By: Nick Gambino 

In a new update, Google’s AirPods competitor, the Pixel Buds Pro, has added a new feature that can detect conversation aptly called Conversation Detection. The company announced the update to their 2022 earbuds at this week’s Made by Google event.  

The feature, which already exists in the AirPods Pro, will pause playback in your Pixel Buds whenever you begin speaking to someone else. Once it hears the wearer utter some words, it kicks in Transparency Mode so they can listen.  

A weaker version of this feature wouldn’t really work. Imagine how unwieldy it would be if it paused whenever someone else started speaking to you. Luckily, they’ve figured out how to detect when the user begins speaking, probably taking into consideration proximity to the mic. Once you are finished talking, the Pixel Buds Pro will detect that too and resume playback.  

“The Conversation Detection feature is an important one if you want to compete with the juggernaut of earbuds that is the AirPods Pro,” Andrew Tropeano, a technology expert with NWT Media (, said. “Users are looking for a more intuitive experience that requires less manual engagement on their part.” 

Of course Conversation Detection is a matter of preference. Not everyone, including myself, finds the feature useful. In fact, I’d go so far as calling it a nuisance. Just because someone starts talking to me doesn’t mean I want to talk to them or even hear what they have to say. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. Is it something I’m looking to change? Not if I can opt out of conversation detection on my earbuds. 

In addition to the Pixel Bud’s Conversation Detection feature, the update includes improved call quality. By using Bluetooth Super Wideband there’s super increased bandwidth for voices so that things are fuller and clearer. Add in Clear Calling that tries to lower background noise from the phone on the other end of the line, and you should have way sharper phone calls.  

The Google Pixel Buds Pro update is available to all users now.