Years of development: Google’s path to the Pixel Buds Pro

We are already drowning in a flood of truly wireless earphones that all essentially perform the same function for an exorbitant price. Although Google has been developing completely wireless earbuds for some time, the company’s first-party models haven’t always been standouts. Google has just released and begun distributing the Pixel Buds Pro, the newest model in its range of earbuds. What brought us here, then?

The creation and advancement of wireless audio is one of the most significant technological advancements to occur in the audio business in 2016 and 2017. With the release of the AirPods in 2016, Apple pioneered the trend, and several businesses soon followed.

We generally remember the cool goods that came out of this transition phase with nostalgia.

PICOLAR BUDS (2017) The Pixel Buds, Google’s first attempt at making its own earbuds, were one of those products. The Pixel Buds were wireless earbuds in the sense that they used a wireless connection to connect to your phone’s audio processor.

The affectionate moniker “Google Neckbuds” was given to the earbuds since there was in fact a wire allowing for easy communication between the two drivers. Prior to fully wireless earbuds taking over the market, the majority of manufacturers connected both drivers of wireless earbuds via a cable, allowing you to hang them around your neck for convenience. This was the height of audio innovation prior to genuinely wireless earphones.

By this time, Apple’s AirPods had launched, demonstrating the full potential of wireless audio. All things considered, it’s apparent why Google persevered with the product they had already been developing, and it’s a good thing they did.

Overall, the Pixel Buds were a passable set of earphones. They were among the best Google Assistant-enabled earbuds at the time because, first and foremost, they natively integrated Google Assistant. As we pointed out in our review of the Pixel Buds from 2017, Google Assistant was immediately integrated, resulting in a positive Assistant experience.

I don’t think you can completely appreciate having Assistant embedded into your headphones unless you try it, but for me, it’s a huge selling feature. I adore having a Google Home almost attached to my ear, ready to play music, respond to queries, and do so much more.

One of the problems that many customers had with the original Pixel Buds was the sound quality, which wasn’t due to poor drivers or subpar processing but rather fit. The Pixel Buds opted for an in-ear polycarbonate casing. The silicone tips on the majority of other earbuds are put into the ear canal. There are a few negative aspects to this.

Google Pixel Buds

The Pixel Buds don’t have active or passive noise cancelling, for that matter. The area between your ear canal and the Pixel Buds’ plastic casing is open to all external noise. Second, because the tips are rigid, each person will experience fitting differently. The fit also has a direct impact on sound quality. The path that audio must go through your ear is clearer the better the fit is.

The case was yet another issue that caused people a lot of trouble. The storage mechanism was the real problem; the case itself wasn’t all that horrible. Google opted to include the wire between the two earbuds of the original Pixel Buds in the storage system because of this. You have to wrap the wire inside the casing in a particular way in order to store them. This was a tedious and slow process.

google pixel buds

Overall, the first generation Pixel Buds weren’t a bad buy, especially considering the excellent Google Assistant integration. Sadly, they might have come out a little too late to be a real rival.

PICOLAR BUDS (2020) Three years later, in 2020, Google eventually provided what everyone had been requesting, resolving the majority of the issues that arose in relation to the Pixel Buds in 2017. The new, fully wireless Pixel Buds, which have the exact same name, aim to utterly erase the first-generation models from everyone’s memories.

They mostly succeeded in doing it. As a result of our analysis,

Buds for Google Pixel What is the outcome? Personally, I believe Google made a great overall play here. The Buds are affordable, stylish, comfortable, and have decent audio quality. Lack of features like noise cancellation may be a deal-breaker for some people, but for others, this is precisely what they desire. Everything depends on your tastes.

The 2020 Pixel Buds were a particularly comfortable pair of earbuds to wear thanks to the addition of silicone tips and an improved overall design. You were able to acquire a good fit and prevent daylong ear fatigue thanks to the included silicone fins.

Google Pixel Buds

The Pixel Buds also had a pass-through vent, which the Pixel Buds Pro replaced with ANC, allowing you to hear your surroundings if necessary. This was a really contentious feature; some people detested it, while others found it to be quite helpful.

The carrying case for the Pixel Buds was arguably their best feature. The charging case, which was compared to a pebble, was very simple to put into any pocket. It didn’t have an excessive amount of bulk that made putting it in a pocket of a pair of jeans or pants unpleasant. In many ways, it was the ideal situation.

google pixel buds

Although it wasn’t mind-blowing, the sound quality of the Pixel Buds in 2020 was an improvement over the model from before. At the time, there were several fully wireless earbuds on the market, such as the Jabra Elite 75t, that could directly compete with sound quality. The Pixel Buds weren’t a bad value, though, when you consider the full package, which also included Google Assistant connectivity and other smart features along with a wonderful fit.

At first glance, the Pixel Buds appeared to be the perfect device. Unfortunately, when a few problems surfaced only a few weeks after introduction, many customers started to regret their purchases.

Users started experiencing strange audio cuts and static hissing in their Pixel Buds about six weeks after they were sent to pre-orderers. The Bluetooth connection might drop for one or two seconds before reestablishing itself in most cases, or it would even disconnect completely for some users until the earbuds were put back in their case. While some customers experienced a simultaneous loss of both earphones, others only experienced a loss of one. Additionally, there were rare instances where the audio would stop when the listener turned their head.

Every single set of earphones had this broad problem, and there was no firmware update that seemed to resolve it. At some point, Google declared that it was addressing stability concerns and that the problem would be fixed.

Many people were disappointed by the fact that this problem was never completely resolved. Beyond the Bluetooth communication concerns, the Pixel Buds were a solid set of earbuds. Unfortunately, Bluetooth connectivity is a key component in fully wireless earbuds, which ultimately led to the Pixel Buds’ demise when the new model was released.

