Although A-series lost on ANC, they still offer flagship sound quality and features at very attractive prices. ( Check Latest price at Amazon. )
Google’s Pixel product line has always had some of the most interesting and thoughtful innovations for Android consumers. Although there are some quirks along the way, there is technical space. However, one fact remains the same: Google has done a very good job of providing flagship experiences at low cost.
This fact was correct in the first A-series device, Pixel 3A, and then consolidated in the successful Pixel 4A and Pixel 4A 5G smartphones. So when Google launched the Pixel Buds A-Series, did they fail their A brand? We think so, they even make the best wireless headsets for Android smartphones.
In terms of design, Google has done a great job in the way the headset is worn, appearance and working.
The Pixel Buds A-Series case has the same soft touch as the Pixel 4A device. The soft-touch shell feels smooth, but the grip is just right and won’t slip out of your hands. Compared with other earphone covers with glossy finish, the matte white also makes the protective cover more concealed from scratches. The polycarbonate shell is sturdy and durable, the weight is moderate, and it feels very high-end.
The hinge is another important aspect of the Google Pixel Buds A-Series case. I would say that it is comparable to AirPods; there is enough resistance to allow them to open and close satisfactorily, but you can do it with one hand.
In contrast, my Samsung Galaxy Buds Live case is inconvenient to open with one hand due to its hard hinge. The shell of Huawei Freebuds 4i is similar to that of Pixel Buds, but there are some loose and fragile problems. Pixel Buds are by far the best wireless headset box I have tried on the Android side. What is impressive is how the company focuses on such small details to make a pair of $100 headphones feel more expensive. . ( Check Latest price at Amazon. )
The situation of the Google Pixel Buds series is practically unchanged from last year. The main downside to this cheaper model is the lack of wireless charging. For most people, this is not a problem at this price, but it is worth noting that the wireless charging feature of the previous earbuds makes them attractive to users who have smartphones that support reverse wireless charging (such as the Pixel 5).
On the headphones, Google repurposed the design of the Pixel Buds from last year (2020) and for me they worked fine. At first, it took me a while to get used to the ear plug wings, and I repeatedly dropped them from my ears during exercise. However, once you learn how to use them correctly, they will be comfortable and safe.
That is, these wings are definitely designed for people with small or medium ears, for a long time of listening and exercising, occasionally I feel the plug for the left ear pops out of the ear. But in most cases, these should be applied when going to the gym or even running. Google provides additional earbud sizes in the box, so you can adjust how you wear them.
Unlike last year’s completely matte model, Google chose glossy internal parts for the headset. The exterior remains matte and has the same soft touch as the case, and each earbud has an embossed Google logo.
The earphones have an IPX4 degree of protection, which means they are resistant to sweat and can withstand a certain degree of moisture. I think in terms of mid-range headsets, Google Pixel Buds A-Series provides a complete fitness headset package.
Aesthetically speaking, compared to last year’s previous Pixel Buds, there aren’t many changes, which is mostly a good thing, because last year’s Pixel Buds were one of the most popular wireless earbuds. In other words, it’s very competitive for Google to get similar (if not the same quality) to those more expensive earplugs, which makes these new A-series Pixel Buds very attractive.
With sound quality, Google Pixel Buds A-Series offers impressive sound at this price.
The Pixel Buds series share the same 12mm drivers as last year’s headphones, which means you’ll get impressive sound from them. The $ 99 Pixel Buds A-Series has a balanced sound setup that can hit the mids, highs, and lows very well and consistently.
In contrast, the similarly priced Huawei Freebuds 4i lacks bass and the sound is often chaotic when the volume is turned up. Even at high volume, the Pixel Buds A-Series also has a good degree of separation and will not lose details.
In the Pixel Buds app, there is an EQ section where you can activate bass enhancement. This setting significantly emphasizes bass while providing a complete, natural sound. That being said, this is all there is to customization with these headphones.
In terms of noise reduction, these headphones do not meet the ANC standard, which is obvious even at high volume. Nothing Ear (1) and Huawei Freebuds 4i have this feature, but Google decided to weigh their options and provide better sound than active noise reduction.
