Google Pixel Buds Pro Review

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: Does It Worth Your Cash?

Google has been working diligently to keep up with the competition. In 2023, the tech giant released the Google Pixel Buds Pro, an updated version of its previous offering, with a few new features and enhancements.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive into the design, functionality, and overall performance of these earbuds to help you decide whether they are worth the $199.99 price tag.

Design and Build Quality:

The first thing that catches your eye with the Google Pixel Buds Pro is the stunning new color option that matches the Pixel 8 Pro. It’s a delightful addition that adds a sense of cohesion to your tech accessories.

However, beyond the color scheme, the design doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor. The earbuds maintain a compact, unobtrusive form factor, sitting comfortably in your ears. While they lack ear hooks, the fit remains secure, even during activities like jogging.

One significant improvement in the design aspect is their comfort. The Pixel Buds Pro are remarkably comfortable for prolonged use, making them suitable for long flights, commutes, or extended listening sessions. They come with a variety of silicone tip sizes to accommodate various ear shapes, ensuring a snug and secure fit. Additionally, they have an IPX4 rating, making them resistant to water and sweat, further boosting their durability.

Setup and App Integration:

For those who own a Google Pixel 8 or 8 Pro, the integration process is seamless. All the settings you need for the Pixel Buds Pro are tucked away in the Bluetooth settings. However, if you don’t own a Pixel phone, you can easily download the Google Pixel Buds app from the Play Store.

The app offers a range of customization options, including the “Find My Buds” feature, touch controls customization, and sound adjustments. In 2023, Google introduced the Health & Wellness section, allowing users to monitor their audio volume to prevent potential hearing damage.

The app also provides access to firmware updates, tips and tricks, and the option to place a widget on your smartphone’s desktop for quick access to settings. Setting up the Pixel Buds Pro is a breeze – simply open the case near your Android smartphone, and you’ll get a prompt to connect.

Touch Controls:

The touch controls on the Pixel Buds Pro are intuitive and responsive. You can quickly tap to play or pause your music and even utilize the autopause feature by removing either earbud. Double-tapping to skip tracks works smoothly, and swiping gestures control volume adjustments, although I did occasionally raise the volume accidentally when trying to pause.

Long-pressing either earbud switches between noise cancellation and transparency modes, summons the Google Assistant, or allows you to use voice commands, such as “Hey Google.”

One unique feature is the ability to have the Google Assistant read out notifications from specific apps. This can be both convenient and distracting, depending on your needs. It’s a handy feature if you’re on the move and frequently miss important notifications, although it might interfere with your listening experience if you get too many notifications.

Conversation Detection:

One of the standout features in the Google Pixel Buds Pro is the Conversation Detection. When you start talking, the earbuds pause your audio and activate transparency mode, allowing you to engage in conversations without removing them. While this feature works remarkably well when engaging in real conversations with others, it can be slightly annoying if you tend to mutter or talk to yourself.

Even minor muttering or exclamations can trigger this feature, interrupting your music. However, it does automatically resume your audio if no voices are detected for a few seconds, preventing awkward pauses.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC):

ANC is a vital feature for any premium true wireless earbuds, and the Pixel Buds Pro deliver quite well. Compared to the previous model, the ANC seems to have improved. In typical settings, they effectively reduce background noise, allowing you to enjoy your content without disruptions.

They handle ambient noises like traffic and background chatter commendably. However, they might struggle a bit with extremely loud and high-pitched sounds, like a crying baby or construction work, which is somewhat expected for earbuds of this size.

Sound Quality:

The Pixel Buds Pro feature 11mm drivers that deliver sound with decent quality. They offer an equalizer in the Bluetooth settings, so you can customize the bass, treble, and mids to your liking. While the bass is respectable for earbuds, the overall sound quality falls short of some premium competitors in the same price range. Unfortunately, the Pixel Buds Pro lack support for high-quality codecs like LDAC or aptX HD, which could have elevated their audio performance.

However, for listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts, the Pixel Buds Pro provide crisp and clear audio, especially with vocals. While they may not satisfy audiophiles, they offer a satisfying listening experience for the average user.

Spatial Audio and Gaming:

One of the new features in the 2023 Pixel Buds Pro is spatial audio support with head tracking. This feature is somewhat niche and may not be widely used by most consumers. It works well with supported content on platforms like YouTube, providing an immersive listening experience. Google also promises reduced audio lag while gaming on supported smartphones like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and my experience confirms their reliability in this regard.

Microphone Quality:

If you frequently take calls on your smartphone, the Pixel Buds Pro’s microphone quality is commendable, especially if you’re using a Pixel 8 or 8 Pro. With Bluetooth Super Wideband support, the earbuds provide excellent call quality.

The AI noise cancellation and smart array features do a decent job in filtering out background noise, although they can sometimes struggle with exceptionally loud environments, muffling your voice in the process.

Battery Life:

Google advertises seven hours of playback time on a single charge with ANC turned on. However, during my testing, I found that the Pixel Buds Pro exceeded this estimate by a little over 30 minutes. This extra battery life is a pleasant surprise for users who want longer listening sessions.

Additionally, when you disable ANC, you can expect a couple of extra hours of playtime. The charging case can provide a couple of full charges for the earbuds, offering a maximum of around 30 hours of playback time with ANC off and approximately 23-24 hours with ANC on. The case is also compatible with wireless charging, making it convenient for Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users.


The Google Pixel Buds Pro for 2023 bring several improvements and new features to the table. Their design, comfort, and touch controls are commendable. The integration with Google’s ecosystem, including the Health & Wellness features, is a noteworthy addition. However, the Pixel Buds Pro fall short in the audio quality department, lacking high-quality audio codecs that some premium competitors offer.

The conversation detection feature, while excellent in most cases, can be overly sensitive, interrupting your audio for minor muttering or self-talk. ANC performs well for typical background noise but struggles with extremely loud sounds.

Ultimately, whether the Google Pixel Buds Pro are worth the $199 price tag depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re deeply invested in Google’s ecosystem and appreciate the unique features they offer, these earbuds could be a worthwhile addition. However, if audio quality is your top priority, there are other premium options in the market that may better suit your needs.


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Abdel Editor at I've been writing about the tech industry for many years and my favorite topics to cover include Big Tech, media, and gaming.