On July 28, 2022, Google released the completely wireless earphone “Google Pixel Buds Pro”. It features new support for volume adjustment and active noise canceling (ANC) by touch operation, and also supports external sound capture and multipoint connection. The price at the official store is 23,800 yen (tax included). In this article, I actually tried the machine and checked its usability and sound quality.
What is “Google Pixel Buds Pro”?
“Pixel Buds” is one of Google’s complete wireless earphone series. Looking back at the genealogy of the series, the first generation “Pixel Buds” was released in the fall of 2017, but it was not released in Japan. After that, “Pixel Buds” (2nd generation) landed in Japan in the summer of 2020, and the “Pixel Buds A-Series” with a reduced price was also released in the summer of 2021. The “Google Pixel Buds Pro” that I tried this time is equivalent to these successors.
As mentioned at the beginning, the price of “Google Pixel Buds Pro” is 23,800 yen. It is a high-performance model that seems to be a flagship in the series, such as supporting ANC for the first time in the series and supporting volume control by touch operation.
These days, there are ANC compatible products even for less than 10,000 yen, so this product in the 20,000 yen range falls into the somewhat expensive category as a completely wireless earphone. Still, it is cheaper than Apple’s “AirPods Pro” (Apple store price 38,800 yen including tax). Although there are differences in functionality, the “Google Pixel Buds Pro” can be said to be a cost-effective option as a flagship model.
The charging case of “Google Pixel Buds Pro” is a slightly flat oval shape. The base is white and the border of the lid is black except for the hinge. The case size is 50 (width) x 63.2 (height) x 25 (thickness) mm.
There is an LED indicator on the front that lights up when the lid is opened or closed and when the charging cable is connected. Charging can be done by connecting a cable to the USB Type-C port or by installing it in a Qi standard wireless charger.
The size of the earphone body is 22.33 × 22.03 × 23.72 mm, and the weight is 6.2 g on one side. The shape of the earphone is a canal type that attaches the ear tip. Three sizes of tips are included and are interchangeable. It does not have the silicon wing tip (protrusion to fit the auricle) that was found in the previous model. The communication method supports Bluetooth 5.0.
The color of the charging case is only white, but the color of the main unit can be selected from four colors: “fog” (light blue), “charcoal” (black), “lemongrass” (yellow), and “coral” (orange).
The waterproof performance is IPX2 for the case and IPX4 for the main body. As for the main body, it is good to be aware that it will not break easily even if you sweat during a workout or get a little water droplets in a sudden rain.
As with the previous model, if you want to use it on a smartphone with Android 6 or later, you can use the “Fast Pair” function, so pairing operation is easy. When you open the case near your smartphone, a pop-up will appear on the screen of your smartphone, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setting. On the other hand, to pair with an iPhone or other device, press and hold the button on the back of the case to switch to pairing mode.
The verification procedure below is based on the screen and procedure when “Google Pixel Buds Pro” is connected to “Pixel 6a”.
Settings and basic operations
Settings related to “Google Pixel Buds Pro” can be made from the Bluetooth setting screen (connected device). Tap the setting icon in the connected earphone column to open the setting screen.
For example, you can customize the long-press behavior, play sounds from your lost device, customize the fit of the eartips, and more.
Also, when connected to the Google smartphone “Pixel 6a”, “HD audio” is turned on by default, and the AAC codec (the compression rate is the same as SBC, but the codec has lower delay and higher sound quality than SBC). was used. On the other hand, it does not support high-quality codecs such as “aptX HD” standardized by Qualcomm and “LDAC” standardized by Sony.
The surface of the “Google Pixel Buds Pro” engraved with the “G” logo is equipped with a touch sensor, and you can control playback, stop, etc. by tapping with your fingertips. Control of the main unit by this touch can be used when the item “tap operation” on the setting screen is turned on. The switch is on by default, and can be toggled off if not needed.
Specifically, you can perform operations such as play/pause or answer a call with a single tap, go to the next track or reject a call with a double tap.You can also swipe forward to increase the volume and swipe backward to decrease the volume.
In addition, it is possible to customize the long-press behavior, so that ANC can be switched on and off or assigned to activate the assistant. The launch of this assistant is a function that tells you the time and the presence or absence of notifications. For example, if you have an email in Gmail, it will read out the number or subject. You can check this information by long-pressing when the notification sound sounds.
About comfort and sound quality