Google's $200 Pixel Buds Pro vs. Apple's $249 AirPods Pro
Google this week launched its latest earbuds, the $200 Pixel Buds Pro, which are designed to compete with the AirPods Pro. In our latest YouTube video, we tested out the Pixel Buds Pro to check them out and to test whether they're on par with the $250 AirPods Pro.
The Pixel Buds Pro are more affordable than the AirPods Pro and offer a similar feature set with Active Noise Cancellation, a Transparency mode, "Hey Google" voice control, automatic switching between paired Bluetooth devices, and Find My Device app tracking in case they're misplaced.
Like the AirPods Pro, the Pixel Buds Pro have silicone tips that fit into the ears for a tight seal to cut down on exterior noise. Google advertises a Silent Seal feature that improves noise cancellation, and we were impressed with the noise cancellation capabilities. Later this year, Google plans to add spatial audio functionality, but it's not available at this time.
Google does include a Transparency mode, but it's not up to par with the Transparency mode on the AirPods Pro and it's hard to tell that it's even on. There is an app that comes with the Pixel Buds Pro so you can tailor the sound to fit your needs, but the app is only available on Android devices and EQ adjustments aren't set to be available until later in the year.
As for the fit, the Pixel Buds Pro do not have long stems and instead have a shorter body that makes them less obtrusive in the ears. We found the Pixel Buds Pro to fit well in the ear and to be comfortable for long periods of listening, and Google does include built-in sensors that measure the pressure in the ear canal for more comfort.
With their smaller body, the Pixel Buds Pro fit in a little case that adds additional battery life, similar to the AirPods Pro charging case. The Pixel Buds Pro offer up to 31 hours of battery life, while the AirPods Pro are limited to about 24 hours of battery.
The Pixel Buds Pro are solid earbuds that have a lot to offer, but they may not be appealing to Apple users just because of the convenience of fast switching with AirPods and because you can't adjust the sound without an Android device. It will also be interesting to see how the Pixel Buds Pro measure up to the next-generation AirPods Pro, which are rumored to be coming out later this year.
Rumors suggest the AirPods Pro 2 will feature an updated H1 chip with self-adaptive noise cancellation capabilities, and they might include Lossless audio support. We're also expecting sound improvements and improved Find My functionality, with a full rundown of what's coming available in our AirPods Pro 2 guide.