Google Pixel Buds Pro Vs AirPods Pro: Which Should You Buy?

As legitimate competitors to Apple's AirPods Pro continue permeating the market, there are several premium wireless earbuds worth considering. At this moment, there really isn't a better tool for watching TV, exercising, or even playing video games late at night (without waking up roommates or neighbors,) than a pair of high-quality wireless earbuds. You can also bring your wireless earbuds on flights, to coffee shops, or even hang out in the voice channels of your favorite Discord servers while you shop for groceries.

For Apple fans, there's a lot to love when it comes to the AirPods Pro, including their silicone ear tips, toggleable noise-canceling modes, and exceptional audio quality. But if you can't afford a pair of AirPods Pro earbuds, or don't own an iOS device like an iPhone or an iPad, there are a few other options worth considering. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds have already existed as a reasonable alternative to the AirPods Pro since their inception in 2021. They're also better equipped for Android smartphone users.

But now, an even newer pair of premium wireless earbuds is set to arrive this summer: Google's newly announced Pixel Buds Pro. That said, you may be wondering whether or not these Google buds serve as a reasonable alternative to the AirPods Pro. All things considered, the Google Pixel Buds Pro may compare better with Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro, since both are built around the Google ecosystem, but it's still worth looking at the important differences between Apple's and Google's respective premium earbuds before you make a final purchase.

What are Apple AirPods Pro?

Apple AirPods Pro are Apple's premium wireless earbuds, sold for around $249 in the United States. By comparison, the regular old Apple AirPods (which do not contain many of the premium features of the AirPods Pro) are sold for closer to $179. It's important to note that Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are designed to work well within the iPhone and iPad ecosystem, but are not exclusive to these devices. Many Bluetooth-connected devices indirectly support Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro earbuds, as long as they are within range of the AirPods' portable charging dock that acts as a relay for Bluetooth connectivity between devices.

Apple's AirPods Pro are differentiated from their lower-tier counterpart by including support for active noise cancellation that can be turned on or off by holding your finger down on the stem of the right earbud. While on, certain noises are filtered out, making for a more immersive experience. While switched off, outside noises are recorded and filtered into whatever you're listening to, making for a more seamless experience.

They also come with other features, such as built-in silicone tips to keep the earbuds inside of your ear more easily. We noted in our review that the audio quality of the AirPods Pro is also a remarkable step up from regular AirPods. However, in our AirPods Pro review, we've found that both AirPods Pro shut off after 5 hours of use, even with ANC turned off. This might not be quite as good as what Google promises to offer with its Pixel Buds Pro earbuds.

What are Google Pixel Buds Pro?

Google Pixel Buds Pro is Google's clear and deliberate response to Apple AirPods Pro, first unveiled on May 11, 2022. That said, Google's premium wireless earbuds aren't yet on the market, but are instead set to release on July 21, 2022, with a price starting at around $199. They're slated to pack many of the same features that are also included in AirPods Pro, but they'll likely work even better with Android smartphones, making them a viable choice for Android users. However, like the AirPods Pro, you should be able to use these with pretty much any Bluetooth-enabled device.

As with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Google's Pixel Buds Pro are made with a stemless design that simply fits inside of the ear. Google takes this one step further with something called "Silent Seal," which is supposed to optimize the quality of active noise cancelation around the user's ear shape. Unlike AirPods Pro, Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds include Google Assistant integration (like the standard Pixel Buds) and live language translation for dozens of languages.

Google also announced the Pixel Buds Pro will include a form of multi-point connectivity that supports up to 8 Bluetooth-enabled devices, which could theoretically make switching between Bluetooth devices even easier and simpler than it already is while using AirPods Pro. Multi-point is a feature that's existed in certain Bluetooth devices, such as high-end portable speakers, but is new to high-end wireless earbuds. Google suggests that Pixel Buds Pro have a battery life of up to 11 hours without active noise cancelation turned on, or seven hours with ANC turned on.

Which should you buy?

You really can't go wrong with Apple AirPods Pro as an iPhone user. Even if you're an Android user, you can get plenty of utility out of Apple's premium wireless earbuds. However, there are some reasons why you should hold off on buying any wireless earbuds entirely — at least until the Google Pixel Buds Pro release on July 21, 2022, when we can more accurately test their quality.

The aforementioned Pixel Buds Pro sound like a good deal for their initial $199 pricepoint, but rumors abound of an upcoming successor to the original Apple AirPods Pro. This theoretical device, tentatively called Apple AirPods Pro 2, could improve on many of the same things that the Google Pixel Buds Pro seek to improve upon, including upgraded Bluetooth support and a comfortable stemless design. If such a successor exists, more details will likely be revealed alongside the rest of Apple's 2022 product lineup in the second half of 2022.

The real question arguably isn't about whether you should be deciding between a pair of Apple AirPods Pro or Google Pixel Buds Pro. At the end of the day, which device you end up choosing will come down to whether or not you want to feed into Google's ecosystem or Apple's ecosystem, and how long you're willing to wait until your respective purchase arrives on your doorstep. If you absolutely need a pair of high-end wireless earbuds today, it's a better idea to compare the current-gen AirPods Pro against Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro. If you're reading this article after Google's Pixel Buds Pro are already available, you might just want to seek out our inevitable Google Pixel Buds Pro review.