The rumored Google Pixel Buds Pro could be revealed as soon as Google I/O on May 11, going by the rumors so far. But aside from a few tidbits of information and speculation, we don’t have much of an idea what features the next-gen wireless earbuds could have.
However, tech journalist and commentator Mishaal Rahman (opens in new tab) tweeted it would not surprise him if the Pixel Buds Pro, which may also be considered third-generation Pixel Buds, come with spatial audio tech and head tracking support, given the work Google has been doing there with Android 13.
Rahman also noted that there’s BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) audio support in Android 13 now, which could also be a feature of the Pixel Buds Pro. And we think Rahman may be onto something here.
This would absolutely not surprise me given Google's work on spatial audio + head tracking support in Android 13, especially their secrecy around the latter. Plus, there's BLE Audio support in Android now too. https://t.co/yJHcKCF4dyMay 3, 2022
While the original Google Pixel Buds and the Pixel Buds 2 impressed us, they missed out on winning a spot on our best wireless earbuds list. So there’s still some scope for improvement, especially if they were to take on the likes of the AirPods Pro.
Spatial audio, which basically aims to make music and movie audio more immersive by creating 360-degree soundscapes, is one such feature. The AirPods Pro and AirPods Max support spatial audio, so it’s an area where the Pixel Buds and other wireless earbuds could muscle in on.
The audio tech also needs content mastered in 5.1, 7.1 or Dolby Atmos surround sound formats to work. But if Google could give the Pixel Buds Pro some tech to up-mix audio sources — not beyond the realms of possibility give Google’s AI work — then it could bring something extra to the wireless earbuds table.
Head tracking support could be used to offer some fitness monitoring features, say detecting when someone is walking or running and bypass the need for a smartwatch, though the Google Pixel Watch is supposedly on the horizon. And such tech could also aid with spatial audio to ensure that sound is always coming at the earbuds’ wearer from the correct direction even if they move around a lot.
BLE audio, on the other hand, promises to deliver improved audio quality over wireless connections, thanks to more efficient data packaging and transfer, as well as establish better and multiple connections between earbuds and their host device. So if the Pixel Buds Pro have that standard of Bluetooth, they could offer notably improved sound quality over their predecessors.
If Google is indeed working on new wireless earbuds, and it nails the audio formula, as well as introducing new smart features, then the Pixel Buds Pro could offer a pair of impressive wireless earbuds worth stopping and listening to.