The New Google Pixel Buds A-Series Are Not Revolutionary, But They Are Much Cheaper

We have been aware of the existence of the Google Pixel Buds A-Series for some time. In fact, Google published a tweet a few weeks ago in which it revealed its design – a tweet that, shortly after, it removed. However, it has not been until now when the North American brand has officially revealed all the details of this new product.

These Pixel Buds A-Series are, in a way, an odd product. They don’t differ much from the headphones Google introduced last year. However, they are much cheaper: they go from costing 199 euros to 99 euros, half. And that, obviously, is super important to be able to gain traction in a market in which we are increasingly finding more affordable options – especially those of Chinese brands such as Xiaomi or Realme.

On the outside, the Pixel Buds A-Series is the same as the previous ones. The box takes up little space in the pocket –something very important so that they can accompany us as long as possible without bothering us–; the headphones are shaped like a candy; They are of the in-ear type (with interchangeable ear pads of different sizes); magnetically adhere to the inside of the case; they have a USB-C port on the bottom and the exterior plastic has the same matte finish as the previous model.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

The differences, on the outside, are summarized in the following:

  • The case hinge is slightly less firm on the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. They have a little slack, it offers a little less resistance when opening … They are super minor details, I have to clarify. I have given two pairs of headphones to two people who have nothing to do with the technology sector to see if they would notice these changes. They weren’t able to detect differences in hinge behavior until I pointed them out.
  • What is noticeable when holding both models in hand is the weight. The Pixel Buds A-Series are much lighter than the previous model.
  • The Pixel Buds A-Series does not have wireless charging, unlike the standard model.
  • They also don’t have two LEDs to indicate charging for the case and the headphones independently. In the Buds A-Series, we only have one outer LED.
  • Certain parts have a glossy finish instead of being matte. For example the part of the headset that is in contact with the ear or the inside of the charging box. Personally, I would prefer them to be matte as in the previous model, but it is completely subjective.
  • The Pixel Buds A-Series are available in a new shade of olive green, in addition to the traditional black we saw on the previous model.

Intelligence, simplicity and practicality

Google Pixel Buds A-Series
Beyond the previously discussed differences, the experience with the Pixel Buds A-Series has been practically identical to what I got with the original Pixel Buds. And that’s good news because everything good that those headphones had is now possible to enjoy at a lower price.

The audio quality, for example, is quite good. The new Buds also come with a bass boost mode that wasn’t available on the previous model for a while. Therefore, those people who prefer that style can activate this mode in the parallel application (available only for Android devices).

Another positive – though not exclusive – thing about the Pixel Buds A-Series is the Fast Pair system, built into all relatively modern Android devices. When you open the headphone case for the first time, you will see a dialog box requesting the pairing via Bluetooth appear on your Android device. You don’t have to navigate to the system settings like before.

When the process is complete, the headphones will be linked to your Google account. In this way, if you use a Chromebook or other device with Android, you can connect them in a matter of seconds. It is the same experience that Apple AirPods offer, basically: you link to your account and, automatically, you can use them with all the devices linked to it.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

When you open the box near the phone, you will also see a message appear indicating the battery of both the headphones and the case itself. As soon as you put them in your ear, they automatically pair with the device. And, if you remove them from your ears, the music pauses automatically thanks to the infrared sensors that each earbud has.

Google Pixel Setting
Google Pixel Settings and integrations

Also highlights of these Pixel Buds A-Series the integration of Google Assistant, which allows you to ask questions to the voice assistant while you walk down the street without touching the headphones. This is an extremely useful differential factor, especially considering that Google Assistant can get responses from any web page, allows you to remotely control your home, etc.


Finally, the Pixel Buds A-Series incorporate a function that dynamically adapts the volume level to the environment. If there is a lot of noise, increase the volume. Otherwise, lower it. This is quite useful in many situations, especially considering that these headphones do not have active noise cancellation – as they do offer alternatives such as the Galaxy Buds Pro, the AirPods Pro, or the Sony WF-100XM3 -.

When it comes to comfort, the Pixel Buds A-Series is, again, exactly the same as the previous ones . Being in-ear , they passively isolate the ear thanks to the ear pads. Three different sizes are included in the box. To achieve the best insulation and the greatest firmness once you wear them, it is essential to spend a few minutes choosing the ideal size for your ear.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

They also have a kind of tongue – I don’t know what to call it, honestly – that helps them stay in place even if you’re moving. And, like the previous generation, it has a kind of opening that equates the pressure inside the ear with that of the outside.

Personally, I find them comfortable headphones, although, in prolonged sessions, others such as the AirPods or the AirPods Pro caused me a little less fatigue. This is obviously a subjective perception, as it depends on the shape of each person’s ear, so take it with tweezers.

Finally, the Pixel Buds A-Series promises up to 24 hours of use using the charging case, a figure that is approximately met. An autonomy that, more or less, is in the same line as other competitive headphones.

Are the Google Pixel Buds A-Series worth buying?

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

The Pixel Buds A-Series, in general, is a product that convinces. They sound good, they are well built, they are quite intelligent, they integrate with the entire Google ecosystem, they are configured without headaches … It is a proposal that is not surprising given its similarities with the previous model, but that, in general, it does satisfy – especially thanks to that significant price reduction.

Again, we could say that, by their philosophy, they are the equivalent of AirPods within the Google ecosystem. And, for those looking for a more premium product than the typical affordable Xiaomi or Realme headphones, but without exceeding 100 euros, it is one of the most interesting proposals.

Google-Pixel 4 scaled
Google-Pixel 4 scaled

The only problem I find with the Pixel Buds A-Series is not related to the product itself or its quality, but to the positioning in the market. Spanish consumers seem to be divided into two groups: those who are looking for Bluetooth headphones for the least possible money (probably, under 50 euros) and those who demand specific functions such as active noise cancellation or superior audio quality, who are probably looking at the range of 200 euros, where are the AirPods Pro, the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Galaxy Buds Pro. It is a division that, with the recent improvement of cheap headphones over the last year, has been more defined than ever.

The only exception to this rule is the standard AirPods, which follow their own rules of the game. But Google, unfortunately, is not there. Therefore, although the product does convince me, it is not clear to me whether the American company will be able to succeed (in terms of sales) in that intermediate segment of the market. Time will tell.