Really, wireless earbuds are usually best used for music, but they can also make things a lot more convenient. However, this is usually accompanied by a decrease in speech quality. In a new microphone test, Pixel Buds Pro competes with the king of the hill, AirPods Pro, along with Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro – and Google holds up surprisingly well.
In our review of the Pixel Buds Pro, we found the microphone quality to be relatively solid both indoors and outdoors. But recently, The edge was able to throw the Pixel Buds Pro in a real mic quality torture test and compare it to some other key options.
The microphone test puts Pixel Buds Pro, AirPods Pro, Sony LinkBuds S and Samsung’s brand new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in various challenging situations around a ferry in New York City. The test phases were as follows:
- Waiting for a ferry, with the sounds of Manhattan, boat engines and a nearby helipad (Pixel Buds Pro did not participate in this test due to time)
- In a ferry, sitting next to the engines
- The top of the ferry, exposed to high winds and other loud noises
All three are clearly difficult scenarios for the microphones to both hold up noise cancellation and just hear a user talk. You can listen to the full audio tests in The Verges post, but the short version is this.
In the first test, the difference between the AirPods Pro and LinkBuds was minimal, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sounds very different, and not in a particularly positive way. In the second test, Samsung’s option deteriorates further in voice quality as it struggles to compensate. AirPods and LinkBuds again win easily here, but Pixel Buds Pro hold up pretty well, sounding better than the Galaxy Buds in general, but still clearly struggling to balance the voice quality.
It was off the ferry that Pixel Buds Pro seemed to shine, as compared to AirPods Pro, they held the voice clearly better and with much less distortion and disintegration compared to Apple’s.
A few fragments from the recording show the difference very clearly.
The verdict reached in this test was that, despite stiff competition, Pixel Buds Pro certainly rivals, if not surpasses, the best of the best in terms of microphone quality. to quote The edgea “cut above the rest.”
Of course it all depends on the situation. In a recent comparison, our Kyle Bradshaw found the AirPods Pro to have “significantly better mics than the Pixel Buds Pro”, with the AirPods capturing more depth in the audio and Pixel Buds Pro sounding “tinny”. But at the end of the day, it’s all subjective – microphones with earbuds never sounds great, but it’s clear that Google has made an effort to compete with the best of the best, and it’s equally clear that it succeeds in all situations.
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