Pixel Buds A: The Affordable Alternative

Accessories, Google, Pixel

I have been using the Pixel Buds A for about 3 weeks now, google sent them to me as being part of #teampixel but they have not, nor has the gift influenced my thoughts on the product.

The Pixel Buds A which stands for Affordable is exactly that, its the affordable version of the Pixel buds 2.  The buds 2 retailed for the price tag of $179 while the Pixel buds A  started at $99. That’s a significant price drop and i know we are all thinking that wow they must have really downgraded this product, the short answer is no. They did make some changes to help cut cost but they honestly arent anything that would make you say the Pixel buds A are inferior at all.

 

Design

The Pixel Buds A have the same design as the 2020 Pixel Buds 2. The case, the earbuds, and the design are basically the same. The inside of the case on the A series has a glossy finish as well as the earbuds themselves as opposed to the matte finish on the 2020 version. The case has the same solid feel, same strong magnetic connection to hold the earbuds and that satisfying click when closing the case.  The earbuds both have the same excellent comfortability, the little ear hook to stabilize the earbuds in your ear and the same flat design. I personally love how they feel in the ear. The difference between the 2 is that the 2020 version has two charging indicators, 1 on the inside of the case and 1 on the bottom while the buds A series has 1 on the top of the case right before you flip it open. The other big difference is the 2020 version case enables wireless charging while the A series only does USB C charging, this is one of the areas they were able to reduce the cost. There is also only 2 color profiles to the Pixel Buds A series clearly white and Dark olive where is the Pixel buds 2 had 4.

Controls

The controls on the A series just use a tap function now and this can be done by left and right buds. In order to reduce cost, you also lose the slide functionality the previous 2020 version had to control the volume from the earbuds themselves. I personally have not missed the feature much but this will be something that you have to weigh in for yourselves.

1- Single tap will pause/play music and answer call

2-Double Tap will hang up on a call, skip tracks

3-triple trap will take you tp previous track or rewind

4-Long press will activate google assistant or you can just say Hey google

 

Sound Quality, Call quality and Comfortability

Here is where I think your decision will be made between the 2 pixel bud series A or buds 2 . I personally see no difference in the sound profile, I think they are basically the same with a nice mixture  of high, mids and lows across all genres of music. I am not a audiophile but to my ears it sounds very good. The volume is also at a nice decibel again to me, no distortion at highest volume and not loud enough to blow your eardrums out. Adaptive sound is still here as well as a bass boost option but you do lose attention alert Google has also fixed the connectivity issues plaguing some users with the 2020 version , looks like they are listening to us. There is no ANC but I found that I was not bothered by outside noise or when traveling via car, or airplane. I was still able to enjoy my favorite tunes or videos without issue. Call quality has been excellent, I am a letter carrier for 23 yrs and I am always talking outdoors with fellow colleagues. The call quality has been great, I also have to say these have to be the most comfortable pair of earbuds I have used. They are light weight, they dont push in the ear canal so I have no ear fatigue and the ear loop keeps them in my ear while walking, running ect…

Battery life 

The battery on the A series is exactly the same rating as the buds 2, 5 hrs. of music and about 2.5 hrs. for talking. In my testing the A series actually has been given me about 45 minutes longer so this was a nice surprise. You can swap the earbuds individually and the charging case gives you a extra 19 hrs. of charge so that’s 24 total hrs. This isn’t the best on the market by no stretch, but for gym sessions , podcast and a consistent 5hrs of video it should suit most users. It is also Ip4 rated so no issues with working out and sweating.

Wrap up

I like the Pixel buds A series.  I want to Thank Google for sending them to me and I think they did it justice reducing the cost another $79 while just removing basically wireless charging and swipe functionality. Lets be real are there other true wireless headsets with similar features ANC, wireless charging, in ear detection battery battery life for less. That can be said for all Name brands and true wireless. The google integration , the fast connect and comfortability won me over.

 

Pros                                               Cons

google integration                    No Wireless Charging

sound Quality                            No ANC

Comfortability                           No swipe functionality

Design

Connectivity issues fixed