A-SERIES PIXEL BUDS After the release of the wireless Pixel Buds, we didn’t have to wait long to receive a new set of earphones from Google. We discovered evidence of a new audio product from Google in March 2021. The successor to the Pixel Buds, the Pixel Buds A-series, turned out to be that new product’s more affordable counterpart.

The Pixel Buds A-series, which were only $99, a significant discount from the $179 Pixel Buds, were named after the cost-conscious range of smartphones Google is known for making.

Pixel Buds A-Series

Of course, Google had to eliminate some functions in order to keep costs low. For instance, the Pixel Buds A-series did away with the volume control gestures, but they made up for it by being able to adjust the volume based on the surrounding surroundings. Additionally, customers were only given the choice of charging over USB-C once wireless charging was forfeited.

The new Pixel Buds’ other features were all very alluring. A modification made it possible for both earbuds to connect to the phone without using a relay mechanism. As a result, the earbuds’ connection is more reliable and have less latency. In actual use, the Pixel Buds’ Bluetooth functionality was significantly better, making a recommendation for Google’s new earbuds simple.

Despite Google’s claims that consumers will enjoy the same excellent audio quality as they did with the Pixel Buds, testing revealed that this wasn’t totally true. The audio matched reasonably well, but not exactly. The mids were initially lacking in the Pixel Buds A-series, and several tracks lacked any depth. However, over time, our very own Ben observed in his review that the earbuds appeared to require a break-in period, with audio quality improving slightly after many hours of use.

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The A-series earbuds had a vent for passive pass-through audio, just like the Pixel Buds before them. Once more, this was helpful for people who wanted to be aware of what was going on around them in crowded areas. Adaptive Sound, which raised or decreased audio depending on your environment’s level, was a crucial supplementary function. Even though the Pixel Buds have this feature, COVID made it a little challenging to test it in actual surroundings. Fortunately, the capability was included in the Pixel Buds A-series as well, despite cost-cutting efforts.

Overall, Google may have finally gotten earbuds right with the Pixel Buds A-series. The performance, audio quality, and features that came with the Pixel Buds A-series proved to make them the best earbuds Google had yet launched, despite the price being half that of the 2020 Google Pixel Buds. Until the Pixel Buds Pro, that is.

the Pixel Buds Pro Google had already released three versions of wireless earbuds. The first two Pixel Buds A-series weren’t very successful, but the third one seemed to do almost everything perfect.

The Pixel Buds Pro, which were unveiled at Google I/O 2022, are an incredibly intriguing set of wireless earphones. The Pixel Buds Pro contain a few fascinating capabilities we haven’t yet seen in the Pixel Buds range, while being mostly Android-focused.

Instead of using the pass-through vent, the Pixel Buds Pro will have ANC and a pass-through mode that makes use of the beamforming microphones that are already built into the earbuds. In contrast to earlier versions, pass-through audio can be disabled at any time. It will be fascinating to learn how the Pixel Buds Pro handles ANC in the majority of settings as this is a first for the Pixel Buds range.

The Pixel Buds Pro include a special audio chip that Google created to power audio quality, and if we know anything, Google does a fairly decent job developing SoCs. With all of the smart features the Pixel Buds Pro will have, they are expected to generate some extremely good audio.

The future implementation of spatial audio is one of the cleverest features we are eager to witness. Google announced at I/O that the buds would receive an OTA upgrade later this year. It’s an exciting promise, but of course it may mean any time in the next five months.

This enhancement is thought to have resulted from Google’s 2021 acquisition of 3D audio firm Dysonics. The Dysonics team is renowned for developing technology that simulates 360-degree sound, giving rise to what is known as spatial audio. The UC Davis Technology Incubator launched the company in 2011. Following the acquisition, a few former Dysonics workers posted on their LinkedIn profiles that they had begun working for Google, with two of them mentioning that they were creating audio hardware for the business. It was difficult to determine which product this might have been for at the time, but looking back at the timing and release of the Pixel Buds Pro a year later, the Dysonics team probably had a hand in the final design.

In addition to that purchase, Google has taken many moves to hire staff and acquire intellectual property from various sources before the release of the Pixel Buds Pro. It was discovered that Google entered into a separate agreement to purchase portions of Synaptics in 2020, giving Google access to patents on audio technology and patent applications pertaining to active noise cancellation. Trausti Thormundsson, the former vice president and general manager of audio, joined Google as a product manager as a result of the $35 million purchase that went unreported in 2020 and resulted in staff members going there.

The year after that, Google continued to expand and set out to buy audio IP from RevX Technologies, which is no longer in business. The business was well-known among musicians for creating a tool to enhance in-ear monitors for live performances and studio recordings. During the IP deal, Google also acquired the company’s patents for noise-canceling headphones.

Tempow, a French firm, was also in line to be purchased, providing Google with information and team members who had experience with key facets of smart wireless audio. The company had previously collaborated with Motorola and TCL while developing the first operating system for true wireless earphones.

It’s simple to draw connections between events prior to the release of the Pixel Buds Pro and comprehend how Google was able to create and include a bespoke audio chip into their new earphones as well as promising future advancements like spatial audio.

Google Pixel Buds Pro

In conclusion, Google worked very hard to make the Pixel Buds Pro the finest of the best. That will depend on how things develop in the future. Performance throughout time will be much more important than just initial impressions. It has been noted that Google has a pattern of initial impressions versus usage over time. The Pixel Buds Pro are anticipated to be the greatest completely wireless earphones in a while.

Pre-orders for the Pixel Buds Pro, which will go on sale on July 28, are being taken right now. Follow us for a complete evaluation.
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