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Google Pixel Buds Pro update adds conversation detection, hearing wellness, and more


During its Made by Google event, Google announced a substantial firmware update for its 2022 earbuds, similar to what Apple did with its second-gen AirPods Pro. Google has already updated the Pixel Buds Pro since their launch last year, adding features like spatial audio and a full five-band EQ for tuning adjustments. This fall, Google is rolling out another robust upgrade with five new features that will enhance the capabilities of its flagship earbuds.

One of the new features is conversation detection, akin to what Apple and Sony offer. It automatically pauses audio playback when you start speaking, allowing for quick chats without needing to remove the earbuds or reach for your phone. Google’s AI on the Pixel Buds Pro can detect your voice, pause music, and activate transparency mode. When the earbuds no longer pick up your voice, they return to their previous state, including reactivating active noise cancellation (ANC) if it was enabled.

Google has also addressed a key complaint from last year’s reviews by improving call quality. The Pixel Buds Pro now support Bluetooth Super Wideband, doubling the bandwidth for voices, which should result in a “fuller and clearer” sound during calls compared to the previous software. Additionally, the earbuds now support Clear Calling on Pixel, a feature designed to reduce background noise on the recipient’s end during calls.

In recent years, earbud manufacturers have been increasingly focusing on hearing health, and Google is no exception. Google will provide more information about your listening habits to help you safeguard your hearing. The Pixel Buds app will display data on how loudly you’ve been listening over time and send alerts when it’s advisable to lower the volume to protect your hearing.

For mobile gamers, Google introduces a new low-latency mode for the Pixel Buds Pro, which automatically activates when you open a compatible gaming title on a Pixel phone. Google claims this update has halved the latency compared to Pixel Buds Pro running the previous software, enhancing the gaming experience.

Additionally, Google has made the Pixel Buds app available for these earbuds on Chromebooks. This feature allows users to easily access settings, noise control modes, and firmware updates directly from their Chromebook devices.

To cater to Google’s penchant for color coordination, the company is introducing Bay (light blue) and Porcelain (cream) color options for the Pixel Buds Pro, aligning with the new Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Watch 2. These new color choices join the existing four options for the $200 set of wireless earbuds.

The Pixel Buds Pro software update is set to begin rolling out today for both new and existing users.

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