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Pixel Buds A Series Review: Great Headphone Value for Android Users

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Pixel Buds A Series Review: Great Headphone Value for Android Users

Google Pixel Buds A series It’s new, but a bit strange in that it hasn’t been upgraded exactly.It looks and sounds very similar to last year’s Pixel Buds 2Debuted for $ 179, but now Sell cheaperHowever, at the cost of adding new features such as active noise canceling, some features are actually lost. why? The cost is only $ 99. The “A” represents an affordable price. Its new low price is the real story here, and that’s why these are true wireless values, especially for Android users.They are available Book now It will be shipped on June 17th.

favorite

  • Low price
  • It has almost the same design and sound as the Pixel Buds 2, but is slightly lighter.
  • Hands-free Google Assistant
  • Very good sound for the price
  • Excellent call quality
  • Compact charging case
  • IPX4 sweatproof (drip-proof)

I do not like it

  • There is no swipe control to increase / decrease the volume
  • No actual feature upgrades to previous models
  • Average battery life

As I said, it doesn’t look much different. They feature the same likable design as the Pixel Buds 2, with integrated sports fins and a relatively unobtrusive look. Unlike many earphones, it did not stick out of the ear, and it not only fits tightly to the ear, but also fits comfortably.

What is the difference?

However, there are some minor differences. The Pixel Buds 2 was already relatively lightweight, but even lighter. According to Google, the Pixel Buds A is “about 20% lighter on the earphones and the entire case” than the Pixel Buds 2. Introducing a new dark olive color, incorporating slightly different materials, not two-tone. The inside of the bud is shiny in contrast to the bud, and its color matches the color of the outside of the bud. In addition, the inside of the case is also glossy, and the coloring that matches the color of the buds is adopted.

On the surface, the Pixel Buds A is very similar to the Pixel Buds 2.

David Carnoy / CNET

Another thing to notice is that the nozzle that attaches the eartips is made of plastic instead of metal. This will probably improve durability. Also, the Pixel Buds A has two charging pins instead of three and no sensor. I was worried that there was no ear detection feature (the ability to pause music when you remove the earphones and resume music when you put the earphones back in), but I found that Google engineers were able to optimize it. .. Buds A ear detection using a single IR sensor, according to a spokeswoman. That’s fine.

The case is the same, it’s nicely compact, but unlike the Pixel Buds 2, the A-series doesn’t have wireless charging, only USB-C charging. Also, they don’t have a swipe for volume control. You can’t move your finger over the bud to adjust the volume. Use the volume control on your streaming device or just “Hey, Google” Please tell me whether to turn up or down the volume. For Android users, the Google Assistant is always on and listens for voice commands as Siri does with AirPods, so you don’t have to tap a button to access it (unless you turn this feature off).

However, there are subtle differences. The Pixel Buds 2 (left) has a metal nozzle, an additional sensor, and three charging pins instead of two.

David Carnoy / CNET

Finally, the A-series does not have an attention alert feature that detects certain environmental sounds such as baby crying, dog barking, and emergency vehicle sirens and alerts you when you are wearing earphones. I don’t think many people were bothered by this experimental feature, but many preferred the ability to swipe to control the volume, which is one of the Pixel Buds’ signature features. is. Personally, I can live without a price cut.

Similar performance

Like the Pixel Buds 2, the Pixel Buds A comes with Bluetooth 5.0, but with a new chipset. When the Pixel Buds 2 was first launched, complaints about unstable wireless connections spread. People experienced some dropouts, although subsequent firmware upgrades improved performance. , Google seems to have addressed the connection issue with A.-Series. There were few dropouts during the test, but like all other true wireless earphones, these aren’t entirely certain.

As far as I know, they sound similar to the Pixel Buds 2. It needs to be tightly sealed for optimal sound, but it should be sealed with one of the three included eartips. These are comfortable earphones that fit snugly in your ear and can be used for sports activities such as running. They have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they are drip-proof. AirPods Pro..

google-pixel-buds-a-3

Like the Pixel Buds 2, the earphones don’t stick out of your ears like other earphones.

David Carnoy / CNET

Overall very good sound, with no loosening or bulging bass, with moderate clarity and a bit of treble brilliance. They don’t have the more sophisticated, richer, and more open sound of high-end earphones. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Or Sony’s WF-1000X series, but their sound is good enough compared to the sound of other earphones at his price, in addition to the adaptive sound mode that raises or lowers the volume depending on the amount of ambient noise. There is a bass boost mode, but the app’s EQ options are limited.

Although they support streaming using the AAC codec that both Apple and Android devices use for audio streaming, aptX Streaming.

They should work well in different music genres, but I found it a bit difficult when I hit on a complex rock track where many instruments were played. Again, they lacked the more sophisticated and distinctive features of the high-end buds, but most people should be very happy with the sound.

I thought these were very good for making phone calls. To test the call quality, I went out into the city of New York and called when there was a traffic jam. The bud said that it greatly reduced the background noise during the call and I could hear my voice clearly. When it comes to calls, it’s well-measured compared to the AirPods Pro, so it seems to be top notch in the department.

For earphones without noise canceling, the battery life is slightly shorter. It is rated at a moderate volume level for 5 hours and can be used in the charging case for an additional 19 hours.

Note that there is no multipoint Bluetooth pairing that offers the option to pair the earphones to two devices at the same time (such as a computer and a smartphone). This allows you to seamlessly switch between the two devices when you receive a call. Headphone function. However, you can pair them with multiple devices, but not just two at the same time.

google-pixel-buds-a-4

Buds, like AirPods Pro, are IPX4 waterproof grade drip-proof.

David Carnoy / CNET

Pixel Buds A: Final Thought

As I said before, this is a strange product. Because it’s a next-generation product, but not an upgrade for previous model owners. But I think this is Google’s wise move. We’re trying to expand the audience for true wireless earphones, so we need to play for less than $ 100.

You have Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus It’s been priced for about $ 100 these days and hasn’t been on sale for a while, but it has a very good sound (slightly more bass than the Pixel Buds) and good battery life, maintaining good value at that price. I am.Is Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro And Amazon Echo Bad The price is about $ 130. Both models feature active noise canceling and sporadically sell for $ 100, so they’re also direct competitors that offer comparable sound (I’m a bit better at the Anker Liberty 2 Pro). Masu). However, these models do not have a hands-free Google Assistant.

I’m not sure if the Pixel Buds A is necessarily better than its competitors, but given its powerful design and solid performance, it’s a very good value of $ 99, which is a great choice for Android users. They work on Apple devices, but lack certain features such as the hands-free Google Assistant or the iOS companion for upgrading firmware. Therefore, Apple users must get a pass unless they also have an Android device.

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