As usual with Google hardware, the new Pixel Buds A-Series has already been leaked extensively, and the company has even tweeted about them prematurely. But yesterday the Pixel Buds A-Series headphones were officially announced. They are priced at $ 99, a significant saving over the standard $199 Pixel Buds. The Pixel Buds A-Series waiting list is available starting today. They are available in dark olive or white.
Despite their much lower cost, the Pixel Buds A-Series retain the same sound quality as the Pixel Buds launched in 2020. They also still offer hands-free “Hey Google” voice commands and are IPX4 rated for water and sweat resistance. Google has removed some features from previous headphones, like wireless charging for the case and swipe controls for the volume, but the Pixel Buds A-Series doesn’t skimp on much else.
Google used custom 12mm speakers, it says, with a Bass Boost mode to help boost low frequencies. There is also a space vent to reduce the pressure in the ear, which can help make the headphones more comfortable for extended wear. Google adds that the seal in the ear canal itself should also be more comfortable. There is a stabilizing arch – a silicone fin that conforms to the contour of the ear – to help hold each earbud in place.
Each of the headphones has a wireless connection to your smartphone, for independent or stereo use. There are beamforming microphones as well as Adaptive Sound, which adjusts the volume based on ambient noise conditions. So if you walk past a construction site, the Pixel Buds A-Series will increase the volume accordingly.
Battery life is rated at 5 hours (24 hours counting recharges in the case), and Google says you can get up to 3 hours of listening time on a 15-minute quick charge.
While the Pixel Buds A-Series look virtually identical to regular Pixel Buds, Google changed the design by softening the built-in ear hooks / stabilizing arches and making them a bit smaller. The company has also taken steps to avoid the connectivity bugs and audio cuts that still plague some owners of its latest headphones. And, this can go higher in the overall volume.