By retaining the audio quality and the main features of the Pixel Buds while cutting back on options that are not essential, Google is ideally repositioning itself in the wireless headphones market with these new Pixel Buds A-Series at a much more affordable price than its current model at 199 euros.
After months of rumors,just officially launched its new wireless headphones, the Pixel Buds A-Series. Taking up the Pixel smartphone range strategy, with “A” less expensive, the American giant offers us here quasi-clones of the current Pixel Buds at 199 euros which he has reworked the services to be able to offer them at 99 euros. A much more attractive price which places the Pixel Buds A-Series in a particularly advantageous position against the competition. But hasn’t Google made too many compromises to manage to plan 100 euros?
After a few days spent using the Pixel Buds A-Series, a simple observation emerges: they are identical to the second generation of Pixel Buds released last year, both from an aesthetic point of view and for their audio quality and their functionality. And this is rather very good news.
We appreciate the semi-in-ear design of these headphones which are easily positioned in the ear without causing any particular discomfort. A little ergo inhelps hold them in place and they come with three pairs of eartips that create a fairly effective passive. Pixel Buds A-Series are IPX4 certified, which means they are resistant to and water and can be used while playing sports. Note that they are a little lighter than the Pixel Buds (5 g each against 5.3 g) but the difference is not noticeable when they are .
We find the same pebble-shaped charger case whose soft-touch matte finish provides a very satisfactory contact. It opens easily with one hand and slips into a pocket without taking up too much space. According to, the case delivers up to 24 hours of use of the headphones by recharging them several times. Pixel Buds A-Series are rated for five hours of listening and up to 2.5 hours of talk time. This is generally what we found in use and it is rather a good average for wireless headphones.
Versatile audio quality
The A-Series Buds inherit the audio setup of the current Pixel Buds, with dynamic 12mm drivers and vents that avoid the “jam” effect and allow you to hear what’s going on around you. No active noise reduction, but the same adaptive sound system as on the Pixel Buds which increases thesound when in noisy environments. Our appreciation for the audio quality of these goes for the Pixel Buds A-Series: they produce balanced, clear and rich sound that is suitable for a wide range of musical. A bass amplification function that can be activated in the mobile fulfills its mission well.
Very practical headphones
We also find the quality for phone calls that we appreciated with the Pixels Buds. The presence of vents makes it possible to hear his voice when speaking in order to avoid raising the tone. Headphones control is done via the tactile interface on the external part: one tap for play / pause and take a call; double tap to play a song, reject a call or interrupt the Google Assistant; triple tap to go back to the previous track; a long press activates the Google Assistant. Buds A-Series featureports that suspend playback when removed and resume when replaced.
There is also the simultaneous translation function which is impressive. Say “Ok Google, help me speak (desired language)” and give an earpiece to the person you want to chat with in their native language. Then, press and hold your earpiece and speak. When you release, the translation starts.
So where has Google managed to save money on Pixel Buds?
In use, the Pixel Buds A-Series are really just as pleasant and efficient as the Pixel Buds. However, it was necessary thatfinds a way to compromise in order to lower the price so drastically. It is played on details and the abandonment of functions that can be easily done without.
Thus, we notice that the quality ofused for both headphones and the case is smaller. It is felt in particular at the hinge of the case which seems more frail when you exert a little . has also removed the Qi wireless charging present on the case of the Pixel Buds but we can not say that this is really a handicap. Suddenly, the case is also lighter (52.9 g with headphones against 66.7 g).
The only compromise we regret is the removal of the gesture volume control that we use with a swipe of a finger on the Pixel Buds. Instead, don’t pass the phone or say “Hey Google, turn the volume up / down”. But that is not crippling.
With the arrival of these Pixel Buds A-Series at 99 euros, the Pixel Buds range does not make much sense as it is and we must admit that paying 100 euros more for Pixel Buds is not justified. Google likely plans to replace them with a version that could offer active noise reduction, simultaneous connection to multiple devices and enhanced audio performance that would validate a higher price. But, in the meantime, with mostly equivalent services for a price half the price, the Pixel Buds A-Series stand out as obvious in the Google offer. And they are also becoming a very recommendable choice in the category of wireless headphones under 100 euros.
- The price
- Audio quality
- The practical features
- Hands-free call quality
We don’t like
- Gesture control that has disappeared
- The perceived quality lower than that of Pixel Buds