After a ton of leaks, Google has finally lifted the covers from its latest true wireless earbuds – the Pixel Buds A-Series. As the name clearly suggests, these are an affordable version of the second-gen Pixel Buds. The design is almost identical, save for the difference in color tone. The Pixel Buds A-Series costs $99 and is now up for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada, while a wider release happens on June 17. Color options on the table are Clearly White (with a grey undertone) and Dark Olive.
So, what corners Google is cutting with the Pixel Buds A-Series to justify the $80 reduction in the price tag compared to the Pixel Buds Gen 2? Well, support for fast charging is gone, and you can no longer rely on swipe gestures for controlling volume. For the latter, you can always ask the Google Assistant to make volume adjustments.
The Pixel Buds-A series features custom 12mm audio drivers – same as its pricier sibling – which is said to offer a satisfying bass output. Of course, there is no noise cancellation wizardry to be seen here. However, some of the core elements such as pressure relief vent and beamforming mics are still part of the package.
Google says that the Pixel Buds A-Series can last up to 5 hours on a single charge, while the charging case takes that number to 24 hours. Additionally, fast charge support ensures that you get around 3 hours of playback with just 15 minutes hooked up to a Type-C cable.
There’s a new chip inside, and each earbud connects individually to your phone. Talking about connecting to your phone, there is Fast Pair support too. The Adaptive Sound tech automatically adjusts volume levels based on the ambient noise situation. Also, these come with an IPX4 rating for dust and water resistance.
Of course, Google Assistant is just a voice command away from doing your bidding. Notably, the Pixel Buds-A Series also offers support for real-time translation in over 40 languages. Overall, Google appears to have created a compelling package for the $99 asking price, but the competition has more to offer in terms of features.