Review of the Google Wireless Pixel Buds A-Series Wireless Headphones: Built for Android

Apple AirPods were not the first true wireless headphones, but they defined the category and are popular all over the world. However, Apple has been clear about one thing from the beginning: AirPods are designed to be used with Apple devices, and in particular need to be connected to an iOS device to unlock the entire set. of functions. While there are plenty of true wireless headphones that allow similar features and customization through Android apps, the platform lacked a “hero” product in the true wireless segment of India – so far.

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series is the first of the company’s true wireless product line to officially launch in India and is priced at Rs. 9,999. In fact, it is a more affordable version of Pixel Buds 2, which was not released here. Although quite simple in its feature set compared to other options at this price, the Pixel Buds A-Series is designed to work particularly well with Android devices and especially with Google Assistant. Are there enough headphones to justify the price or not to compete? Find out in this review.

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The headphones have a proper fit in the channel, but are designed to allow you to hear ambient sound even when playing music.

Hands-free access to Google Assistant on Google Pixel Buds A-Series

While its price may lead many to compare the Google Pixel Buds A-Series with options such as OnePlus Buds Pro and Oppo Enco X, this is not the most accurate representation of where these headphones fit. Instead, I would consider headphones. be positioned similarly to Apple’s AirPods series, but with a focus on Google’s Android operating system and not just Google Pixel smartphones.

That being said, thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, you can use the Google Pixel Buds A-Series with almost any compatible device, including computers and iOS devices. However, the entire feature set will not work if you are not using an Android smartphone, and you will only be able to use the basic functionality of the headset, which is listening to sound and hands-free communications on the paired device.

Pairing headphones with an Android device allows customizable settings through the Pixel Buds app and allows you to use the Google Assistant without hands-free, as you would with a smart speaker. The pairing process involves connecting headphones to your Google Account using Google Fast Pair. This allows you to see a pop-up screen on the phone with the battery level of both the headset and the charging case each time you connect.

When it comes to design and style, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series doesn’t look very different from previous Pixel Buds models. Both headphones have a channel fit, fixed rubber ear hooks for comfort and grip, and round, plastic outer parts with a visible Google logo. The area around the Google logo is sensitive to touch and can be used to control playback, answering, and end calls, and invoking the Google Assistant.

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Google Pixel Buds A-Series works great with Google Assistant on Android smartphones

I found the headphones comfortable, with decent passive noise insulation. Matching doesn’t block ambient sound as effectively as most headphone jacks, but this seems like a deliberate choice by Google. The match allows enough ambient sound to filter, even if music is playing, allowing you to use the Pixel Buds A-Series safely outdoors. There is no active noise canceling or listening mode on these headphones.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series headphones are rated IPX4 for water resistance and use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity with support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The headphones have 12mm dynamic drivers and in-ear sensors. In India, Pixel Buds A-Series will be available in one color, Clearly White, although you get it in Dark Olive in other countries.

The battery life of the Google Pixel Buds A-Series is decent enough for a true wireless headset in this price range. The headphones operated for about 4 hours, 30 minutes per charge, with the charging case charging a little less than four times, for a total of about 22 hours of listening time per charging cycle. My first use was listening to music, with a few calls a day, and occasionally invoking the Google Assistant for simple commands. Increased use of Google Assistant and more time for voice calls will drain your battery a little faster.

Full listening experience on Google Pixel Buds A-Series

While most true wireless headphones focus on the music listening experience, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series promises a more complete user experience. Focus on adding smart connectivity to your headphones and give you the experience that smart speakers like Google Nest Audio offer. That being said, the headphones also sound decent, with a balanced sound signature, which gives a little boost to mids and highs.

The Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds A-Series is complete and really works just like a smart speaker, as long as your paired smartphone has a good internet connection. The hands-free functionality works well, the headphones are suitable for the words “OK Google” and “Hey Google” and are able to understand voice commands even in somewhat noisy environments.

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Although the sound quality is good, the Pixel Buds A-Series does not have features such as active noise cancellation and wireless charging.

I was able to adjust my device controls, including volume and playback, to request certain songs to play, and also to receive personalized answers to questions and requests related to my account. I found it particularly useful to be able to adjust the volume with voice commands, as this cannot be done with touch controls.

The music listening experience was largely on par with what I heard from AirPods (second generation) and more sub-R options. Price range 10,000 in terms of quality. The Google Pixel Buds A-Series doesn’t push the bass as impressively as the OnePlus Buds Pro or it’s not as detailed and revealing as the Oppo Enco X, but it does strive to provide a complete experience that covers all the typical features. daily use model.

Listening to Butterflies by Skrillex, Starrah and Four Tet, Google Pixel Buds A-Series provided clean, detailed sound. The quick beats of this house piece didn’t feel as tight and attacking as the OnePlus Buds Pro, but they had a softer, more refined feel. Although advanced Bluetooth codecs are not supported, the sound is reasonably detailed, and these headphones have managed to keep up with the track without losing its cohesion and character.

The average response is particularly good, allowing the voice and speech to shine. Watching voice-centered content such as YouTube videos and some movies and TV shows using headphones was a good experience, with strong, clean, detailed sound. This also made for a particularly good performance with slow and light tracks, such as I Don’t Trust Myself by John Mayer, giving the vocals a chance to shine without losing too much on the riffs and melodic rhythms. guitar.

Call performance is also very good; We were able to place and receive calls easily using voice commands to the Google Assistant, and the sound quality was excellent. Moderate volumes of about 70 percent created a powerful, detailed, and rich listening experience.

Verdict

Objectively, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series is a pretty good headset, provided you have an Android smartphone. Get decent sound quality for music and calls, reasonable battery life, good comfort, and decent voice assistant responsiveness, all combined to make the Google Pixel Buds A-Series fit for use throughout the day. If you’re looking for seamless connectivity and functionality with Google Assistant, this is a great alternative to Android in the AirPods range.

However, at Rs. 9,999, Google Pixel Buds A-Series does not match at all with the competition in its segment when it comes to features and sound quality; In particular, there is no active noise cancellation or wireless charging – which are now common features in true wireless headphones in this price range. Therefore, you may want to consider alternatives such as OnePlus Buds Pro and Oppo Enco X, unless you are particularly interested in the features and style that Google offers with the Pixel Buds A-Series.


Updated: March 14, 2022 — 5:07 am

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