Google is trying to bring down Apple in a world that Apple dominates: wireless headphones.
The recent release of the Pixel Buds Pro has inevitably started a debate: are Google headphones better than the AirPods Pro and AirPods 3, recently released by Apple? Indeed, each time the world of Tech produces new wireless headphones, they are systematically compared to AirPods, as Apple products are a benchmark in a market they largely dominate.
The Pixel Buds Pro are no exception. By adding active noise cancellation in its headphones, Google aims to compete with the AirPods Pro, and make it a serious competitor, especially on Android. Introducing a new update to its Pixel Buds range, the Pros are now available with better battery life.
Google goes on the offensive and wants to bring down Apple
According to Google, this update should bring several small options to convince Android smartphone users to turn to Google headphones, not Apple.
With an iconic design, AirPods and AirPods Pro have an inimitable design, and Google has not fallen into caricature by trying to take up the features of Apple’s wireless headphones. Following the line of the Pixel Buds A, with a beautiful Google logo, the Buds Pro have a silicone tip to slip into the ear.
Google has even thought of implementing technology to adjust the pressure within the ear canal. The latter can be adjusted by the headphones, which allow more or less air to pass (a feature that also exists at Apple). Slightly smaller in size than Apple’s AirPods, the Pixel Buds Pro take up very little space, but according to early user feedback, they fit very well in the ear.
Sound: the real sinews of war
But now let’s get to the most important part of this comparison: the sound.
As far as Apple and its AirPods are concerned, Apple’s headphones are the benchmark. Delivering super high-quality sound thanks to a custom high-excursion driver and high-dynamic-range amplifier, AirPods have built much of their success on the sound quality of the headphones.
The other very recognizable feature of the AirPods is the headphones’ ability to mute the music as soon as one of the two devices is removed from the ear.
On the side of Google and the Pixel Buds Pro, the ANC functionality has just arrived, which uses “Silent Seal” to maximize the blocking of outside noise. There is also a transparency mode to be alerted by outside sounds. With the arrival of Android 13, Google is also promising a “Spatial Audio” version of its headphones, although the latter is not yet available.
Google’s goals are clear with the Puds Bro, which compete with the AirPods Pro on Android smartphones. While Apple’s headphones are primarily designed for iPhones, the small white earbuds also sell very well under the other major smartphone operating system.
Google has won its bet?
An audience that Android companies are unable to seduce, and Google is therefore trying to seize this market as others have already broken their teeth there in the past (Samsung, onePlus, Huawei…) For the no one has managed to knock Apple off its pedestal at the moment, but when you look at the Puds Bro’s technical sheet, you have to recognize that GAFA’s G is perhaps the best placed to finally shake its neighbor from Cupertino .
With a purchase price well below Apple’s demands, Google could well succeed in making a name for itself in this market, with a quality product that is durable and cheaper than those of Apple. We will have to wait a few more months to find out if Google has succeeded in its bet, and is gaining market share in this ultra-competitive field of wireless headphones designed for Android.