Google has released a new update for the Pixel Buds Pro that adds a significant new feature: the five-band equalizer adjustment. After installing the update you will be able to easily adjust the sound balance or you will be able to choose from six preset settings provided by Google (via Notepad Check).
You need the Pixel Buds app to update (which is only available for Android) and as long as the app is up to date you will be able to upgrade to the latest software which is 3.14. The new update also promises to fix various bugs, but adding a new equalizer feature is a really interesting change.
In our Pixel Buds Pro review, we said songs were often “not as striking, catchy, or heavy on the bass registers” as they should be for the price – and while we haven’t tested this update yet to see the difference owners can make Pixel Buds Pro have bass boost to compensate.
Changes made to the EQ in the app will be saved by the Pixel Buds Pro, so the new sound will be applied even if you switch to using them with a tablet or laptop.
If you’re wondering whether to buy a pair of Pixel Buds Pro if they appear among this year’s Black Friday in-ear deals (which we think they’ll likely do), this upgrade might help you wow.
Analysis: adding a corrector should be more common
The interesting thing about this update is that very few of the best wireless earbuds that don’t boot with the EQ option add it. A big and obvious example is the AirPods: there was never any EQ adjustment feature for any of them, dating back to their 2016 launch.
This gives the Pixel Buds Pro an edge over the new AirPods Pro 2 – the latter’s overall sound quality is better, but if you want to be able to reduce their fleshy bass to your liking, you’re out of luck.
The likes of the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have offered EQ adjustments for ages, so the Pixel Buds Pro has (partially) caught up with them – both of these headphones, however, offer much more adjustments beyond the EQ itself.
Some headphone sound engineers naturally hate the idea that their carefully tuned sound should give people the ability to mess with balance, but just like the best televisions give people enough setting options to cater to any weird preferences they may have, I think it’s good for bass enthusiasts to go crazy or let audiobook lovers focus heavily on the tones mid-range vocals, if that’s what their loyalty is.