Google Pixel Buds – A Series Review
Wireless earbuds are one of the newest musts, especially as devices are less and less likely to have headphone jacks and as we all move to wireless. But with that, comes a massive range of price points and quality, and competing wants for headphone wearers. The Google Pixel Buds- A Series, a new addition to their accessory slate, come to please as many of us as possible. They are full up with features, sleek and comfortable, and sit in the middle of the pack on price point.
The Google Pixel Buds – A Series come with the features you want from a premium product, setting them apart and justifying the price jump from buds made by companies not linked to mobile devices. They have the bells and whistles of higher quality buds including connecting automatically when you remove them from the case, sensing when they’re your ears, and adjusting to a single earbud when one is removed. They not only pair with Android devices, they pair with iOS or any other Bluetooth 4.0 device. I connected to them using the regular Bluetooth settings and they worked great on my Windows Surface Laptop and my MacBook Pro.
Though they connect and work great with most devices, they really shine when connected to an Android. When pairing, you’ll be prompted to download the app (an extra step, but it’s only for the setup and not for regular use). The app allows you to customize the controls for things like changing your music and triggering the Google Assistant. There is full Google Assistant integration which allows seamless hands-free control of your device. This extra functionality makes it worth grabbing a branded product for android users. You can also use added features when connected to a ‘droid like Adaptive Sound and opting into “find my device” so you can use your phone or browser to locate the buds if you misplace them.
“The all-important battery life of the Pixel Buds – A Series is on fire here.”
The sound quality is as good as I’ve heard on wireless buds. They boast, “Custom-designed speaker drivers give you powerful bass and crisp highs,” and they truly sound great. Though, in use, I found they didn’t do a great job filtering out background noise. While walking and talking, the person on the other end could hear street noise, and I tested them for the all-to-common video chat movie watch, and my pals were able to hear the TV from my end. That said, this is how all my wired buds perform, so it wasn’t a killer, but they didn’t have the magical filtering some competitors claim to.
The all-important battery life of the Pixel Buds – A Series is on fire here. Per their website, you can “Get up to 5 hours of listening time or 2.5 hours of talk time on a single charge, and listen for up to 24 hours with the charging case.” Assuming you pop them in the case between uses, there should be no problem with long term use. You can track the charge on your phone, so it’s easy to know when to plug them in. With a lot of time spent socializing online, 2.5 hours of talk time isn’t a huge amount of time (mine died during a 2-hour video chat), so it will be worth testing the mileage for things like zoom convos and movie watches if they will be an integral part of use.
One note about this series of bud is that it is designed to “stay in while you work out.” They have a design made to sit flush to the ear and come with “three eartip sizes and a stabiliser arc.” That’s the big winner for me. My ear shape/ size is rarely conducive to earbuds, and I find they pop out of my ears and are super uncomfortable. (I still use out of production apple wired earphones because they’re the only ones that fit me). I am pleased to report these stayed in my ears! I walked around, went for a light jog, and wore these bad boys with no issue. The only time they started to pop out is if I wore them while chewing, but that’s still a huge improvement over any other in-ear style headphone. The buds are generally low profile and are less bulky than some other midrange wireless buds. They’re sleek and easy to wear, and will def appeal to people who’ve gotten frustrated with bulky wireless devices.
The Google Pixel Buds – A Series are an incredible option for anyone looking to go wireless, specifically those with Android devices looking for added functionality. They work well, they stay in your ears, have premium features, all for the middle-of-the-road price point. If you can make them work, they’re absolutely worth holding out for.