Technology Are the Google Pixel Buds A-Series the Smartest True Wireless Earbuds?
Amazon announces new Echo Buds with more powerful ANC and better comfort
The second-gen Echo Buds are 20 percent smaller and priced very aggressivelyAside from shrinking them down, Amazon has also made comfort-focused design changes to the Echo Buds. They now have a vented design (like the AirPods Pro, Pixel Buds, etc.) to reduce unwanted ear pressure. The company has shortened the nozzle so that the Echo Buds don’t sit as deep in your ear canal, and the external depth has been reduced for a more flush fit. The ear tips — four sizes come included — are now oval-shaped, and you also get two sizes of optional wing tips in the box.
Google’s freshly unveiled Pixel Buds A-Series true wireless earbuds, just like the, are a more affordable variant of the . 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.
Google May Have Inadvertently Just Spilled the Beans About the Pixel Buds A on Twitter
Google I/O 2021 is just a couple of weeks away, but in the run-up to its annual developer conference, Google may have just accidentally confirmed the existence of the Pixel Buds A on Twitter. © Image: Google This image was posted alongside a tweet announcing the new Pixel Buds A-series. In a tweet from the official Android Twitter account that has since been deleted, Google showed off a new version of its wireless Pixel Buds headphones, while mentioning features such as “quality sound,” one-tap Bluetooth pairing, and an updated Fast Pair experience.
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.
Echo Buds 2nd Gen review: A big upgrade for Alexa fans
After over two years of intrigue and waiting, Amazon's successor to its first foray into earbuds has arrived. The second-gen Echo Buds are now shipping, and we've spent nearly a week with them. © Jacob Krol/CNN Echo Buds now feature a slimmer and refined design, and they felt plenty comfortable in our ears. With three microphones on board, they can fully block out the world around you — or at least try to — and have some of the best voice pickup we've experienced. Those microphones also do double duty when you ask for Alexa.
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.
Video: Meet Pixel Buds A-Series (USA TODAY)
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.
What to expect from Google I/O 2021
The keynote kicks off at 1PM ET on May 18thIn the keynote’s official description, Google is unsurprisingly coy about what might be announced: “Tune in to find out about how we’re furthering our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” But we can make a few educated guesses about what could be shown off at the event. Read on to find out what to expect from the big show.
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— 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.
Pixel Buds A-Series review: Impressive features for $99
After months of rumors and brief appearances, Google has officially revealed the Pixel Buds A-Series. True to the early hints, they’re mostly the same in terms of both design and features as last year’s true wireless Pixel Buds. There are a few key differences, but the main one is that the A-Series is only $99. For that price, I’d argue there are some features you can probably live without. Design The Pixel Buds A-Series have the same design as the Pixel Buds from 2020. Except for the new Dark Olive color option and the white version being two-tone with gray instead of black, you’d have a difficult time telling them apart.
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 forusers.
Speaking of rivals, thetrue wireless earbuds are a solid alternative with an even lighter build, longer battery life, and onboard noise cancellation. The 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.
Sony Has Done It Again: Weirdly Big Earbuds With Incredible Noise Cancellation .
In 2017, when many Bluetooth earbuds still had wires, Sony introduced its truly wireless WF-1000X, which somehow also managed to squeeze noise cancellation into a tiny pair of buds. Today it’s a standard feature on premium wireless earbuds, but despite all the competition, the new WF-1000XM4s prove that no one knows how to electronically shush the world like Sony. © Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo Two years after the WF-1000X, Sony released its WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds (for some reason there was never a WF-1000XM2 model, because Sony gonna Sony) and it solved its predecessor’s biggest problem: awful battery life.