Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Getting better, but not there yet

·Senior Games & Tech Producer
·5 min read
The Google Pixel Buds Pro with its packaging on a brown wooden table. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)
The Google Pixel Buds Pro. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

The Google Pixel Buds have had many iterations, from the first around-the-neck 2017 version, to the true wireless 2020 version, to the budget-friendly Pixel Buds A, and now, the Pixel Buds Pro.

It was always a steep hill for Google to climb in the wireless audio space, because there are so many other better sounding iterations of true wireless earbuds from companies like Sony, Bose and Sennheiser, to name a few.

And because of that as well, the Google Pixel Earbuds have always tried to prioritise the Google Assistant experience to stand out from the rest.

While initially being innovative and successful, other companies have already caught up on providing better Google Assistant accessibility with their earbuds.

So what makes the Google Pixel Buds Pro different from its competitors?

Our recently reviewed Sony LinkBuds S have the same price tag of S$299 as the Google Pixel Buds Pro, so that will also be a point of comparison for this review.

Sound:

Sound was never a strong suit for the Pixel Buds. However, the Pixel Buds A were a really good sounding pair for their S$149 price.

The sound on the Pixel Buds Pro, however, really depends on the music you enjoy listening to.

The sound profile of the Pixel Buds Pro leans toward the bassier side of things. If I can loosely compare it to something in the real world, it sounds like a good bassy gaming headset. Listening to electronic music and rock music were a blast.

Listening to classical music or ballads however aren't as enjoyable.

The sound isn't bad by any means, it still has a lot of detail in the mids and highs, but it definitely has an emphasis on bass. If you prefer a more natural and clean-sounding sound profile, you are better off with the LinkBuds S.

The Pixel Buds Pro also come with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and ambient mode.

The ANC does its job well, without too much pressure in the ears, while still blocking out most of the external sounds.

The ambient mode sounds very natural and you are still able to hear things around you without it being overbearing.

Functionality:

Like we mentioned earlier, the Pixel Buds' strong suit is its features. The Pixel Buds Pro are no different.

There are a few features offered by the Pixel Buds Pro that isn't present in the LinkBuds S, like the on-earbuds volume control and wireless charging.

You are also able to switch between ANC and ambient mode through a long press, while also being able to activate the Google Assistant with the same gesture if you set it up in the Pixel Buds app.

You are still able to play, pause and skip music tracks with taps on the earbuds.

Overall, the touch controls on the Pixel Buds Pro are sensitive and intuitive.

Battery:

The Pixel Buds Pro with ANC turned on lasts about five to six hours on average.

The case is able to provide another three full charges before it is totally dry, making the Pixel Buds Pro usable for one week without needing to charge, if you use it about two to three hours everyday.

The white Google Pixel Buds case with a beige Sony LinkBuds S case one a wooden table. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)
The Google Pixel Buds Pro's case is not any bigger than Sony's smallest earbuds case, the LinkBuds S. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

The wireless charging is a good 'quality of life' feature. If you have a wireless charger in your possession, just leave the Pixel Buds Pro's case on it and it will be topped up for the next usage.

Portability:

The case of the Pixel Buds Pro is still considerably small by today's standards.

It is easy enough to shove it in your pocket to transport around without it being an obstruction.

The weight of the earbuds are around 6g each, so you will still feel them in your ear, unlike the LinkBuds S, which at one point, I totally forgot I was wearing.

However, due to the way the Pixel Buds Pro are shaped (with the drivers being on top of the unit rather than the side), the buds still feel very secure in the ear, even when taking them out for a sweaty run.

A black Google Pixel Buds Pro right earbud next to a beige Sony LinkBuds S right earbud on a wooden table. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)
The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a very similar shape to the LinkBuds S, both of which have a secure fit in the ear. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Google designed this pretty well in my opinion, with the weight pressing into the earhole, keeping the earbuds secure in place.

Conclusion:

Google is getting better with its Pixel Buds iterations.

The Pixel Buds Pro are not as good yet to compete with the likes of Sony and Sennheiser when it comes to all-around sound quality, but they are getting there. If you are a bass-head however, this will tick a lot of boxes.

However, with that aside, for their S$299 price tag, they offer a lot of functionality that is only present in more expensive earbuds.

From responsive touch controls to wireless charging, and not to mention, easy pairing, the Google Pixel Buds Pro are a great all-rounder that does everything right.

If you are debating between this and the Sony LinkBuds S, if you care a lot about weight and sound profile, the LinkBuds S are a no brainer.

But if you care a lot more about quality of life things like volume control and wireless charging, then the Pixel Buds Pro are a great choice.

You can get them here.

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Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting bodied in games or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.