Jun 3rd, 2021

We thought they were coming via a random press release, then we thought they were coming at Google I/O, but now the Google Pixel Buds A-Series are officially official and are coming in two weeks. The Pixel Buds A are Google’s latest earbuds and you really won’t be able to tell them apart from the Pixel Buds that launched last year.

As the “A-Series” moniker would suggest, these are more budget-friendly earbuds that are priced at just $99 and come in two colors – Clearly White and Dark Olive. So what makes these so special and should you “upgrade” to them if you already have the Pixel Buds? Well, you might be a bit disappointed if you were hoping for some Google AirPods Pro, as these earbuds don’t feature active noise cancellation.

Battery life is rated for around five hours, which is the same as its predecessor, and Google has included fast charging. Plugging in the Pixel Buds A for 15 minutes will provide up to three hours of use, while the included case will provide a total of 24 hours of battery life. Oh, and you can only plug these in via a USB-C cable since Google ditched the wireless charging capabilities from the case.

Another potentially major change here is in how you can control your media from the touch-sensitive outer pad. With the Pixel Buds A, you’ll only be able to use tap controls, as Google has also removed the ability to use swipe gestures for things like adjusting the volume or switching between tracks. Tap gestures are fine, but it’s just another way that Google has decided to differentiate these from last year’s model.

On the bright side, there are a couple of features that are still available with the Pixel Buds A, including compatibility with Google’s Adaptive Sound. This will automatically adjust the sound levels based on what’s going on around you. You’ll also have a proximity sensor in each earbud for in-ear detection, but there’s only one sensor in the Pixel Buds A instead of the two sensors found in the standard Pixel Buds.

If you want to go for a run or hit the gym with these earbuds, you should be more than fine thanks to the IPX4 water and dust resistance rating. But you still might want to be a bit more careful, or just use something like the Jabra Elite Active 75t or the Powerbeats Pro. Nevertheless, Google’s latest headphones have finally arrived, and you’ll be able to purchase them for yourself starting on June 17th for $99.

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