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Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Sep 23, 2022 at 10:50 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 19, 2023 at 11:40 am
Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
8.0
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.0
Phone Calls

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are the upgraded variant of the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless, adding a powerful noise cancelling (ANC) system to help block out background noise wherever you go. While they're a bit bulkier and more unwieldy than their earlier counterpart, they also have new features like multi-device pairing, a graphic EQ, and a volume EQ, which are welcome additions to their toolbelt.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are satisfactory for neutral sound. Although our graphs show that they have a fairly flat sound, their real-life sound is more v-shaped. It's likely due to the buds popping out of our test rig's ears since even in their smallest size, they don't fit the ears well. Subjectively, they deliver extra thump and rumble with extra brightness devoted to vocals, lead instruments, and sibilants. You can adjust their sound using their app's graphic EQ and presets, though. Unfortunately, they're closed-back in-ear headphones, so their passive soundstage doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Consistent audio delivery.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available in companion app.
Cons
  • Depending on your ear shape, buds can pop out of your ear.
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.0 Commute/Travel

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are great for commute and travel. Their ANC system can block out the low rumble of bus engines as well as passenger chatter. They're well-built, have over seven hours of continuous playback time, and their carrying case supplies an additional 1.8 charges. Although they're decently comfortable, the buds can still pop out of your ears, depending on their fit.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
  • Over 7 hours of continuous playback.
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Depending on your ear shape, buds can pop out of your ear.
8.0 Sports/Fitness

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are great for sports and fitness. They're small, lightweight, and are certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. However, they tend to pop out of the ears, depending on your ear shape, and they lack stability fins, meaning they can fall out during intense physical activity. On the upside, their controls are easy to use, and they're well-built.

Pros
  • Easy to use controls.
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Depending on your ear shape, buds can pop out of your ear.
7.2 Office

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are decent for office use. Their ANC system can block out a lot of ambient noise around you, and the buds support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously. They also don't leak much at high volumes, and their over seven hours of continuous playback time can be recharged with the 1.8 extra charges in the carrying case. However, depending on your ear shape, the buds can pop out of your ear, which can be frustrating.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
  • Over 7 hours of continuous playback.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Depending on your ear shape, buds can pop out of your ear.
  • Bad passive soundstage.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Google Pixel Buds Pro aren't suitable for wireless gaming as they only support Bluetooth and have high latency.

5.4 Wired Gaming

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are Bluetooth-only in-ears, and you can't use them wired.

6.0 Phone Calls

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are mediocre for phone calls. The integrated microphone has trouble capturing your voice well, and speech sounds thin and piercing. It also has trouble separating speech from moderate ambient noise, so if you're taking a call from a busy environment, your voice can be drowned out. On the upside, the buds have an ANC system that can block out a large amount of noise around you.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Disappointing overall mic quality.
  • Depending on your ear shape, buds can pop out of your ear.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 8.0 Commute/Travel
  • 8.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.0 Phone Calls
  1. Updated May 19, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Status Between 3ANC True Wireless in Noise Isolation.
  2. Updated Jan 17, 2023: Google has added a Spatial Audio feature via a software update. However, this is only available on Google Pixel phones. We have updatedVirtual Soundstage and App Support to reflect these changes.
  3. Updated Dec 06, 2022: Firmware 3.14 has added a graphic EQ and presets to their companion app. As a result, we've updated App Support, and the scoring of this test has changed. We've also remeasured latency across devices in Bluetooth and the scoring of this test has also changed.
  4. Updated Sep 23, 2022: Review published.
  5. Updated Sep 21, 2022: Early access published.
  6. Updated Aug 31, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Aug 26, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Aug 21, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Google Pixel Buds Pro come in three color variants: 'Charcoal', 'Fog', 'Coral', and 'Lemongrass'. We tested the Fog variant, and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are the upgraded variant of the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. Unlike their predecessor, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound, and they support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected with up to two devices at a time. They also have an excellent ANC system to help block out background noise around you, and they outperform competitors like the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. Unfortunately, they tend to pop out of your ears and lack stability fins to keep them in place.

Check out our results for the best true wireless earbuds, the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, and the best sounding wireless earbuds.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless. While both buds are well-built, the Bose are significantly more comfortable, have a better battery performance, and their ANC can block out a superior amount of ambient sound. However, the Google headphones support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless. The Google headphones have a significantly better noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC system, they have a superior battery life, and they support multi-device pairing. However, the Samsung headphones have a more comfortable fit.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless. The Apple are more comfortable, better-built, more stable, and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have an H1 chip, so you can seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. However, the Google headphones have an even better noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC, and they support multi-device pairing.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are an upgrade from the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Pro version has a different sound profile that's more v-shaped than neutral, which you may prefer if you like genres like pop and rock. They also have an ANC system and can block out an excellent amount of ambient noise around you, have a significantly better battery performance, and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with two devices simultaneously. However, the 2020 headphones are more comfortable.

OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless and the OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless are similarly performing in-ears with slight differences. The Google headphones have a better noise isolation performance and a longer-lasting continuous battery life. However, the OnePlus headphones are more comfortable as well as stable.

Status Between 3ANC True Wireless

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are somewhat better in-ear headphones than the Status Between 3ANC True Wireless. While both buds are well-built and decently comfortable, the Google have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, their ANC offers superior noise isolation. However, thanks to their stability fin design, the Status have a more stable in-ear fit.

Status Between Pro True Wireless

The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are better earbuds than the Status Between Pro True Wireless. Google's earbuds have a v-shaped sound profile that you can adjust via their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They also have an excellent ANC system that cuts out more noise than Status' buds can passively. However, the Status buds have slightly better stability during moderate and intense exercise and have a longer total battery life, with three full charges in their carrying case, compared to the Google buds' 1.8.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a similar look to the Google Pixel Buds A-Series Truly Wireless, with the brand's logo embossed on the round touch surface. However, they're a bit bulkier and stick out of your ear quite a bit. They come in four color variants: 'Fog', 'Charcoal', 'Coral', and 'Lemongrass'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are decently comfortable. They're lightweight and sit well inside of small ears. However, they have a deep in-ear fit, and you can accidentally trigger controls when placing them in your ears. They also stick out, and users have reported their units popping out of their ears, which can be frustrating if you want them to stay in place.

7.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have good touch-sensitive controls. They're easy to use and responsive as the controls are the same on each bud. You can also use either bud while the other charges without losing any of the controls. That said, there isn't a voice assistant by default, and you have to map it. There are only beeps to let you know which command was registered, which can be confusing since the beeps can sound similar.

On either bud:

  • Single tap: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers calls.
  • Double tap: Skips to the next track. Also rejects calls.
  • Triple tap: Skips to the previous track.
  • Touch and hold: Cycles between ANC on, ANC, off, and transparency mode.
  • Swipe forward: Raises the volume.
  • Swipe backward: Lowers the volume.

9.6
Design
Portability
L 1.3" (3.4 cm)
W 1.0" (2.5 cm)
H 0.7" (1.8 cm)
Volume 0.93 inยณ (15.30 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are very portable headphones. They're pretty small and can easily fit into most pockets or bags without a problem.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.5" (6.3 cm)
W 2.0" (5.0 cm)
H 1.0" (2.5 cm)
Volume 4.81 inยณ (78.80 cmยณ)

The carrying case is pretty small, lightweight, and certified IPX2 for resistance against light rain. There's an LED light outside the case to indicate that it's charging and another light inside the case for the buds. There's a pairing button on the back of the case too.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's build quality is good. The buds are mostly made of plastic and silicone but feel sturdy. They're certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes, making them a solid choice for working out. However, the ear tips feel like they can rip with continuous use.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have decent stability. Although they don't have stability fins, they don't move around much with casual use. They can fall out if you're using them during intense physical activity. If you have big ears, it may also be hard to get a good seal, meaning they can pop out of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Google Pixel Buds Pro headphones
  • 3x ear tips
  • Charging case
  • Manuals

Note: A charging cable isn't included in the box.

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.67 dB
Treble Amount
-0.72 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a more v-shaped sound profile than the neutral response we measured. The buds continually fall out of our testing rig's ears, which disrupts their low-bass delivery. In subjective listening, they have a thumpy, rumbly sound that's well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also have extra treble, so sibilants like cymbals are bright and somewhat piercing. On the upside, their companion app offers a 5-band graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

9.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.21 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's frequency response consistency is outstanding. Assuming you can get a consistent fit that doesn't pop out of your ears, you won't experience deviations in bass and treble delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.4
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.83 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
0.71 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.15 dB
High-Bass
-0.11 dB

These headphones have more bass than what our graph shows. During testing, the buds constantly popped out of our test rig's ears, resulting in an underemphasized bass response. In reality, they deliver extra thump and rumble that will please fans of EDM and hip-hop.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.68 dB
Low-Mid
0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.43 dB
High-Mid
-0.23 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's mid accuracy is excellent. Their mid range is remarkably flat, except for a dip in the mid-mid, which nudges vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix. That said, these sounds are still clear and detailed in mixes.

