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Google Pixel Buds A-Series: Smart buds with balanced sound

Google Pixel Buds A-Series: Smart buds with balanced sound

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series comes in an already cluttered true wireless earbuds (TWS) market but still manages to stand out.

The storage and charging case complement the buds. The storage and charging case complement the buds.

Price: Rs 9,999

Rarely do I come across a wireless earbud that has a unique design. Most of the earbuds have a design similar to Apple AirPods -- housing a stem. Samsung has been experimenting with its design and so is Google. The Pixel Buds A-Series boasts a circular compact design that snuggly sits in the ear -- thankfully, no stem popping out of the ear. Accompanied by 3 sizes of ear tips, the default was a good fit for me.

Controls are identical on both the buds and there is no way to change or reassign -- tap on the earbud to play/pause, double-tap to skip, or tap three times to rewind the track. Single tap answers the incoming call and double-tap rejects it. There is no touch control or gesture support for volume control. However, this task can be taken care of by Google Assistant. Just saying 'Hey Google' activates the assistant that on further command can lower/increase the volume and even do more. The Voice Assistance feature comes in handy, especially during workout sessions when the hands are occupied. The water and sweat resistance is a welcome addition.

The storage and charging case complement the buds. The soft finish and compact size have a very premium hand feel and comfortably slide in the jeans pocket. The LED light indicates the pairing mode, case charging status, and the button at the rear frees pairing. However, taking buds out of the case, for the first few times, was a little tricky as I feared dropping them. However, as I used it often, it appeared less of a challenge.

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Pairing the Pixel Buds A-Series was no rocket science -- pair it from the Bluetooth settings of the smartphone.

The Pixel Buds A-Series is good for answering calls. It lacks active noise cancellation (a common in this price range these days) but it does fairly well while answering calls. More so because the fit in the ear blocked most of the outside noise. There is also an Adaptive Sound feature that tries to adjust the volume based on your environment. However, while testing the buds, about 30 per cent of the time I had to increase the volume slightly.

The lack of Pixel Buds app for iOS means no bass boost mode and no Adaptive Sound on the iPhone, which ruins the experience at times, especially in busy and loud neighbourhoods. Other than taking calls, I extensively used to replay voice recordings for my article and even podcasts. It worked well with vocals. The buds had a well-balanced sound output with pronounced vocals and balanced mids. The bass wasn't deep, for which the bass boost mode came in handy. Also, there is no equalizer. For the overall music experience, I will rate it as good, neither outstanding nor average.

I got a little over four hours of battery backup on a single charge, which is just about okay. Placing the buds in the case juices them -- in all offering two charge cycles.

The impeccably crafted Google Pixel Buds A-Series comes in an already cluttered true wireless earbuds (TWS) market but still manages to stand out.

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Published on: Nov 03, 2021, 11:21 PM IST
Posted by: Vinay Rai, Nov 03, 2021, 10:16 PM IST