At a quick glance, the affordable Pixel Buds A-Series are a solid contender for the best true wireless earbuds under $100, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to test them ahead of their launch.
Google’s freshly unveiled Pixel Buds A-Series true wireless earbuds, just like the Pixel phones that rock an A moniker, are a more affordable variant of the colorful Pixel Buds. The A-Series earphones offer the same distinctive design and share many of the regular Pixel Buds’ fantastic features. The best part? They come at an impossible-to-overlook $99 price point, making them quite the steal for all of their impressive features.
Battery Performance: 7/10
Overall Score: 8/10
THE GOOGLE PIXEL BUDS A-SERIES AT A GLANCE
Lightweight and comfortable
Touch controls work surprisingly well
5-hour battery life
IPX4 rating for water resistance
The Pixel Buds A-Series pack the same audio hardware as the pricier Pixel Buds, making their 12-millimeter audio drivers among the largest in their class. Translation? They deliver an incredibly powerful, well-balanced, and entertaining sound in every beat. The buds’ in-ear seal and built-in spatial vents also contribute to their acoustic performance. The former delivers solid passive noise isolation, while the vents ensure that the earbuds won’t create discomfort by building unwanted pressure in your ears.]
And while classical music with intricate instrumentals can greatly vary from the sounds of bass-rich downtempo tracks — you’ll enjoy the sonic experience from these buds regardless of your music preferences. Case in point: Both my favorite Rolling Stones and Thievery Corporation albums resonated equally well on the Pixel Buds A-Series while I tested them. So did podcasts and audiobooks. When it comes to audio customization options, the product’s companion app allows you to simply boost its bass output with just a swipe of a toggle button. After experiencing how amazing it sounded, I had a hard time listening to anything without the feature turned on because it gave pretty much every type of content I listened to an enhanced, livelier sound
The earbuds performed well during calls and on-the-go virtual meetings, too. Each bud has a duo of microphones, helping me sound consistently loud and clear, something that can sometimes be an issue with earbuds. The earbuds also maintained a superb connection with the Android phone I used throughout my entire time testing them.
COMFORT: 9/10 The Google Pixel Buds A-Series are among the comfiest true wireless earbuds out there. With soft ear tips (available in three sizes) and a flexible ear arc for a more secure fit, they didn’t cause any discomfort while I tested them, even after hours of rocking out. At 5.4 grams each, the buds have the same weight as the Apple AirPods Pro — one of the product category’s benchmarks for ergonomics.
I was pleasantly surprised by how reliable the touch controls of the Pixel Buds A-Series are. You can adjust the audio playback and take or reject calls with taps and access the Google Assistant via long presses on each bud. Even more impressively, when paired with Android phones, the Pixel Buds A-Series offers seamless Google Assistant integration. You can summon the mighty virtual helper by simply saying, “Hey Google.” In addition to being able to control the audio playback with voice commands, you’re able to send messages, access your notifications, and get answers to random questions, among countless other things.
With the Pixel Buds A-Series and the Google Assistant, you can even translate more than 40 foreign languages in real time and without ever having to fiddle with your phone. Overall, interacting with the Google Assistant is convenient, fun, and one of the main reasons why you should consider investing in these earbuds.
DESIGN: 8/10 I really like the understated design and the insanely low profile of the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. As high-tech as they are, the buds look like tiny colorful dots in your ears. Take your pick from two glossy colors: white or dark olive.
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