The Apple AirPods weren’t the primary true wi-fi earphones, however they’ve arguably outlined the class, and are in style the world over. However, Apple has been clear about one factor from the very starting: AirPods are made for use with Apple units, and particularly should be related to an iOS machine to unlock their complete characteristic set. While there are many true wi-fi headsets that permit comparable options and customisation by apps on Android, the platform has been lacking a ‘hero’ product within the true wi-fi section in India – till now.
The Google Pixel Buds A-Series is the primary within the firm’s vary of true wi-fi merchandise to formally launch in India, and is priced at Rs. 9,999. In reality, it is a extra inexpensive model of the Pixel Buds 2, which has not launched right here. Although pretty easy in its characteristic set in comparison with different choices at this value, the Pixel Buds A-Series is designed to work significantly nicely with Android units and Google Assistant specifically. Is there sufficient to this headset to justify the value, or does it fall in need of the competitors? Find out on this assessment.
Hands-free entry to Google Assistant on the Google Pixel Buds A-Series
Although its value may lead many to check the Google Pixel Buds A-Series to choices such because the OnePlus Buds Pro and Oppo Enco X, this is not essentially the most correct illustration of the place these earphones slot in. Instead, I might contemplate the earphones to be positioned much like the AirPods collection from Apple, however with a give attention to Google’s Android working system and never simply Google Pixel smartphones.
That mentioned, due to Bluetooth connectivity, it is potential to make use of the Google Pixel Buds A-Series with nearly any appropriate machine, together with computer systems and iOS units. However, your entire set of options will not work in case you aren’t utilizing an Android smartphone, and you may solely be capable of use the core performance of the headset – that’s, listening to audio, and hands-free communications on the paired machine.
Pairing the earphones with an Android machine permits for customisable settings by the Pixel Buds app, and allows you to use Google Assistant hands-free simply as you’d with a sensible speaker. The pairing course of includes linking the earphones to your Google account utilizing Google Fast Pair. This permits you to see an on-screen pop-up in your cellphone with the battery ranges of each the earpieces and the charging case each time you join.
When it involves design and styling, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series would not look very completely different from earlier fashions within the Pixel Buds vary. Both earpieces have an in-canal match, mounted rubber ear hooks for consolation and maintain, and spherical, plastic outer sides with the Google brand prominently displayed. The space across the Google logos is touch-sensitive, and can be utilized to regulate playback, answering and ending calls, and invoking Google Assistant.
I discovered the earphones comfy, with respectable passive noise isolation. The match would not block out ambient sound as successfully as most in-canal becoming earphones can, however this appears to be a deliberate alternative by Google. The match permits for sufficient ambient sound to filter by even when music is taking part in, letting you utilize the Pixel Buds A-Series safely open air. There’s no lively noise cancellation or hear-through mode on these earphones.
The Google Pixel Buds A-Series earpieces are IPX4 rated for water resistance, and use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity with help for the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The earphones have 12mm dynamic drivers, and sensors for in-ear detection. In India, the Pixel Buds A-Series might be out there in only a single color, Clearly White, although you additionally get it within the Dark Olive color in different international locations.
Battery life on the Google Pixel Buds A-Series is respectable sufficient for a real wi-fi headset on this value vary. The earpieces ran for round 4 hours, half-hour per cost, with the charging case topping them up slightly below 4 occasions over, for a complete of round 22 hours of listening per cost cycle. My use primarily concerned listening to music, with a few calls per day and infrequently invoking Google Assistant for easy instructions. Heavier use of Google Assistant and extra time on voice calls will drain the battery a bit faster.
All-round listening expertise on the Google Pixel Buds A-Series
While most true wi-fi headsets have their core give attention to the music listening expertise, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series guarantees a extra all-round utilization expertise. It’s centred round including good connectivity to your earphones, and supplying you with the expertise that good audio system such because the Google Nest Audio supply. That mentioned, the earphones do sound respectable as nicely, with a fairly balanced sonic signature that offers a little bit of a push to the mids and highs.
Google Assistant on the Pixel Buds A-Series is full-fledged, and certainly works identical to on a sensible speaker so long as your paired smartphone has an excellent Internet connection. Hands-free performance works nicely, with the earphones suitably receptive to the ‘OK Google’ and ‘Hey Google’ wake phrases, and in a position to perceive voice instructions even in considerably noisy environments.
I used to be in a position to alter machine controls together with quantity and playback, ask for particular tracks to be performed, and likewise obtain personalised responses to queries and requests linked to my account. I discovered it significantly helpful to have the ability to alter the quantity with voice instructions, since this cannot be carried out with the contact controls.
The music listening expertise was largely on par with what I’ve heard from the AirPods (second technology) and several other choices within the sub-Rs. 10,000 value vary by way of high quality. The Google Pixel Buds A-Series would not push bass as impressively because the OnePlus Buds Pro, or is not as detailed and revealing because the Oppo Enco X, but it surely strives to offer an all-round expertise that covers the everyday all-day utilization sample.
Listening to Butterflies by Skrillex, Starrah, and Four Tet, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series supplied a clear, detailed sound. The quick beats of this home observe did not fairly really feel as tight and attacking as on the OnePlus Buds Pro, however as an alternative had a extra mild and refined really feel. Although no superior Bluetooth codecs are supported, the sound in all fairness detailed, and these earphones have been in a position to maintain tempo with the observe with out shedding out on any cohesiveness and character.
The mid-range response is especially good, permitting for vocals and speech to shine by. Watching voice-centric content material reminiscent of YouTube movies and a few motion pictures and TV exhibits utilizing the earphones was an excellent expertise, with the sound loud, clear, and detailed. This additionally made for significantly good efficiency with gradual, simple tracks reminiscent of I Don’t Trust Myself by John Mayer, giving the vocals an opportunity to shine with out shedding out an excessive amount of on the melodious guitar riffs and beats.
Performance on calls can be superb; I used to be in a position to place and obtain calls simply utilizing voice instructions to Google Assistant, and sound high quality was glorious. Moderate volumes at across the 70 % mark made for a loud, detailed, and wealthy listening expertise.
Objectively, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series is a fairly good headset, offered you’ve gotten an Android smartphone. You get respectable sound high quality for music and calls, affordable battery life, good consolation, and respectable voice assistant responsiveness, all of which mix to make the Google Pixel Buds A-Series nicely suited to all-day use. If you are in search of seamless connectivity and performance with Google Assistant, this can be a appropriate Android-friendly different to the AirPods vary.
However, at Rs. 9,999, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series would not fairly match as much as the competitors in its section with regards to options and sound high quality; notably there isn’t any lively noise cancellation or wi-fi charging – which at the moment are widespread options on true wi-fi earphones on this value vary. You may subsequently need to contemplate options such because the OnePlus Buds Pro and Oppo Enco X, except you very particularly need the options and styling that Google gives with the Pixel Buds A-Series.