Apple AirPods Pro vs Google Pixel Buds Pro

Google Pixel Buds Pro vs Apple AirPods Pro: Which is better?

When they land in July, the Pixel Buds Pro will be Google’s best offerings by ear. True wireless earbuds promise the kind of features (and price) we’ve come to expect from any audio technology with the “Professional” label. But how do you stack up with the buds that started the Pro trend, the Apple AirPods Pro?

We’re still waiting to get a pair of Pixel Buds Pro pressed to our ears, but Google has enough info drip we can see how the two models stack up. Will there be a clear winner? Can you really compare them when each is optimized for a different operating system? Read on for the answers – and wait for the official verdict once our Pixel Buds Pro review is posted.

Pixel Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro price

Google just revealed the US price of the Pixel Buds Pro: $199, which works out to around £165. Exchange rates don’t take things like import duties and VAT into account, though, so we’re betting it’ll approach £199 when you land here in the UK.

It may not seem like it, but Apple has the edge here. AirPods Pro cost £239/$249 if you buy them directly from Apple, but since they’ve been around for a few years, there are plenty of bargains to be found. The lowest we’ve seen recently is £170.

Google needs to pay close attention to retailers and pricing the Pixel Buds Pro accordingly if it wants to lure people away from Apple’s offerings.

Design: Equally creative?

Once you see that brand’s white stem, you know you’re looking at a pair of AirPods. Apple shortened them for the Pro version, so they’re a little more discreet than the regular AirPods — but no less striking in their glossy white. And the addition of silicone tips for a better seal separates them, as does the air vent to relieve pressure on your ears. A capacitive sensor located at the tip of each stem provides touch controls for operation and calls.

Google settled on a traditional “bud” for its entire range of headphones. The Buds Pro have the same general shape as the cheaper Pixel Buds A-Series headphones, along with silicone wings that keep them in your ears while you’re on the go. The Pro model continues to offer unique pressure-reducing vents, although the addition of ANC should help reduce ambient sound leakage.

If a splash of color is necessary, Pixel Buds have the edge. You can only get AirPods Pro in glossy white, but Google Shows can be had in Fog, Charcoal, Coral and Lemongrass colors.

Sound: Clarity is the key

We can only go with our experiences with the AirPods Pro and the more affordable Pixel Buds A series here, as we haven’t heard of the Pixel Buds Pro yet. This still gives a good idea of ​​what to expect when they land.

AirPods Pro are easily the best-selling AirPods, with great clarity and impressive bass. They have a fairly warm signature, with a wide sound range. It’s a powerful, fun sound that should appeal to most audiophiles, even if it lags behind the more expensive alternatives for fidelity.

Pixel Buds A-Series cost a lot less and lack ANC, so it’s not fair to make a direct comparison, but they’re still great for the money. There’s a great balance in tonal, which leans more toward a neutral display than Apple’s efforts. The bass can be a little on the weak side until you find a silicone ear tip that seals well.

At launch, Apple has the advantage of spatial audio, audio that tracks your head for more immersive listening. Google plans to bring it support for the Pixel Buds Pro at a later date, but there’s no word on when that might be.

Features: all alone

Both sets of headphones are IPX4 sweat-resistant, so it would be nice to take them to the gym. They also have a two-stage ANC, with a transparency mode that lets in ambient sound.

All of them support touch controls, but you can’t customize your AirPods unless you’re using an iOS device. They also have their own quick pairing function, but Google only works with Android, and Apple only works with iOS. Ultimately, ease of use may be the main reason to buy one pair over the other, if you’re rocking a smartphone for one company already.

Each pair of buds scores points on battery life. While AirPods Pro can manage about 5 hours per charge, going down to four hours with ANC, Pixel Buds Pro promise 7 hours per listening session. However, Google’s case can only bring the total battery life to 20 hours, while the Apple version promises 24 hours.

Pixel Buds Pro and AirPods Pro both have cases that support wireless charging. Only Apple earbuds play well with MagSafe accessories.

Pixel Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro Initial Verdict: Tough Call

On paper, there is very little between Apple’s well-established AirPods and the upcoming Google competitor. Both promise good battery life, have a premium look and are well integrated with their respective operating systems.

Proof of the candy will be in how the Pixel Buds Pro sound, and how effective active noise cancellation is. Apple has set the bar high here, with little else to rival it for liquidity. You’ll usually have to spend more on a pair of Sony WF-1000XM4s for better noise cancellation.

Until we hear about Pixel Buds, we’ll stop declaring an outright winner – but it’s shaping up to be a very close battle.

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