Google Pixel Buds Pro launch next week with this huge AirPods-style upgrade

Android Audio Switching is coming to Google's best true wireless earbuds first, and JBL and Sony will follow shortly

Google Pixel Buds Pro
(Image credit: Google)

Google's best true wireless earbuds, the Google Pixel Buds Pro, launch next week alongside the Google Pixel 6a. And in addition to the usual features you'd expect from a premium pair of headphones, the Pro have a really important new feature. It's called audio switching and it means Android Bluetooth buds will have a very similar automatic switching feature to Apple's AirPods Pro.

The feature is based on the existing Fast Pair tech that we've seen in many Bluetooth earbuds, but it's designed to deliver a more seamless experience: for example, if you're watching a TV show on your Android tablet and a call comes in on your Android phone, your Google Pixel Buds Pro will automatically switch to the phone. 

Pixel Buds Pro are available for pre-order now and will ship from 28 July.

What audio switching will and won't do

Don't worry. Your Google Pixel Buds Pro won't ping you every time your phone or other device has a new notification. It's smarter than that, analysing the sound to work out what it is and whether it's something you're going to want to listen to. And there'll be a banner on your device enabling you to cancel the switch if you don't want it to happen.

I think this is a great feature, and it's been one of the big selling points for Apple's headphones such as my AirPods Max: I really love the way my headphones know what I'm doing and switch to the appropriate device without any messing about. So this is a great upgrade for Android music fans – and not just Pixel buying ones. Although this technology is coming to the Google Pixel Buds Pro first, it's not exclusive to Google: although no model details have been announced just yet, Google says that both JBL and Sony will be including the new switching system in "select models". 

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).