March 5, 2024


Let’s say you’re at your desk, with your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds connected to your Android tablet, happily listening to something really cool. You then have to step away from your desk and switch over to listening on your phone. Typically, with Bluetooth, you’d have to manually switch the connection from one device to another. However, with Multipoint connections, you can have your Pixel Buds Proearbuds connected (concurrently) to two devices at once. Those devices could be phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, or TVs. A secondary feature, Audio Switch, makes the switching between devices work seamlessly.

Or maybe you’re listening to music on one device and a phone call comes in on a second device. With Audio Switch enabled, the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds will automatically switch to the device the calling is coming into.

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The only caveat to this is that Audio Switch can be a bit picky on what devices it works with. I’ve used it to perfection between two different Pixel Phones, a Pixel Phone and an Android tablet, as well as any of those devices and a Chromebook. My Linux desktop and MacBook Pro, however, don’t do Audio Switch. 

The Audio Switch feature uses your Google account to seamlessly pass the connection from one device to another, which means it’s mostly relegated to Android-centric devices. So, if you work and play within the Google ecosystem of devices, you can not only enjoy multipoint connectivity with your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds but also Audio Switch.

This also means your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds need to be associated with your Google Account. That happens the second you pair them with your Pixel phone (or an Android phone with the Google Pixel Buds app).

Let me show you how to enable these features.

Also: How to get and use Spatial Audio on the Pixel Buds Pro

How to enable Multipoint and Audio Switch

What you’ll need: First, you’ll need a pair of Pixel Buds Pro earbuds. If you want to use Audio Switch, you’ll also need two devices that are directly synced to your Google Account (an Android phone, tablet, and/or Chromebook). I’ve yet to see Audio Switch work with any other operating system. I’m going to demonstrate this with my Pixel 8 Pro. If you’re using any phone other than a Pixel (or an Android tablet), you’ll also need to install the Google Pixel Buds app from the Google Play Store.

The first thing to do is remove your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds from their case and let them connect to your Android phone. Once you’ve done that, open Settings on your phone (or the Pixel Buds app) and tap the gear icon associated with your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds. Near the middle of the page, tap Multipoint, and then, on the resulting page, tap the On/Off slider until it’s in the On position.

The Multipoint entry on a Pixel 8 Pro.

You’ll need to make sure to enable Multipoint if you want to use Audio Switch.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Now that you have Multipoint enabled, you will be able to connect your Pixel Buds Pro earbuds to two concurrent devices. These devices do not have to be limited to Android phones, tablets, or Chromebooks. To make use of the Multipoint feature, you simply have to stop the media you’re listening to on the first device and start the media on the second device.

Also: The best Google Pixel phones (including the Pixel 8 Pro)

If your devices support Audio Switch, go back to the Pixel Buds Pro settings page and tap Audio Switch. On the resulting page, tap the On/Off slider until it’s in the On position. You can now back out of Settings.

The Audio Switch entry on a Pixel 8 Pro.

If you’re devices support it, Audio Switch is a fantastic feature to enable.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Using Multipoint and Audio Switch

This is quite easy, because Android takes care of most of it. For Multipoint, I’ve already explained how it is used. You simply stop listening to the media on the first device and start listening on the second. This is done manually and, as long as you’ve paired the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds to both devices, it should work flawlessly.

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Using Audio Switch is even easier because it happens automatically. If you’re listening to something on one device (that is paired with your earbuds) and start listening to something on the second device, the switch will happen seamlessly. You’ll see a pop-up appear at the top of the device, indicating that you are now listening there and even giving you the option to switch back to the previous device.

The Audio Switch popup on an Android tablet.

Lerxst and Dirk chatting about getting bullied as kids.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

It really is that easy. I’ve used both of these features together to create a simple method of switching between devices without having to either first connect the earbuds or manually stop/start media. Both Multipoint and Audio Switch are pretty cool features that help to make the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds my go-to every time.