Pixel Buds Review

Pixel Buds Review

pixel buds review

Google Pixel Buds ASeries: You Agree To Keep Going

All smart devices now require you to accept a set of terms before you are able to use them. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. Because these agreements are not easy to read or negotiate, we counted how many times each device had to be used.

Without requiring you to sign anything, you can pair up and listen to Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series. There are a few mandatory terms and conditions to installing Pixel Buds.

Google Privacy Policy Google Device Arbitration agreement

(for US customers) Google Assistant also collects data “such as your device contacts or activity on Google sites and apps, to provide better, more helpful answers through the Google Assistant. Google can also share information from third-party apps, as per their privacy policies.

I’ve already talked about wireless charging being discontinued, but the other sacrifices Google made for $99 are less obvious. Now, the gestures of swipe forward and back that allowed you to easily adjust volume on your Pixel Buds have been lost. You’re restricted to tapping for track control. A-Series Earbuds are also rid of the “experimental” Attention Alerts feature. This could have detected specific sounds like baby crying, dogs barking, or sirens. The LED on the back of the Pixel Buds cases (to show the charge status) has also been lost. I find these omissions to be very understandable. Google at least has preserved important features such as IPX4 water, sweat resistance, and other critical vitals. The A-Series Pixel Buds still have a strong presence for voice calls. They feature dual beamforming microphones which do an excellent job at picking out your voice from noisy surroundings and maintaining clarity while on phone calls or conference calls. Google Assistant voice commands were recognized clearly and loudly.

It’s also been carried over from 2020 Pixel Buds. This feature automatically adjusts the volume depending on where you are. The feature works fairly well. It only activates if there is a sustained change in ambient noise. I am old-school, and prefer to manage volume rather than having algorithms. Fast Pair allows you to set up your Pixel Buds A-Series quickly. It is available as a companion app in Pixel smartphones. However, it can be downloaded from the Play Store to other Android phones. With it, you can locate your earbuds, toggle settings like bass boost and in-ear detection (another thing Google didn’t skimp on), or check battery levels for the earbuds and case. No such app exists for iOS, however.

By holding onto a lot of what worked best on the 2020 Pixel Buds namely sound quality and hands-free voice controls and improving other parts that didn’t, Google has ended up with an appealing set of $99 earbuds. Even though the Pixel Buds A-Series don’t address the most significant issue, which dragged down their more costly older sibling, it does reduce the cost of the earbuds. However the volume at which your songs compete with outside noises will cause some to turn off the earbuds. But even with some of the things Google left out, you’re getting a better overall product for less money.

pixel buds review

Agree To Continue: Google Pixel Buds (2020)

Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it contracts that no one actually reads. These agreements are too numerous for us and we can’t read them all. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

Without having to sign anything, you can pair up and listen to Google’s Pixel Buds. There are a few mandatory terms and conditions to installing Pixel Buds.

Google Privacy Policy Google Device Arbitration.

Google Assistant can also track data (for US customers) “such as activity on Google Sites and Apps, or device contacts” to help provide you with better, more comprehensive answers. Google may have to share data with third party services as per their privacy policies if they offer those services through Google services.

Pixel Buds experience worse connections stability issues than most other earbuds.

Photo taken by Becca Farsace/TheVerge. While Pixel Buds aren’t able to connect simultaneously with Jabra’s 75t, they can switch between devices that have been paired. The earbuds can be removed to pause the music. When watching videos on my phone, I couldn’t pick up on any voice sync issues. Pixel Buds are equipped with beamforming microphones and an accelerometer that can detect jaw movement, and thus speech. These do a great job at making your voice clear and audible to others on the other end. They’re not the best of the bunch (as you’ll hear in Becca’s video), but your voice will at least be consistently intelligible.

The software aspect of the Pixel Buds is still useful. They can put Google Assistant in your ear, and keep you up to date on all notifications that come in. Now Assistant can be spoken to hands-free, which makes it even more convenient. After saying “Hey Google”, you’ll get a chime. This will allow you to ask the weather and request music. Assistant can also control your smart devices. You can do all this with your hands free, which is quite a perk. Fast Pair on Android allows the Pixel Buds to mimic AirPods’ seamless setup. When you place the Pixel Buds next to your iPhone, a screen appears to allow them to pair (and then link to your Google Account). You can check the battery status by opening the case next to your device.

pixel buds review

There are other things you may like

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Beats Fit Pro: Review

Beats also offers the Beats Fit Pro, another Android- and iPhone-friendly headset. Beats eliminates any potential problems with the buds’ quirky wing tips. Beats offers an intuitive ear tip test which will ensure they fit perfectly. The earbuds have other top features such as active noise cancelling, onboard controls and automatic detection. This Beats earbuds have a unique shape that is sure to please.

Who’s the Beats Fit pro for?

Fit Pro headphones are compact and easy to use for iPhone users who need them.

Android users can get as many benefits from the Beats Fit Pro as iPhone customers.

pixel buds review

Audio Experience

… a couple of steps down but much the same

While the sound quality after extensive burn-in can be rated as quite good, it isn’t as rich as the Pixel Buds 2020. As our own Ben Schoon noted in his initial review , there is just something lacking in the sound profile on the Pixel Buds A-Series.

