Truly wireless earbuds have been becoming increasingly common, with major tech giants entering the arena to compete with audio-based companies such as Bose and Sony losing out the top crown to giants such as Apple and Google, especially considering how Apple and its AirPods have been dominant ever since the removal of the headphone jack.
Google, like most of its products, took some trials to get something good, whilst Apple took its time but hit the ground running. Apple's first-gen AirPods have become so good that they have maintained steady sales even in 2021. With Google, the situation was quite different, with the company releasing the first-gen Pixel Earbuds.
The Pixel Earbuds were neckband styled earbuds at a time when most of the competitors such as Apple and Samsung already had truly wireless options on offer. In contrast, even in 2021, the company has just one TWS to its name by the name of Pixel Buds, whilst the likes of Apple have the AirPods and AirPods Pro and Samsung have the Galaxy Buds lineup.
Today, that changed, since Google announced the Pixel Buds A-series, a product that was leaked to oblivion in a not-so first for the tech giant, with the company having tweeted about the same prematurely. They are priced at a relatively cheap $99, a decent discount over the $179 standard Pixel Buds.
The Pixel Buds A-series are now available for pre-order in the United States and Canada starting June 3, with the buds featuring a proper release on June 17. The colour options on offer are olive green, white and grey.
Pixel Buds A-Series: What Do We Know About Google's Latest Offering
In terms of specifications, it might interest you to know that despite the lower price, the sound quality, at least as per the specifications remain similar, if not equal to the normal Pixel Buds. They also offer features like hands-free “Hey Google” voice commands and an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance.
There are some cuts, especially in terms of features like wireless charging for the case and swipe controls, but that is the only major cut that a user will notice. Battery life is pretty decent, with the buds being rated at five hours with 24 hours counting recharges in the case and Google stating that a user can get up to three hours of listening time via a 15-minute quick charge.
Do note that whilst the Pixel Buds A-series look identical to the regular Pixel Buds, Google has made some changes to the design by softening the integrated ear stabilizer arcs by making them a bit smaller. Google has also taken steps in order to avoid common issues like connectivity drops and audio cutouts that plagued users using the Pixel Buds.
More importantly, the launch of the A-series Pixel Buds hint at the company's renewed hopes regarding the series and plans to continue on the truly wireless path and, given that the company sees relative success, we might even see it take drastic steps like Apple by launching a proper flagship-grade headphone.1