Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Google
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.
After a week reviewing these buds, the affordable Pixel Buds A-Series are a solid contender for the best true wireless earbuds under $100.
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 limit how much unwanted (and uncomfortable) pressure in your ears.
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. So did podcasts and audiobooks.
You can customize the audio through the product’s companion app—boosting the bass, for instance, takes a quick swipe of a toggle button. That feature gave every piece of content I listened to an enhanced, livelier sound; I rarely turned it off.
The earbuds performed well during calls and on-the-go virtual meetings, too. Each one has a duo of microphones, helping transmit my voice clearly, 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.
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 caused little discomfort, 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 the reliable touch controls. You can adjust the audio playback and take or reject calls with taps and access the Google Assistant via long presses on each bud.
More impressive is the seamless integration of Google assistant when you pair the buds with an Android. 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 can 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.
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 dots in your ears. Take your pick from two glossy colors: white or dark olive.
The earbuds have an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance, making them suitable for exercising or rainy walks. That said, if you are a workout addict, you might want to consider wireless earbuds with a tougher build and higher rating for water resistance.
BATTERY PERFORMANCE: 7/10
The 5-hour maximum battery life of the Pixel Buds A-Series (2.5 hours for phone calls), while a tad underwhelming, is a fair tradeoff for their lightweight and compact build. Still, the product has rivals with a significantly longer battery life.
Thankfully, the buds’ fidget-friendly charging case can get you 3 hours’ worth of tunes after only 15 minutes. Plus, the USB-C gadget holds several additional full charges.
The Pixel Buds A-Series are among the best wireless earbuds for $100 or less. They offer a cool design, comfy fit, good sound, reliable performance during phone calls, and best of all, peerless Google Assistant integration. The last bit sets the product apart from all similarly priced rivals, making it a particularly awesome option for Android smartphone users.
Speaking of rivals, the 1More Comfobuds Pro true wireless earbuds are a solid alternative with an even lighter build, longer battery life, and onboard noise cancellation. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro wireless earbuds, on the other hand, have customizable sound, a tougher build, and noise cancellation. However, the Pixel Buds A-Series have vastly more understated design and Google Assistant compatibility that’s in a league of its own.
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