7.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.57 dB
Low-Treble
0.61 dB
Mid-Treble
1.16 dB
High-Treble
-8.69 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's treble accuracy is good. The low-treble is fairly flat, so the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments are bright, but not harsh. The peak in the mid-treble can make sibilants like cymbals a bit piercing. When you're listening to songs like Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), the S and T sounds in the second verse's lyrics 'I'm tearin' you asunder' are sharp.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.13 dB
Dips
0.94 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's peaks and dips performance is satisfactory. There's a drop in the mid-mid that affects the right driver more than the left, pushing vocals and instruments to the back of the mix. A large peak across the treble range makes the upper harmonics of vocals and instruments sound harsh, while sibilants like hi-hats are piercing and painful.

7.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Phase Mismatch
18.49
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.53
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.99

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's imaging performance is good. Google doesn't normally have a lot of issues when it comes to the quality control of their drivers. That said, imaging can vary across units. Our unit's L/R drivers are mismatched when it comes to phase response and sounds from the mid-mid to treble range skew to the left side. It's noticeable with real-life content.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
1.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.2

The Google Pixel Buds Pro don't have a very immersive passive soundstage. However, that's normal from their in-ear design since they completely bypass your outer ear. Since they have a closed-back design, their soundstage doesn't sound very open or spacious either.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Spatial Audio

These buds are compatible with Google's Spatial Audio, which enables surround sound for a more immersive audio experience. At the moment, this feature is only available via Google Pixel phones. The manufacturer is planning to roll out head tracking at a later date.

8.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.228
WHD @ 100
0.100

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. At regular and high volumes, all frequencies fall within good levels, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
2.14
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these buds, and our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
8.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-23.38 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-20.2 dB
Mid
-23.94 dB
Treble
-26.39 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's noise isolation performance is excellent. Their ANC can block many of the low rumbles of bus and plane engines, especially compared to the similarly priced, Status Between 3ANC True Wireless. They can also tackle office chatter and the hum of computer fans very well, making them a versatile choice for everyday use.

8.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
33.14 dB

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's leakage performance is great. Leakage is mostly concentrated in the treble range and sounds thin. If you're using these headphones in a moderately noisy environment like an office, it's unlikely that others around you will hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
5.0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
668.34 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
6.65 dB
HFE
7,561.35 Hz
Weighted THD
13.376
Gain
-24.29 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is mediocre. The mic quality isn't as bad as what's reflected in the score. However, the mic performs very similarly to the recorded speech audio file. Your voice doesn't have much bass, but it's bright. Sibilants like S and T sounds are piercing.

4.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
-0.7 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
4.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The Google Pixel Buds Pro's integrated mic's noise handling performance is poor. The mic struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise, so if you have to make an important call, it's best to do so from a quiet space.

These headphones have a wind-blocking mesh filter. It can help cut down some wind noise, but your voice can sound more scratchy since the filter still lets in some wind.

Active Features
6.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
7.6 hrs
Additional Charges
1.8
Total Battery Life
21.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a decent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises them to have a continuous playback time of seven hours with their ANC on, and we measured just above that. Battery life can depend on your usage, though. That said, their carrying case supplies an additional 1.8 charges if you need it, and you can use one bud while the other one charges.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Google Pixel Buds
iOS No
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

The Google Pixel Buds is a good app. Once you've updated to firmware 3.14, you can access a 5-band graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound. There's also a Volume EQ feature, but this acts more like a night mode, equalizing the bass and treble range when the headphones reach a high volume. It can be handy if the volume varies depending on the content you're listening to. There are additional features like turning on/off multipoint connection, audio switching, and in-ear detection. You can also remap the touch and hold command, use the ear tip seal check, and find your buds.

When you connect these headphones to your Google Pixel phone, you can access HD Audio AAC On/Off, allowing you to use AAC codec (which is Apple's default codec) instead of SBC codec (which is the default codec for most devices) for a better audio experience. You can also access Spatial Audio, which is a feature that enables surround sound.

Connectivity
8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
244.42 ft (74.50 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
390 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
86 ms
Android Latency
137 ms

The Google Pixel Buds have great Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect them with up to two devices at a time, which is nice if you want to stay connected to your smartphone and PC at the same time. They also support Google Fast Pair, making it easy to connect your device to supported devices. However, they have high latency on PCs, and it's noticeable. YouTube may be compensating for the delays, though. On the upside, their latency on iOS and Android devices is lower, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync if you're streaming video. That said, some apps and devices compensate for latency, so your experience may be different.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

Unlike most other headphones, they don't come with a charging cable, so you have to buy this separately.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Google Pixel Buds Pro can only connect to PCs using Bluetooth.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

These headphones come with a small charging case that's similar in design to the Google Pixel Buds A-Series Truly Wireless. It only has a USB-C port for recharging it, but it supports Qi wireless charging.