Last week, I bought a pair of Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds. After using them for a solid week, I made the decision to return them to Amazon in favor of a different pair. Here’s what happened — and why I wound up buying a pair of Bose earbuds as a replacement.
Why I chose the Google Pixel Buds Pro … at first
There were a lot ofthis year. Having recently run my favorite pair of gym headphones (the first-generation Bose QuietComfort Earbuds) though the and , I was primed (pun intended) to buy a pair. My budget was $200, but I was hoping to spend less.
To make my decision, I reviewed CBS Essentials’ own list of the, and then reviewed all the deals available. As an Android phone owner, I ruled out the top-rated Apple AirPods Pro. My final decision came down to two options: The and the Google Pixel Buds Pro.
I really enjoyed the sound quality of my Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, but the Google Pixel Buds Pro were priced almost $100 lower. That, combined with the promise of effortless pairing with my Google Pixel 6 Pro phone, sealed the deal in favor of Google’s earbuds.
My honest (simplified) review of the Google Pixel Buds Pro
I appreciated the unboxing and pairing experience of the Google Pixel Buds Pro. The earbuds immediately paired with my device and entered into setup, similar to howeffortlessly pair with . The setup prompted me to run a fit test — I was advised to use a larger ear tip size, which did improve the sound and helped the earbuds sit more comfortably in my ears. Everything about setup was simple, and I was enjoying my new buds in about a minute. (Did I mention how much I appreciate that these earbuds come fully charged, ready to play right out of the box?)
Another noteworthy win for Google here: I like the aesthetic of the included charging case. I also appreciate that, unlike the carrying case for my old Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, the Pixel Buds Pro case can be charged wirelessly.
Want to try out the Google Pixel Buds Pro? They’re currently available at Amazon, starting at $190.
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Why I wound up returning my Google Pixel Buds Pro
The sound quality of the Pixel Buds Pro is good — maybe not Bose good, but to my less-than-audiophile-level ears, more than good enough. But I found that the active noise cancelling on these headphones paled in comparison to my old pair of Bose earbuds. A lot of outside noises seeped in when I didn’t want them to. This was especially noticeable at the gym — I could hear the gym’s own playlist in my ears while working out, even though ANC was on and I was playing something else.
There is also an aesthetic factor at play. My old Bose QuietComfort Earbuds were large, but they didn’t look goofy in my ears. The Google Pixel Buds Pro kind of do, at least in the fog color option I chose. (There are six colors to choose from.)
The more I used my Google Pixel Buds Pro, the more I missed my old Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. That’s why I made the decision to return my Pixel Buds Pro in favor of the new, updated version of Bose’s earbuds.
The one feature of Google Pixel Buds Pro I’ll miss
There’s one intriguing feature of the Google Pixel Buds Pro I’ll be missing out on by returning them: real-time translation via the Google Translate app. While I was looking forward to testing out conversation mode during an overseas trip, I don’t find myself in many day-to-day situations where voice translation is necessary. So while translation would have been nice to have, I couldn’t really justify using it as a reason to keep the Buds.
Why I choose the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of Bose’s active noise cancellation. My old Bose earbuds were a— I can’t image sitting on an airplane without having those buds filter out all the unwanted outside noise and conversations. ANC is important to me at the gym, too, when I’m trying to concentrate on my sets (and not clanging weight plates and someone else’s grunting).
Despite the Google Pixel Buds Pro’s guided fit, I found that the QuietComfort Earbuds were more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. Both models would occasionally come loose in my ear, but overall the Bose earbuds felt more secure.
The sound quality of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds is top-notch — the world fades away when I’m using them to listen to my favorite tunes. The battery lasts for 6 hours on a single charge; the included quick charge case extends this to 24 hours total.
The cases charges via USB-C; wireless charging is not available. Disappointing, but not a deal breaker for me.
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