Google Pixel Buds A-Series review: Affordable, secure, and optimized for Android Review

They say that the third time is the appeal, and when it will come to Google’s wireless headset hardware — they’re proper. The initial Pixel Buds in 2017 were being really disappointing, when the 2nd era in 2020 was considerably superior, at initial. All those 2020 Pixel Buds didn’t reside up to the initial month’s impressions, as additional use uncovered major relationship and trustworthiness troubles that also arrived with a large $a hundred and eighty launch rate.

As quickly as the new Google Pixel Buds A-Series turned offered on the internet, I put my buy for a Dark Olive pair that proved to be a superior time to use my $30 in credit rating gained from past Pixel and Google 1 buys. I’ve been making use of the new Pixel Buds A-Series for a pair of months when traveling, doing work out, mowing the lawn, doing work in the workplace, commuting, and far more. They have verified to be superior than the 2020 Pixel Buds so significantly, and I hope they do not succumb to the similar troubles found on the considerably far more highly-priced earbuds from very last year.

I’m blessed with the chance to check out a large amount of cellular equipment and it’s obvious that the $280 Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds provide an astounding audio practical experience. Having said that, $280 is a large amount of revenue for earbuds, so it’s good to see Google launch an affordable solution with the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. I personally uncover the suit to be far more safe with the Pixel Buds A-Series and I enjoy the sleek matte end case.

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The new Google Pixel Buds A-Series earbuds are offered for $99 in Clearly White and Dark Olive. I obtained the Dark Olive design, given that I now have a non-doing work pair of white Pixel Buds I purchased in 2020.


  • Microphones: Dual beamforming mics in each and every earbud
  • Speakers: 12mm dynamic driver with passive noise reduction
  • Sweat and drinking water resistance: IPX4 rating
  • Sensors: Capacitive touch on each and every earbud, accelerometer, gyroscope, twin IR proximity in-ear detection
  • Battery lifetime: Up to 5 hours of play with charging case giving one more 19 hours of music playback. fifteen minutes of charging delivers up to a few hours of listening time. Communicate time is fifty percent of audio listening time.
  • Wi-fi connectivity: Bluetooth 5.
  • Earbud body weight: grams each and every
  • Charging case proportions: sixty three X 47 X 25mm and forty two.5 grams (without earbuds)


The retail offer includes the two wireless Pixel Buds A-Series, a charging case with built-in battery, tiny and large silicone eartips, and a USB-A to USB-C cable. The medium dimensions silicone eartips are connected to the Google Pixel Buds.

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The charging case has a tender matte end and appears a bit like a flat egg. There is a USB-C port on the base, an LED indicator light on the front, and a tiny pairing button on the decreased back. Unlike the 2020 Pixel Buds charging case, this one particular does not assist wireless charging, which is one particular of the trade-offs made this year to minimize the rate. Supplied the pace of wireless charging and the respectable battery lifetime, this appears to be to be a sensible trade to preserve revenue.

The lid of the carrying case has a good spring, so when you lift it about 45 levels it flips all the way open up to the 90-diploma place. Every Pixel Bud is secured in place with magnets, but is also simple to take out from the case when you get them.

The coloured part of the Pixel Buds, assuming you purchase Dark Olive like I did, is the total earbud and the internals of the charging case. Final year we only observed color highlights on some parts of the earbuds. Contact controls include:

  • One tap to play or pause when listening to music or to reply a get in touch with
  • Double tap to skip to the following keep track of or to conclusion/reject a get in touch with
  • Triple tap to play the former keep track of or to repeat a keep track of
  • Push and maintain to launch Google Assistant or listen to your notifications

There is a rubber piece embedded in the Pixel Bud that is curved and serves as a fin piece (identified as a “stabilizer arc”) that allows continue to keep the Pixel Bud securely embedded in your ear. There are two gold contacts to assist charging the Pixel Bud. Previously mentioned these contacts is one particular opening for the IR proximity sensor. One more IR sensor opening is down on the tiny arm toward the conclusion of the earbud (the location identified as the “retention curve”). The spatial vent for in-ear strain reduction is also located down on the retention curve. The two mic openings are positioned on either facet of the touchpad.

Also: Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds evaluate: Superb noise cancellation, obvious calls, and long battery lifetime

The Pixel Buds A-Series have a shiny end with plastic products, when the outdoors touchpad has a matte end. The silicone guidelines suit more than this plastic conclusion to support the Pixel Buds suit easily in your ear.

