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Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 wishlist: All the features I want to see

Here's what I'd like to see from the next Pixel Buds Pro.
By
January 1, 2024

The Pixel Buds Pro represented a major leap forward for the Google Pixel Bud family, delivering high-end features like ANC and IPX4 water resistance. We had a lot of positive things to say about Google’s flagship true wireless earbuds, but that’s not to say they were perfect. Below is my wishlist for what I’d like to see from the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2.

A better fit would go a long way

A comparison of the Google Pixel Buds Pro vs Google Pixel Buds A Series.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

It doesn’t matter how great a pair of earbuds is if they don’t fit comfortably. While the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds are reasonably comfortable, a common complaint is that they always feel a bit loose. Google offers three different earbud tips, but no matter which one you use, you’ll never achieve as snug a fit as with other headphones.

Some ear shapes may struggle with the buds falling out, but for most, they just feel a bit loose. Google needs to address this design flaw with the Pixel Buds Pro 2. Considering that other Pixel Buds models haven’t had this issue, we would expect this to be an easy fix.

Transparency mode could use improvements

google pixel buds pro in case
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The inclusion of a transparency mode is awesome, and for the most part it works fine, but it falls short of the natural, airy sensation you’d get with something like the AirPods Pro. What’s currently hindering transparency mode? It’s likely due to the absence of the spatial vent found on other Pixel Buds, which allows more natural, ambient sound to come through.

A straightforward solution would be for Google to redesign its Pixel Buds Pro 2 to be more in line with other models. The earbud’s fit and its transparency mode have both been compromised with the current design, indicating a clear need for a change.

Support for aptX and other missing codecs

google pixel buds pro in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Buds Pro supports only AAC and SBC for Bluetooth codecs, lacking other advanced codecs. This absence is particularly notable for earbuds priced around $200, as most competitors in this range offer at least aptX or LDAC support.

For the Pixel Buds Pro 2, Google needs to embrace other advanced codecs to give consumers more options, with aptX being a minimum expectation.

Improved mic

Pixel Buds Pro Pixel 8 Hearing Wellness
Google

While the Pixel Buds Pro has decent microphones that work well in ideal conditions, they struggle in noisy environments with noise rejection. You’ll find it will work fine in Zoom meetings or while having a quick chat, but it will perform less admirably in a chaotic office.

True wireless earbuds are often popular choices for a jog or a run, but the Buds Pro isn’t so great here if you plan on taking a call outside. Wind noises will get in the way, and for those with higher voices, you’ll likely have whole sections of your voice drop off.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 should improve noise rejection and audio quality with its mic to ensure it lives up to the Pro name.

A lower price tag would be nice

The Google pixel buds pro in the upright case.
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Buds Pro initially retailed for $199.99 but haver seen frequent sales, dropping to as low as $120 during the holiday season. While these discounts are appealing, Google overpriced the earbuds to begin with. When the Pixel Buds Pro came out, they were considered a tad expensive by many reviewers when comparing their feature set to other earbuds around the same price range.

There’s a recurring pattern of Google reducing prices shortly after product launches, a practice that can be perceived as price-gouging against us early adopters. A good example is its Pixel phones, which often launch at one price only to be cut back by as much as hundreds within a few months. We’ve seen similar practices with its smart home products, too.

To be fair, Samsung and others also have price cuts, but usually, they are not as substantial until very close to the end of a generation’s life. Google tends to cut pricing by as much as a quarter within the first half of a product’s lifecycle. Just give us a low price to begin with!

I’d like to see the Pixel Buds Pro 2 get a bit more aggressive to win over more fans to its audio products, pricing it around say $150-$175. This might tempt those of us who have become aware of Google’s sales tactics into buying sooner. More sales at launch means more exposure by word of mouth and so forth.


Will there be a Google Pixel Buds Pro 2?

The Google Pixel Buds Pro and Google Pixel Buds A Series wireless earbuds' in their cases.
Lily Katz / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel Buds Pro — July 28, 2022

The Google Pixel Buds series has had a somewhat mixed reception. Google doesn’t give solid numbers on how products like these perform, but the headphones seem to have a small and growing fanbase.

While it seems unlikely that Google will exit the audio space immediately, they have a history of axing products that don’t do as well as they initially hoped. For that reason alone, all I can say the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 are likely but not guaranteed. Predicting when they might arrive is even harder, though.

As for the Pixel Buds Pro 2 release date? We’re likely a long way off. Looking back at the company’s history, it’s hard to draw firm conclusions but we can at least attempt. The company originally released the Pixel Buds in October 2017 and followed it up with a second-generation model in October 2019. Since then, there hasn’t been a new model under the Pixel Buds brand directly. There was a mid-range Pixel Buds A Series in June 2021 and the Pro version a year later in May 2022. Given this pattern, it’s plausible that Google will unveil a new audio product in 2024, as they typically release something every two years. The nature of this release is less certain. It could be a follow-up to the Pixel Buds A Series, Pixel Buds 3, or another Pro variant.

While 2024 is a possibility, 2025 might be a more likely timeframe unless Google ends up releasing more than one model at the same time.

Should you wait for the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Google Pixel Buds Pro next to each other.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 are only a year old and can now be found on sale for well under $150. If you are a Pixel fan and want to get the buds for better brand consistency, there’s no reason to wait out for the next Pixel Buds model. Yes, there might be something in 2024, but it may be a more mid-range option.

Google Pixel Buds ProGoogle Pixel Buds Pro
AA Recommended
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Active noise-cancelling • Android integration • Google Assistant features
MSRP: $199.00
The Pixel Buds Pro introduce ANC to the series
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are the first in the line to offer active noise canceling. Obviously, they also have tight integration with Android and tons of support for Google Assistant commands, including the popular translation features.

The only exception is if there’s a feature you really want that isn’t available on the Pixel Buds Pro. If you aren’t impressed by the Buds Pro, you could wait until mid-2024 and see if Google’s next buds address the problem. Of course, it’ll likely be mid-range hardware, and so even if it improves fit, pricing, and other factors — it’ll also be missing some of the improved Pro features.

Don’t mind shopping outside of Camp Google? For those looking for a similar experience and cost, the most obvious alternatives to the Pixel Buds Pro are the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($179 at Amazon), which cost around $179 retail and can be found for a little less during the holidays. You’ll get better audio codec support and a better fit, though some of their best features are exclusive to Samsung phone owners.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the Sony WF-1000XM5 ($298 at Amazon) or 2nd gen Apple AirPods Pro ($199 at Amazon) are also easy recommendations.