The Google Pixel Buds A-Series is a budget-friendly set of earbuds that aims to provide a seamless and convenient user experience. Packed with features like touch controls and a comfortable fit, these Android-friendly earphones offer a lot for the price. While there was initially a significant flaw with these earbuds, Google has since resolved the issue. In this review, we will explore how the Pixel Buds A-Series compares to the competition.

Design and Comfort:
The Pixel Buds A-Series features a cheerful design with a lightweight build and bug antennae-like wings for a secure fit. The earbuds come in a white color with a G logo on the housing, and a Dark Olive color variant is also available. The charging case and earphones are made of plastic with rubber accents where necessary. Although the lid of the charging case feels a bit flimsy, it is still durable. The case includes a USB-C connection and a magnet, adding convenience. The earbuds are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to their lightweight design and pressure vents. The package includes small, medium, and large silicone ear tips for finding the right fit. Additionally, the earbuds have an IPX4 rating, making them resistant to sweat and splashes.

Features and Control:
The Pixel Buds A-Series offers touch controls for music playback and phone calls, allowing you to control your audio without reaching for your phone. If paired with an Android device and the Pixel Buds app, you can also access the Google Assistant using your voice. The touch controls work seamlessly, but unfortunately, they cannot be customized. The Adaptive Sound feature, available in the Pixel Buds app, adjusts the volume based on your surroundings, compensating for external noise. While this feature works well for phone calls, it can be distracting for music playback. The earbuds connect quickly via Bluetooth 5.0 and offer AAC and SBC Bluetooth codec options.

Battery Life:
Google claims a battery life of 5 hours for music playback and 2 hours and 30 minutes for talk time. In real-world testing, the earbuds provided 4 hours and 44 minutes of constant music playback at 75dB(SPL), which is slightly below average for wireless earphones. The earbuds can be charged via USB-C but do not support wireless charging.

Sound Quality:
The sound quality of the Pixel Buds A-Series is satisfactory with firmware version 233 or later. Initially, the earbuds had a volume output that was too quiet, but this was addressed in a firmware update. The default frequency response follows a speech-focused curve, emphasizing higher mids and minimizing bass. While this is suitable for clear speech during phone calls, it may not be ideal for music. Turning on the Bass Boost option adds more depth to the audio, making it more suitable for music listening. The microphone performance is good, capturing voices accurately, but it may occasionally mistake voices for noise in noisy environments.

Alternatives:
If you value easy integration with Android and Google Assistant, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a recommended alternative. It offers frequency response tuning by AKG, multiple EQ presets, and reliable volume performance. For a more affordable and durable option, the Jabra Elite 3 is worth considering, while the Jabra Elite 4 provides noise-canceling capabilities.

Conclusion:
While the Google Pixel Buds A-Series has some advantages, such as seamless connectivity and integration with Google Assistant, it still has unresolved issues from previous iterations. It may not be the top choice among earbuds in its price range, but if you are deeply invested in the Google Android ecosystem, you might find value in these earbuds. They offer good isolation and comfort, but performance trade-offs should be considered before making a purchase decision. Ultimately, whether the Pixel Buds A-Series is worth the money depends on your preferences and priorities in a set of earphones.

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