Google’s Pixel Buds Pro first launched in mid-2022, and later this year we’re expecting a new update to the hardware by way of some new colors. But that has the question circulating: Should Google be releasing a “Pixel Buds Pro 2” sequel?
In July 2022, alongside the Pixel 6a, Google announced the Pixel Buds Pro. The “flagship” earbuds were the company’s first with active noise cancellation, and also the first without any major flaws. Where 2020’s Pixel Buds had a lot of promise, they ultimately failed on flaky connectivity and other issues. In our review, we praised the Pixel Buds Pro for good overall sound quality, a comfortable fit, and stellar battery life.
A year later, as our Kyle Bradshaw recently dove into, the competition is getting better which puts Pixel Buds Pro into a tighter spot despite still being great overall.
However, current prospective buyers of Google’s earbuds have quite a few strong alternatives to choose from. In the end, the answer to which earbuds you should buy will depend on what you value most. Those seeking the best-possible noise cancellation or audio quality may be better served elsewhere, while budget earbuds have significantly improved in the past year.
For its part, Google has expertly crafted the Pixel Buds Pro as the perfect option for everyday wear, striking a good-enough balance between comfort, sound quality, noise reduction, battery life, and utility (even in the face of Assistant’s waning relevance).
This weekend, we reported on Google planning the first hardware “refresh” to Pixel Buds Pro, with two new colorways incoming to match the Pixel 8 series. “Porcelain” and blue color options would be the first additions to the four-color lineup since launch.
Rightly, though, this has spurred the question of why we haven’t seen any truly new audio hardware from Google. Of course, a big part of this is simply the fact that audio hardware doesn’t need to be updated at the same pace as other devices. Even Apple, which rakes in massive sales from its AirPods lineup, only refreshes the hardware every couple of years. It absolutely makes sense for Google to wait on a “Pixel Buds Pro 2,” but that doesn’t stop some from wanting to see an update.
Really, for me personally, I could go either way here. I’ve been very happy with the existing Pixel Buds Pro. I think they sound completely fine, and I’m constantly happy with the stellar battery life and the great fit at least in my own ears. But at the same time, there are some points I’d love to see addressed. Google’s active noise cancellation, for instance, isn’t as strong as some other earbuds I’ve tried. Pixel Buds Pro could also do with some more “punch” to their audio. I’ve been impressed lately by the stronger bass and louder volume of the Jabra Elite 8 Active that just launched.
At their $199 price tag (which has been often discounted lately), I still think Pixel Buds Pro are excellent and aren’t necessarily begging for an update. But that story will change with more time. I’d say that, if it’s not already planned, Google should be preparing a Pixel Buds Pro 2 for 2024, either alongside the Pixel 8a or the Pixel 9 series.
What do you think? Should Google be releasing a “Pixel Buds Pro 2” this year? What should the sequel – which, to be clear, does not exist at the moment – improve on? Vote in the poll below and let’s discuss in the comments!
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