Do the Pixel Buds Pro have active noise cancellation?

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(Image credit: Google)

Do the Pixel Buds Pro have active noise cancellation?

Best answer: Yes! Coming soon, the Pixel Buds Pro include not only active noise cancellation that works alongside the passive noise cancellation once they are inserted into your ears, but also a unique feature called Silent Seal to further block out distracting ambient noise and afford a comfortable and customized fit.

What are the active noise cancellation features in the Pixel Buds Pro?

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Active Noise Cancellation, otherwise referred to as ANC, is technology found in headphones and earbuds that consists of speakers used to help reduce distracting ambient, or background noise. This could include the hum of a plane or train engine, buzzing of a neighbor's lawnmower, or the hustle and bustle of a busy city street or crowded indoor venue. Effectively, microphones listen for sounds coming from both inside and outside of the earbuds and help to neutralize soundwaves so you can focus on what you're listening to, whether it's a music playlist, podcast, or movie. 

Google's Pixel Buds Pro contain this technology through the use of a custom processor, custom algorithms, and custom speakers, along with three microphones. You can easily activate ANC by simply touching and holding the back of the earbud; do the same to turn it off.

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Additionally, Silent Seal is Google's own technology that further helps to maximize the blocking of outside noises. It works by automatically adapting to each individual wearer's ears to ensure you get maximum noise cancellation. Interestingly, Silent Seal also monitors the pressure in your ear canal, so they will also remain comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Since the Pixel Buds Pro are also water and sweat-proof, you can wear them at the beach, by the pool, and while sweating it out at the gym, all while staying in your own "zone" thanks to ANC.

Keep in mind that battery life for the earbuds will be reduced when using ANC, going from 11 hours to seven, though you still get additional charges from the included charging case. Nonetheless, with all its features, the Google Pixel Buds Pro have a good chance of being added to the list of the best wireless earbuds once they are finally available.

Can you still hear noises outside?

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One of the most exciting new developments in ANC is the addition of Transparency mode (some companies have different names for this feature), which makes it simple to let in outside noises when you want to. This might be to hear a pilot announcement on an airplane, or to get some situational awareness while going for a late-night run or walking on a busy city street or crossing roads. Simply activate this mode when you need it and turn it off when you don't.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.