The Pixel Buds Pro have the best hardware setup of any Google audio product to date, but they also update the software, getting rid of Adaptive Sound and Attention Alerts in the process. However, Google is also trying to make a full EQ available for Pixel Buds Pro later this year.
If you buy a pair of Pixel Buds Pro right away, read our full review here, you might be surprised to see that they have less software features than the Pixel Buds (2020).
Similar to those first earphones, the Pro model continues to support Google Assistant integration, enabling quick Hey Google commands and notifications that may be read aloud as they come in. Additionally, there is connectivity with Google Translate, which features a unique Conversation Mode with direct language translation through the headphones for simple conversion.
Three functions are currently absent from Pixel Buds Pro, though.
First of all, Bass Boost was eliminated. Given that the Pixel Buds Pro already have the strongest low-end performance of any of Google’s earbuds to date, this feature would have been mostly unnecessary.
Adaptive Sound is a further functionality that is lacking. This was first introduced with the Pixel Buds (2020) and, in practice, performed very effectively to increase volume in the earbuds in response to your surrounding surroundings. The function was still there in the Pixel Buds A-Series, however it was removed with the Pixel Buds Pro. Why? There is a logical answer, I suppose. Due to the introduction of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) on the Pixel Buds Pro, Google claims that Adaptive Sound was discontinued. Fair enough.
Beyond that, Pixel Buds Pro lacks Attention Alerts as well. This was an experimental feature that debuted with the first Pixel Buds feature drop (2020). The music would be turned down and an audible alert would be given when the earbuds picked up sounds like a dog barking, a baby crying, or a passing siren. Google didn’t provide an explanation for why this feature was eliminated, stating simply the fact that it wasn’t included with the less expensive Pixel Buds A-Series models. It looks like an unusual removal, as we mentioned in our assessment.
I don’t understand why these functions are absolutely missing from Pixel Buds Pro. Attention Alerts feel much more beneficial now that Active Noise Cancellation and a longer battery life are included, and I actively miss them.
Fortunately, it appears that Google isn’t completely finished with Attention Alerts; the business has stated that it is striving to further enhance the experience.
However, something new is coming in as these few things go away.
According to a Fall 2022 roadmap provided by Google, the Pixel Buds Pro will receive a full 5-band EQ later this year. This is undoubtedly interesting because Google has not yet included an equalization with any of its wearable audio products, and third-party solutions are limited and typically less useful.
Notably, compared to some other possibilities, a 5-band EQ is a little limited. Kyle Bradshaw from our team promptly pointed to the JBL Tour Pro’s 10-band EQ. However, this is still a significant advancement, and we were happy to see the visitor. In a subsequent update, Google plans to integrate spatial audio on the Pixel Buds Pro.
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