The Google Pixel Buds Pro may be getting some nifty new software features that should sound a bit familiar if you were paying attention to the latest tweaks for Apple’s AirPods Pro. According to notable leaker Kamila Wojciechowska (@Za_Raczke), Google plans a software update for its flagship earbuds that includes conversation detection, a hearing wellness monitor, and clearer call quality going both ways.
The first feature sounds similar to Apple’s Conversation Awareness that just came to all second-gen AirPods Pro earbuds, with Google’s implementation automatically pausing your media playback and activating transparency mode once the Pixel Buds Pro detect the wearer is talking. Though, before Apple, Sony had already implemented this feature, where it was called the much more confusing “Speak to Chat” — and it’s possible no manufacturer has figured out how to implement the feature while accounting for a user quietly singing along to a tune out loud.
As for the Pixel Buds Pro’s “hearing wellness,” it’s a visual indicator to show you just how loud the things you’re listening to are getting — with a live decibel measurement and guidelines on just how much (or little) of such levels you should tolerate on average to maintain your hearing long-term. It’s not unlike the noise level warnings of the Apple Watch — but it seems at first blush to be much less annoying and a hell of a lot more informative — and a lot like the hearing wellness features also built into the Sony WF-1000XM5.
Lastly (at least, until more inevitable Google leaks), the Pixel Buds Pro may get the Clear Calling feature of the Pixel phones as well as Bluetooth super wideband and a low-latency gaming mode. According to Wojciechowska and Mishaal Rahman, a senior contributor of multiple Android-centric blogs, Bluetooth super wideband improves wireless audio compression, while Clear Calling reduces the noise around the person you’re on the line with to enhance the sound of their voice in the ears of the person wearing the buds.
Maybe that’s still unlikely, but at least the Pixel Buds Pro are rumored to have all these cool new features ready for users when they get firmware version 5.9.