Google’s Pixel Buds Pro earbuds got a big update today, and they didn’t need to release a new case with USB-C to do it!
Today, Google hosted its annual Made by Google event. At the event, the company unveiled the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones as well as the Pixel Watch 2. The company also showed off a ton of new AI features that are coming to the phone, watch, and other devices. In addition to all of that, Google also announced a huge software update for the Pixel Buds Pro.
The first change coming to the Pixel Buds Pro is improvements in clarity during calls. With the software update, the earbuds can now support Bluetooth Super Wideband if you also have a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, which Google says doubles the bandwidth for voices. The company says that the technology also improves cutting out background noise during calls.
Pixel Buds Pro incorporate AI smarts to give you a delightful audio experience. Building off of its already excellent call quality, Pixel Buds Pro now support Bluetooth Super Wideband on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, which doubles the bandwidth for voices, making you sound fuller, clearer and more natural than ever before.
This wider bandwidth also extends to Clear Calling, which reduces the background noise around the person on the other side of the call, enhancing their voice so you can hear them even more clearly. We’ve also improved our Clear Calling models to better distinguish voices from background noise.
The second update to the Pixel Buds Pro has to do with how you interact with others while wearing the earbuds. The company is now launching Conversation Detection, which will automatically pause whatever you are listening to and activate Transparency Mode when the earbuds detect you are speaking with someone. When you are done, the earbuds will turn on Active Noise Cancellation and resume your content.
With the help of AI, you no longer need to take out your earbuds for conversations. When you enable Conversation Detection, AI detects when you start speaking and responds by pausing your music and switching to Transparency Mode, allowing you to hear all that is being said. When you stop speaking, the feature automatically resumes your music and turns on Active Noise Cancellation. This way, you can interact with the world around you and go back to enjoying your music with no distractions without having to lift a finger.
Speaking of listening to music, Google says that the update also reduces latency by up to 50% when paired with a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, something that gamers will certainly appreciate. Side note: Is there a vibrant hardcore gaming community on Android? I honestly doubt this exists.
The latest update also adds a new feature called Hearing Wellness, which monitors the volume that you are listening at and makes suggestions on when to turn down the volume to protect your hearing over time. If you tend to always blow out your eardrums when listening to music, this will be a helpful one.
Google also announced that it is finally rolling out a Pixel Buds app for Chromebooks as a web app. The company says that users can use the app to “change earbud settings, switch noise control modes, and install firmware updates, all from your Chromebook.”
All of these updates are very similar to the updates that Apple’s AirPods Pro received last month, but that’s fine! They’re great features, and I’m glad to see that both Apple and Google are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with innovation in headphones. We all benefit when both companies duke it out to offer the best experience.
The software update for the Pixel Buds Pro is rolling out to all earbuds starting today. In addition to the update, the earbuds are also coming in two new colors. The new Bay and Porcelain colors are available to preorder today, with delivery dates currently expected for mid-October.