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Google Pixel Buds A-Series Review: The smartest true wireless earbuds in the segment

And they sound pretty good as well!

February 27, 2022 / 05:34 PM IST

Google unveiled the Pixel Buds A-Series in India in 2021 at a starting price of Rs 9,999, though these are now available for Rs 7,899 on TataCLiQ.

Unlike the two previous Pixel TWS earbuds, the Pixel Buds A Series is a budget take on Google’s infamous Pixel earbuds. India’s sub-10K true wireless earbuds market is highly competitive, with brands like Sony, JBL, Skullcandy, Oppo, LG, Samsung, OnePlus, and Jabra vying for the top.

After using the Pixel Buds A-Series for a long time, here is what we found:

Design & Build

The charging case weighs a light 8 grams, with a matte white finish. The case is oval and has a glossy finish on the inside. The flipping hinge design and the magnetic clasp also seem sturdy. The case is made of plastic and has a pairing button at the back and a USB Type-C port at the bottom.

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Pixel Buds A

The buds can easily fall out of the case if not opened properly, so you’ll have to be careful here. The earbuds are primarily made of plastic and weigh just 5 grams. The outer layer of the buds has a matte finish, while the inner part is glossy. The Google logo is placed on the touch-sensitive outer layer of each bud.

pixel

Both earpieces have an in-canal fit as well as fixed rubber ear hooks for a comfortable listening experience. I found the earbuds to be quite comfortable even after prolonged use. At times, it did feel like the earbuds were slipping out, but they didn't even while cycling. The buds have IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance. The comfort and durability offered by the Pixel Buds A Series are quite satisfactory, though the fit could be better.

Performance

The earbuds offer a good listening experience overall as opposed to excelling in certain areas. I

I found the mids and highs sounded clear and balanced, while bass was lacking, and the lows didn’t sound that pronounced. Bass Boost was quite effective in pumping up the bass. However, the area where the Pixel Buds-A Series shines is when listening to vocal-heavy tracks and podcasts. The listening experience for watching videos, movies, and TV shows was also great.

Pixel Bud

There’s no active noise cancellation (ANC), though the buds offer good passive noise isolation. The passive noise isolation is excellent, it may not be as good as having ANC, but is certainly the next best thing. Low-key ambient noises are easily shut out. Lastly, the call quality is quite good so long as you’re indoors. As mentioned before, the Pixel Buds A-Series offers an excellent overall listening experience, while excelling in more than a few areas.

Touch controls

The Pixel Buds A-Series has touch controls on the outer area of each bud. The touch-sensitive area can be used to do everything from controlling playback, answering calls, and invoking the Google Assistant. The touch-response was pretty good, though it’s a shame that volume can’t be adjusted using these controls. The Pixel Buds A-Series offers an even better hands-free experience.

Pixel Buds 2

While you may not be able to adjust the volume using touch controls, invoking the Google Assistant will give you access to everything—from controlling volume and switching tracks to getting answers to queries and reading notifications directly into your ears. You can basically talk to the Google Assistant here in the same way as you would do with a smart speaker, which is quite impressive.

Features

Google’s affordable true wireless earbuds also come with Fast Pair support, instantly connecting your earbud to a device when they’re removed from the case. However, there’s no multi-device support, so you’ll have to manually pair the earbuds when switching between devices. While the Pixel Buds are compatible with iOS devices, these buds are clearly meant for Android devices. The buds’ in-ear detection works spot on, instantly pauses and resumes playback when the buds are taken in and out of the ear.

Pixel Buds Features

The affordable Pixel Buds A-Series also comes with an Adaptive Sound feature that gradually adjusts playback volume depending on the ambient sound in the vicinity. The feature works well when a vehicle zooms down the road or in the middle of traffic. However, if you don’t find the feature adequate, you can manually turn off the feature through the app. Apart from checking the touch controls, there’s not much you can do on the Pixel Buds app.

Battery life

Google says the Pixel Buds A-Series can deliver up to five hours of battery life, taking the total up to 24 hours with the case. The buds offer excellent battery life. I used the buds for three hours continuously with around 30 percent of the battery life still intact.

Pixel Buds A Series Review

So, you should get approximately four to four and a half hours of playback, depending on whether you have features like Adaptive Sound and Bass Boost turned on. The buds can be charged via the USB Type-C port at the bottom of the case, though there’s no wireless charging support.

Verdict

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series is an interesting addition to the sub-10k TWS segment. The affordable Pixel earbuds may not be the best at one particular thing, but they tends to do everything really well. The sound quality is quite good, they are designed for comfort and the battery life is well above average. To top it all, the Pixel Buds A-Series is the smartest you’ll ever find in the segment with excellent Google Assistant support.

Pixel Bud

However, that doesn’t mean that the buds are without flaws. There’s no ANC support, which often comes with several other TWS earbuds in the segment. The lack of wireless charging is also a let-down. Lastly, there’s no EQ in the app, and touch controls cannot be customised. The Pixel Buds A-Series does a lot of things right and very little wrong. In my experience with the buds, there is little to complain about. In the areas where it matters, like sound, comfort, voice assistance, and battery life, the Pixel Buds A-Series gets things spot on and is worth considering.



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Carlsen Martin
first published: Feb 27, 2022 05:17 pm
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