Google cuts the cost of true wireless Pixel Buds with $99 A-Series
We've known that Google has been readying a new version of its Pixel Buds true wireless earphones for a few months now, but now the budget-friendly A-Series has finally been officially revealed – sporting custom drivers, improved connectivity, and access to Assistant.
The Pixel Buds A-Series true wireless earphones rock custom-designed 12-mm dynamic drivers for "full, clear and natural sound, with the option for even more power in those low tones with Bass Boost," and are vented to reduce in-ear pressure and for spatial awareness.
The Fast Pair functionality carries over from last year's earphones, promising quicker connection with Android audio sources, and where connection stability issues were reported for the previous Pixel Buds, each A-Series earpiece individually connects to the audio source over Bluetooth 5.0 for the promise of "strong individual transmission power, to keep your sound clear and uninterrupted."
Dual beamforming microphones are used to focus on a user's voice during calls and keep outside noise down for clearer comms, though true wireless earphones are typically not top performers in this regard so we'd have to try the new Buds out ourselves before commenting on call-taking performance.
Each Bud weighs in at just 0.18 oz (5 g), is IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant, and sports a (non-removable) stabilizer arc and a choice of three sets of eartips to help it stay put during a workout or quick dashes in the rain. There's no active noise cancellation here, but Adaptive Sound will automatically adjust volume to match a user's surroundings.
Elsewhere, there's capacitive touch control on the outer surface, playback will pause when a bud is removed from the ear thanks to an IR proximity sensor, and Google Assistant is on tap for voice interaction, with such things as real-time translation in more than 40 languages (when used with an Android 6.0+ phone), spoken directions, and more on offer.
The earbuds are reckoned good for up to five hours of music listening per charge, or half that for constant chatting, but with the help of the charging case, those figures go up to 24 hours and 12 hours, respectively. For music lovers in a hurry, a 15-minute top up can result in three hours of playback (which again is cut in half for talk time).
The Pixel Buds A-Series come in "Clearly White" or "Dark Olive" and go on sale from June 17 for that low price tag of $99.
Product page: Pixel Buds A-Series