Pixel Buds make up for this deficiency with a feature called Adaptive Sound, which adjusts the volume of the headphones according to the noise level of your environment. I think this feature works well and the silicone tip sealing provides a considerable amount of noise isolation. In other words, it’s still obvious that the headphones don’t support ANC, and Google should include it in its upcoming flagship headphones. ( Check Latest price at Amazon. )
In terms of microphone quality, the Pixel Buds A-series has dual microphones for picking up audio, and the headphones do an excellent job of separating your voice from noisy environments and providing clear audio during calls and meetings. It’s common for most headphones in this price range to have poor mic quality, but here, it’s good to see that Google retains this all-important aspect in its budget products.
Overall, the sound setup of these headphones is well suited to most music genres and performs very well compared to most other headphones in this price range. Even without ANC support, the Google Pixel Buds A-series is very comprehensive; I’d love to see how they compare to Nothing Ear (1).
With the features of Pixel Buds A-Series, you can get many smart and practical highlights from last year’s Pixel Buds.
Let me talk about Fast Pair first. This is equivalent to the convenient pairing between Apple and AirPods, which is amazing. This quick pairing feature can run natively on most newer Android smartphones. When setting up for the first time, you need to open the Pixel Buds case, and a pop-up window will automatically appear on your phone asking for pairing.
From there, your device will ask you to download the Pixel Buds app and you can start listening right away. After that, every time you open the Pixel Buds case, you will receive a notification telling you the current battery level of the case and the earbuds.
This feature is very convenient and enriches the experience of using these headphones. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds also have a similar function, which completely mimics the pairing animation of AirPods, but only for Samsung smartphones and tablets. In other words, unlike AirPods, Pixel Buds does not support multiple devices, which means you must disconnect and reconnect to use these headphones with other devices.
Speaking of Bluetooth connection, Google has added a new chipset in each earbud to improve the reliability of the connection. Last year’s Pixel Buds encountered many connection problems related to occasional dropped connections and audio loss.
In my tests, I can say that I rarely encounter any type of connection problems, although I did experience audio interruptions once or twice. In most cases, I doubt whether users encounter this problem as often as last year’s headsets. The Bluetooth connection may be better, but the problem will not be as big as last year.
Compared to last year’s Pixel Buds, another nuance to the Pixel Buds A-series is the touch control. Google has canceled the ability to slide the volume, which means that you can only adjust the volume with your phone or through the Google Assistant. This can be very troublesome, especially when your phone is inaccessible, but you sacrifice something to lower the price.
These earplugs also lost an experimental feature called an attention alarm, which can monitor specific sounds like a dog barking or a baby cry, and automatically lower the volume to let you hear what’s going on. Although this can be a useful feature, people at this price aren’t necessarily looking for something like this.
Although the Pixel Buds A-series lacks features such as attention alerts, you will still find many other useful features such as the Google Assistant at any time. You can hold down and say a command to get a response from the assistant, which is still one of the most useful features of these headphones. You can also use the hands-free by saying “Ok Google”.
Through the Google Assistant, the headset can adjust the volume, translate languages in real time and many other Google-centric tasks; It has once again become the highlight of Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds.
Another thing coming back to these headphones is close range detection. When you take out the headset, your headset will automatically pause the music or audio here, and resume the audio when you put it back in your ear. This feature is standard on most headsets today, but on Google’s Pixel Buds, I found it to be faster and more responsive than Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.
In general, Google has done a good job in the feature set of these headsets. The price is 99 US dollars, which is not a small expense for the smart and convenient functions provided by Pixel Buds A-Series.
In terms of battery life, Google Pixel Buds A-Series has a very standard but considerable runtime. The battery life of each earbud is approximately 6 hours, and a total of 24 hours can be used with the protective cover. In my test, the headset is consistent with this.
The charging case is charged via USB-C, but does not support wireless charging like the previous model.
One thing I noticed throughout the test is the inconsistency in the way the headphones are turned off and charged. Sometimes one earbud charges faster than the other, but the strangest thing is that once the left earbud is completely depleted in the charging case. However, the right earbud is fully charged. In other words, I have not run into this problem since then, nor can I reproduce it.
Overall, the Pixel Buds A-Series has a very reliable battery life, sufficient to meet all-day listening and speaking needs.
Should You Buy the Google Pixel Buds A-Series?
There is no doubt that if you are an Android user, then in terms of wireless earbuds, Google Pixel Buds A-Series ( Check Latest price at Amazon. ) is the best experience you get. Although these headphones miss features such as ANC, they offer flagship sound quality and features at an attractive price.
If you are looking for a new headset that will not go bankrupt for your Android device, Pixel Buds A-Series is your best choice.