When you insert the Pixel Buds A-Series into your ear, simply just rotate each and every one particular into place right until you are relaxed with it. It felt a bit like screwing the Pixel Bud further into my ear canal, but the outcome is one particular of the most safe earbuds I have at any time tested. Audio all-around you is surely blocked out by the deep mounting of the earbud, but after hours of put on I by no means felt any irritation.

Distinctions between 2020 Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series

If you search through all of the facts in my two testimonials, you may spot a few differences. To make it simple for visitors who want to make a preference between the two earbuds, listed here is in which they are various:

  • Rate: The 2020 Pixel Buds are $179 and the A-Series are priced at $99
  • Wi-fi charging case: Only the 2020 Pixel Buds case supports wireless charging
  • Contact controls: The 2020 Pixel Buds assist swipes for quantity command
  • Drinking water resistance: The 2020 Pixel Buds case is also drinking water resistant
  • Wind reduction: The 2020 Pixel Buds assist this function
  • Sensors: 1 sensor was taken out from each and every A-Series earbud so the by no means-utilised Interest Alerts only is effective on the 2020 Pixel Buds

If you are eager to make a few compromises, you can preserve $80 and purchase the new Pixel Buds A-Series. The compromises usually are not crucial for my day-to-day utilization, and the far more reputable performance outweighs these compromises when also coming in at a considerably far more affordable rate.

Smartphone software

iOS people will only see the Pixel Buds A-Series look in Bluetooth settings and have no advanced command or options offered. But you can nevertheless use the Pixel Buds as a fundamental Bluetooth headset and even launch Google Assistant — if you have the Google Assistant application installed on your iOS gadget and it is running.

The serious magic listed here is existing with Android phones. I tried the Pixel Buds on a number of Android phones to check out the encounters. The Pixel Buds application is embedded into Google Pixel phones, but other Android products get practically the similar practical experience by simply just downloading and setting up the Pixel Buds application from the Enjoy Keep.

The Pixel Buds application includes battery position indicators for each and every earbud and the charging case, as effectively as the means to uncover each and every earbud, see a visible record of the gesture touch controls, toggle the bass increase solution, toggle adaptive seem, toggle in-ear detection, manage firmware updates, and see other settings of the Pixel Buds.

If you connect the Pixel Buds to a Pixel cell phone, then you will see additional toggles for High definition audio, cell phone calls, media audio, and speak to sharing.

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Adaptive seem automatically optimizes the quantity of the Pixel Buds A-Series centered on your environment. I comprehend the alterations are delicate and nothing at all like energetic noise cancellation. When you manually alter the quantity, adaptive seem is temporarily disabled. When you enter an environment with vastly various seem amounts than in which you departed, adaptive seem will kick in once more.

Day by day utilization encounters and conclusion

We see battery lifetime in large-conclusion wireless earbuds from eight to twelve hours, so the 5 hours provided listed here in the Pixel Buds A-Series is not impressive in 2021. That said, you can use each and every earbud independently for 5 hours, so in a one earbud swapping plan you could get through a complete day and far more before getting to connect a USB-C cable to demand up the earbuds.

The $99 rate stage is sensible for headphones with all of these features and an optimized Google Assistant practical experience. If you are an Apple iphone person, then the practical experience is constrained — I do not recommend the Pixel Buds A-Series for Apple iphone people. An Android cell phone is needed to entirely entry the features of the Pixel Buds and is also vital to update the earbuds. Updating them is crucial, given that Google tweaks and increases the practical experience more than time.

The Pixel Buds A-Series earbuds and charging case both equally have the similar structure as the 2020 Pixel Buds, and that is a terrific factor. The earbuds have one particular of the most safe matches of any earbuds I have tested, and running with them has been a amazing practical experience. The Pixel Buds A-Series passed my lawnmower check and when they do not have ANC, I was nevertheless ready to get pleasure from music flawlessly with a loud lawnmower and gas blower in my palms. It was also terrific to pay attention to podcasts with one particular earbud in when driving 5 hours in the southern aspect of the US.

Supplied that I experienced some Google credit rating to use, it’s simple to justify the Pixel Buds A-Series at $70. Supplied the very poor performance from the 2020 Pixel Buds, I would by no means recommend them more than these far more affordable earbuds. At $99 the Pixel Buds A-Series are a compelling solution for Android smartphone people. If you are an Apple iphone person, then search to earbuds from Apple, Jabra, or some others.