As usual for Google hardware, the new Pixel Buds A series has already been extensively leaked and the company even tweeted about it prematurely. But today the earbuds are officially announced. They cost $99, a significant saving compared to the standard $179 Pixel Buds, and are available for pre-order now in the United States and Canada. Google says the Pixel Buds A series will be released on June 17. They are available in olive green or white and gray.
Despite their much lower cost, the Pixel Buds A-Series maintain the same sound quality as the 2020 Pixel Buds. They also still offer hands-free “Hey Google” voice commands and have an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance. Google has trimmed down some features from the earlier earbuds – like wireless charging for the case and swipe buttons for volume – but the Pixel Buds A series doesn’t skimp on much else.
Battery life is five hours (24 hours on a charge in the case), and Google says you can get up to three hours of listening time with a 15-minute quick charge.
While the Pixel Buds A-Series look practically identical to the regular Pixel Buds, Google has tweaked the design by softening and slightly smaller the integrated ear hooks/stabilizer arches. The company has also taken steps to avoid the connectivity bugs and audio cutouts that still affect some owners of its latest earbuds. And the Pixel Buds A-Series can crank up volume louder in general.
Has Google managed to make an indispensable pair of $99 earbuds? Well, I’ve been using the Pixel Buds A Series for a few days now and you can read the full review now.