The Bowers & Wilkins PX over-ear headphones have been my everyday companion for 4 years. However, the sound and convenience of current true wireless in-ears is getting more and more popular, so I’ve been testing a few candidates privately for a few months to find the best one for me. I’ve been looking at and listening to the Google Pixel Buds Pro for almost 2 weeks now and I can anticipate this much: All in all they do well – but not for the suggested retail price of 219 €.
- Transparency Mode
- Active pressure reduction in the ear
- Speech recognition: 3 microphones each in the in-ears, bone conduction sensor, protective cover against the wind
- Sensors: In-Ears: Capacitive touch sensors (tap and swipe) for music, calls and to control Google Assistant. IR proximity sensor for wearer detection. Accelerometer and gyroscope for motion detection.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with Multipoint Support
- Battery life in-ears: 08 hours without ANC, seven hours with ANC
- Battery life in-ears + charging case: 31 hours without ANC, 20 hours with ANC
- If you charge the headphones in the charging case for 5 minutes, the battery power is sufficient for up to 1 hour of playback time n Active Noise Cancellation is enabled.
- Codecs: SBC & AAC
- Spatial Audio: Coming with an update in the fall 03493
- Sweat and Water Resistance: In-Ears: IPX4 | Charging Case: IPX2
- Charging: Qi or USB-C
- Weight: In-Ears : 6.2 g (with medium-sized ear tip) | Charging case: 59,4 g (with in-ears)
- Dimensions: In-Ears: 22,33 mm x 21,03 mm x 24,70 mm | Charging case: 22 mm x 51 mm x 60,2mm
Audio driver: Proprietary dynamic 11- mm Driver
Compared to the Apple AirPods Pro & Huawei Freebuds Pro 2, the Pixel Buds Pro have a less balanced sound. And yet I can B. enjoy the songs by the Norwegian jazz trio “Maridalen” – double bass, woodwinds & trumpet come into their own and the wide stage is relatively present. Sharp S and Z sounds, e.g. B. in the song “The Fall” by ZHU, are not shown so nicely.
The bass is more dominant and equally strong in all volume ranges. The “Volume EQ” feature automatically boosts the bass frequencies at low volumes so that they remain present at all times – as a lover of electronic music, I think that’s great. The maximum volume of the Pixel Buds Pro is just enough for my taste – with ANC activated I always tend to turn the volume down anyway.
Speaking of ANC: very well implemented! In my opinion, it ranks directly behind the Sony WF-1000XM4, often as top dog traded, a. ANC is not as efficient here as in the WF-1000XM4 that make it , to eliminate most low and even higher frequencies, but: there is (still) no ANC solution on the market that can conjure up complete silence. The transparency mode is ok. Surprisingly, even almost 3 years after the release of the AirPods Pro, this one is still a good deal better.
My conversation partners could understand me well to very well in many situations. Wind noise is eliminated, but there is a (stronger) loss of quality. It is best to let yourself be convinced with the test shots I have created. If there is a need, I can make more recordings with your individual scenarios – just write in the comments!
Only good things can be said here. Pairing is quick and easy thanks to the Fast Pair function: Open the case and a notification should pop up on your smartphone, which will take you to the Pixel Buds app, among other things, and ultimately initiate the pairing. Regarding wearing comfort: I am always very skeptical about stemless in-ears due to sensitive ears and I have had many bad experiences.
I don’t know what genius is behind the Pixel Buds Pro design, but my ears say: Finally! They are extraordinarily comfortable and also hold securely in the ear – that was shown by my little jogging tests. Touch operation on the buds is very intuitive. The following is possible – whereby only the “Touch and hold
I can see the Buds Pro’s manufacturer-specified battery life (see specification table above) at a volume of 60 until 81 Confirm percent. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the egg-shaped charging case. It has grown by 3mm in width compared to the Pixel Buds A-Series. The case is now protected according to IPX2 and finally supports wireless charging.
More Features & App
The multipoint capability is one of my favorites Two highlights: It works perfectly and is indispensable in everyday life: Pause the song on your smartphone & start a YouTube video on your PC – on the fly, without any further fiddling around. Spatial audio and an equalizer will also be added with a firmware update in the coming months.
The second feature highlight is the deeply integrated Google Assistant, including “Hey Google” hotword activation. Response sometimes takes 3-4 seconds, otherwise works smoothly. The reading out of current smartphone notifications can also be activated – this is often used, especially when I’ve been shopping and my hands weren’t free.
Here are some screenshots of the Pixel Buds App, which illustrate the functions again:
As for the software, win the Google Pixel Buds Pro both through the simplicity, the features as well as through the direct and deeper Android integration. They’re very comfortable, have effective noise cancellation, and the battery lasts just under 7 hours with ANC on. The touch controls are very intuitive. In terms of sound quality, they’re beaten by the best models, but as everyday in-ears, the Pixel Buds Pro are great.
Personally, I would have liked the aptX low latency codec – for an RRP of 219 I’m already wondering why savings were made at this point. It has almost become the jack of all trades. Anyone who wants to be more audiophile should check out Huawei’s Freebuds Pro 2.
About the guest author: I’m Christian, Berliner and have been for a few years at home in Munich. IT people in the area of support and administration. Follow me on Twitter.
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