Berlin equipment: A matt white round box, the coral-red pixelbuds and a battery for up to 31 hours of listening to music or 12 hours of telephone calls (according to the manufacturer). Google advertises with Google Assistant integration and real-time translation of spoken language. There is also active noise cancellation (ANC). Charging is done via USB cable or wirelessly. One charge keeps the pixelbuds with noise cancellation a good 7, without up to 11 hours in operation. That can be seen.
Connection: Open it, press the button on the back – either the setup starts automatically, or – very rarely – you have to select the Bluetooth setup and the buds by hand. On Google’s Pixel smartphones, the control software is already available, on other Androids you install the app “Google Pixel Buds”.
Once set up and connected, all Android devices can access under one Google account. Then the seamless change between different players usually works pretty well. The buds are also compatible with iPhones and PCs, but then without Google Assistant and without direct translation. Bluetooth 5 is used as the connection technology – currently Bluetooth would be 5.2. For the audio codec, Google uses Apple’s AAC somewhat surprisingly.
Fit/Comfort: The buds can be adapted to different ear sizes with silicone attachments and seal the ear canal. At the institution there is a passport test. Their drop shape makes them sit comfortably in most ears. Depending on the ear geometry, however, a little turning is necessary until everything is in place. The feeling of having stuffy ears is limited.
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Operation: The pixel buds are tapped and wiped. The control surfaces are on the outside of the buds. At first you like to type next to it, or too doll. Then it booms unpleasantly in the ear. Start, stop, forward, backward, quieter, louder – all possible with a tap and a wiper. The switch between transparency and ANC, as well as the Google Assistant, are also controlled via the touch-sensitive surfaces. That works pretty fast and well.
Good noise support, medium transparency
Sound: The Pixel Buds Pro sound good and balanced, although not sensationally good. Basses, mids, highs: everything is there and not washed out. Compared to similarly priced plugs like Apple’s Airpods Pro, Beats Fit Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 or Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, the buds lack a little sonority. This is especially noticeable when listening to music and less often when watching movies. Podcasts, on the other hand, usually sound clear and clear, the Pixel Buds Pro also master telephone conversations confidently.
The buds also have three different operating modes: as classic earplugs without everything, with transparency mode and with active noise cancellation. The noise cancellation works perfectly. It attenuates ambient noise properly, which is very pleasant when working concentrated or in the rattling subway.
There is a point deduction for the transparency mode. Unfortunately, in a subjective comparison, you get much less of the environment than with Airpods Pro, Beats Fit Pro or Galaxy Buds 2. In fairness: In the course of the test, this improved noticeably due to two software updates. Unpleasant: there are strong wind noises when jogging and cycling.
Additional features: Read out messages and notifications, recordings, voice input and similar functions of the Google Assistant work without any problems. As expected, the direct translation works well with languages such as English or Spanish. Start, speak, wait for translation, that’s it. Through the Pixel Buds, the Google Assistant also understands what others are saying and translates it. Less popular languages, unfortunately, do not work so well.
Good sound, long runtime
Who needs this: “All Things Google” is your thing? Then it’s also the Pixel Buds Pro. They look discreet, sit comfortably, run for what feels like forever, work seamlessly with Android devices and sound good – although not super good. The price is ambitious, but still within the framework. Those who still get the buds as a bonus when buying a Pixel smartphone, for example, drive cheaper. All in all, the buds are solid earplugs, which, however, do not stand out very much from their competitors.
If you want even better sound, you should take a look at the plugs of well-known brands in the Android segment. You have to put some more money on the table, but you also get a little better sound.