometer and wind-blocking mesh covers, the company says you can expect clear calls even in less-than-ideal environments. The mileage varies wildly, like this one from earplug companies, so we’re just waiting for a good verdict for now.

Google promises up to seven hours of use with ANC on or up to 11 hours of listening when it’s turned off. That second figure is more than double the battery life of both Pixel Buttons 2020 and the Pixel Buds A Series, neither of which have true noise canceling capabilities. Even if you opt for ANC mode, you’ll still get two hours more than Google’s previous two sets. The housing, which resembles that of the most recent models, supports wireless charging (Pixel Stand or Qi-certified accessories) and adds 13 hours of noise cancellation. Finally, there’s a quick charge feature that gives you one hour of ANC listening time in just five minutes.

The Pixel Buds Pro will be available for pre-order starting July 21 for $199. They are expected to ship on July 28. And if you decide to make a purchase, you can choose from the colors Coral, Lemongrass, Fog and Charcoal.

Follow all the news from Google I/O 2022 here

Update 4:06 PM ET: This post has been updated with the correct pre-order and launch dates. Our apologies for the error.

All products recommended by Engadget have been selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.