Google’s new Pixel Buds Pro was launched on Wednesday at the Google I/O developer conference for $199 (about £160 and AU$290), and the new wireless earphones contain an active noise canceling feature.
The new earbuds, which will be available on July 21, have built-in sensors for monitoring pressure inside the ear canal, according to Google. The Silent Seal technology, according to Google, is designed to offer a tight seal that blocks out outside sound while avoiding a plugged-up ear sensation.
Google claims to connect specialized speakers with a custom six-core audio chip that runs the company’s algorithms for noise cancellation.
Google is also adding functionality for movies and TV shows on compatible Pixel phones to the Pixel Buds, which is expected to launch later in 2022.
Multipoint Bluetooth connections will be supported by wireless earphones, allowing them to automatically switch between two devices. According to Google, this will apply to any device, even iOS devices. Multipoint connectivity is something that has previously been accessible on other headphones and wireless earbuds, and it’s especially useful when switching between a phone and a computer.
The Pixel Buds Pro will be waterproof to IPX4, and the case will be waterproof to IPX2 with wireless charging support. The earbuds will last 11 hours of listening time or up to 7 hours with active noise cancellation, according to Google. Coral (reddish-pink), lemongrass (yellow), fog (white), and charcoal will be the four colors available (black).
Google made a number of announcements on Wednesday, including the launch of the Pixel 6A phone and first glimpses at the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro phones, a Pixel Watch, a Pixel tablet, and Android 13 improvements.
The Pixel Buds Pro will allow hands-free Google Assistant voice commands, and the company claims that noise suppression of background distractions such as wind and traffic improves call quality. The earbuds themselves are water-resistant to IPX4, making them excellent for exercise, while the casing is water-resistant to IPX2.
So far, Google’s track record with the Pixel Buds has been mixed. The 2020 earbuds had a lot of signal cuts and other issues. Later software updates addressed some (but not all) of those issues. In terms of reliability, the newer, more affordable Pixel Buds A-Series have performed better. Hopefully, the “Pro” earphones deliver on their promise of reliable performance.