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Google Pixel Buds Pro just got this awesome feature to rival AirPods

The Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 unboxed
(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

One of the smartest things about AirPods Pro is their ability to auto switch between Apple devices, allowing you to seamlessly take calls while listening to music or watching TV programs. But thanks to the latest Android update, a similar feature is coming to Google’s Pixel Buds Pro earbuds when they officially arrive on Thursday (July 28).   

The Pixel Buds Pro earbuds will be the first to support automatic device switching between Android audio devices. In a recent blog post (opens in new tab), Google says its audio switching technology builds on its Fast Pair feature, which lets you quickly pair your headphones with your Android device, adding them to your Google Account to sync them with all your other Android devices. 

It uses contextual information based on your current activity to determine how to prioritize audio between phone calls, messaging, alerts, and playback media. For example, if you’re listening to one of the best movies to stream this week (opens in new tab) on your tablet and you receive a notification, the wireless audio playing from one of the best wireless headphones (opens in new tab), say, will not switch to your phone. But if you receive a phone call, your headphone audio will make the switch to enable you to take the call and speak to the person ringing in. 

Google audio device switching diagram

(Image credit: Google)

Although the Pixel Buds Pro will be the first Android earbuds to incorporate this useful audio switching feature, Google says other models from Sony and JBL are also set to benefit from the update. While Google hasn't specified exactly which models will be supported, it’ll most likely be recent headphones that support the latest evolution of the Bluetooth multipoint specification, enabling Bluetooth streaming via Auracast “to an unlimited number of nearby audio devices", which arrived as part of the recent Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio capabilities rollout.

In a closing comment on its blog post, it looks as though Android has plans to make its audio switching technology available between more Android devices than the brands mentioned above, with plans to expand to more platforms and devices over time. 

We're looking forward to telling you more about how the audio switching feature works when the Pixel Buds Pro officially become available on July 28. Stay tuned for our full review to see if they make our best wireless earbuds list. 

Lee Dunkley
Lee Dunkley

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.