What you need to know
- Google launches its affordable alternative to the 2020 Pixel Buds.
- The Pixel Buds A-Series features an identical design and many of the same features but omits some to lower the cost.
- The new Pixel Buds A-Series will be available in the U.S. on June 17 for $99 or $139 in Canada.
After a couple of months of speculation, rumors, and leaks, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series earbuds have been officially unveiled.
You won't be blamed if you mistake these for last year's Google Pixel Buds (2020). The latest earbuds from Google offer the same design as their predecessor, albeit in a more affordable package. That said, the differences are all internal, and Google had to cut a few corners to get the cost down. Still, the Pixel Buds A-Series should offer a similar experience to one of last year's best wireless earbuds.
As far as the major differences between this pair and last year's, Google's new A-Series earbuds don't feature wireless charging, which means you're stuck using the included USB-A to USB-C cable. However, the buds will get 3 hours of use out of a 15-minute charge, while a complete charge should last the same 5 hours as the more expensive Pixel Buds. The charging case also brings the total listening time to about 24 hours.
Another difference is the lack of swipe gestures, leaving only tap controls. This is a feature that some users may miss, especially those that have owned the previous buds, as it adds an extra option for controlling your music.
Lastly, the new Pixel Buds A-Series only feature single IR proximity sensors for features like in-ear detection instead of the dual IR sensors on the pricier model. That said, they still have features like dual-beamforming microphones for crystal clear conversations, 12mm dynamic speaker drivers, IPX4 water and sweat resistance, and quick access to Google Assistant features like real-time translation.
Unfortunately, you won't find active noise cancellation, but the Pixel Buds A-Series come equipped with Google's "Adaptive Sound" to adjust noise levels based on your environment.
The new Google Pixel Buds A-Series will be available in two colors, Clearly White and Dark Olive. The earbuds will retail for $99 in the U.S. or $139 in Canada and ship on June 17.
Powerful and affordable
Almost the same
The new Google Pixel Buds A-Series offers many of the best features of the flagship Pixel Buds but in a more affordable package. They still offer up to 24-hours of battery life with the included case, and users have access to all the handy Google Assistant features like real-time translation.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
If these are anything like the Pixel Buds 2, you can keep them! Bought Pixel Buds 2 and within two weeks left ear bud went dead. Got RMA for second pair and within three weeks the volume on my Pixel 5 started going up and down by itself, and then the right earbud went dead. Had to fight with Google to get refund on second pair. Bought a cheap $50 pair of F9 earbuds that work just as easy as the Pixel Buds 2 but sound better. Pixel Buds 2 is not a $200 set of earbuds! And something tells me that these are not $100 pair of earbuds either!
Meh, I mean the price reduction is good no doubt. But I'd rather wait for another price reduction of the main Pixel Buds and get those. The swipe functions and Active Noise Cancelation are pretty good and actually useful. Plus both the case and buds themselves are water resistant. We'll see how these A-series buds sell.
What Pixel Buds do you have that have Active Noise Cancellation?
The Pixel Buds released last year aka the more expensive ones have that feature...but in the specs it is listed as Noise Reduction (and Wind Reduction). The Pixel Buds-A series don't have that feature (you can see the side by side comparison in the Google Store listings..
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