However, this isn’t a denial of audio quality. A-Series are able to deliver solid audio at a reasonable price. Bass response is good and I would say the profile is fairly neutral even with the Bass Boost feature enabled. Not having ANC is not too much of an issue in my experience as the shape and size mean a good seal blocks out tons of background noise. I can just about hear really low rumbles, but the passive isolation is still really solid.

While I am not certain if others have mentioned this, the sounds and activations have been reduced compared with the original Buds. Tapping to pause/play audio is more natural and easier than tapping to activate Google Assistant.

Here’s my beef with earbuds, and all touch controls. Tapping and interfacing directly with an earbud can make it painful and difficult. Its excellent integration with Google Assistant is the Pixel Buds ASeries’ ace in the hole.

Not having to tap to control volume or skip tracks alone is pretty excellent, but having all of the other Assistant features is the icing atop the cake. It’s probably something you already knew, but this is still a great feature. The Pixel Buds Aseries elevates even more expensive earbuds to the top of the pile. However, voice commands are not required if you prefer using voice commands. Maybe one day we’ll get both, but for now, the trade-off is fairly valid.

The biggest problem is, to be fair, the volume swipe. This is the only interaction I use and works so well that it can be used on Pixel Buds. The A-series’ inability to allow you adjust volume without reaching for your phone, or activating Assistant makes this tedious. A quick task can be reduced to one that takes 10-15 seconds using voice commands, or requires you to fumble for your phone in others.

pixel buds review

Google Pixel Buds ASeries Sound Quality & Features

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Google maintained a high level of sound quality, despite A-Series prices at $100. Although the sounds signatures of the Pixel Buds cost more, I was able to confirm that the company uses the same 12-mm drivers. Although I was glad to hear that other people have experienced the same, they didn’t say it as loudly.

Pixel Buds A-Series feature a neutral sound signature. The A-Series doesn’t stress bass. This could be confusing or monotonous depending on source material. However, the A-Series have the same “Bass Boost”, which was eventually added to the regular Pixel Buds. These little low-end boosts are great for hip hop and house music. But I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who is primarily concerned with loud, electronic beats.

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Google was able to cut down on the cost of one sensor for the Pixel Buds when they designed the A-Series. Additionally, there is one fewer microphone. The so-called Attention Alerts are no longer available on Pixel Buds. They can be used to replace a transparent mode on traditional devices like the iPhone. Attention Alerts weren’t really useful to me. They are, however, very limited in their effectiveness to baby crying, dog barking, emergency vehicle siren, and other noises.

They can be used as an Android device, so they are very easy to install. Sound quality will also work, although it may not impress you.

While the A-Series isn’t affected by the sensor removal, there are still some features that I like. For example, auto-play/pause still works when one Bud is taken out. Also, Google Assistant is an essential feature of Buds. This is because you cannot adjust volume with your phone without it. You can’t disable Google Assistant from receiving incoming notifications. However, you will be stuck with the volume being reduced slightly whenever a coworker message you via Slack. Not ideal.

pixel buds review


Adaptive Sound in is currently under construction


Battery life

No audio customization

This new set of Pixel Buds has a first-of-its kind feature: it is wireless. They are smaller than the originals but retain the same shape. Chris Velazco, Chris’s colleague in the review, noted that the original design had two parts. This meant half the bud would stick out from your ears. Because the tip goes in your ear canal, the new ones don’t stick as far out. Also, they are more secure and can block out any ambient noises better.

Speaking of fit, Google replaced the cord hoop on top of the first Pixels Buds with a more traditional fin. You’ll see it on most earbuds (wired and wireless). This fin is made from rigid rubber so that it helps hold the Pixel Buds together. I have never once felt that these would ever fall out during cardio training. The new Pixel Buds have IPX4 ratings, so they can withstand sweat while you run or do any other activity.

You can wear the Pixel Buds for long time because of their compact size. It is a great idea to have something in your ears. However, it’s important that the Pixel Buds are small and light. These were very comfortable. I could wear them for hours, and they never made me feel more tired than I should have. The earbuds feel small and lightweight like the Jabra Elite 75t Samsung Galaxy Buds+. These are two more sets of earbuds which can be worn long periods of time, but they’re much easier than many of their competitors.

pixel buds review

The Who it Isn’T for

You can spend less than $150 on a pair earbuds

To cancel active noise,

For extra long battery life, the earbuds

When I reviewed the Pixel Buds in April they received an incredible score. They have improved since with an update to their firmware that fixes bugs. I am glad the main problems at launch were addressed. It allows me, with just one caveat, to still recommend the Pixel Buds. These are fantastic true wireless earbuds.

True wireless earbuds are expensive at $180. This is especially true when so many other great choices can be found for far less. As I mentioned before, the Pixel Buds feel more than their parts every day. It is easy to use and very efficient for the eyes, ears and hands. The little niceties of auto-adjusting volume, great touch controls, top-notch mics and good spoken notifications are useful every single day. This is a costly pair of headphones, but it’s well worth it.

Google Pixel Buds: Worth it?

The new Google Pixel Buds are a legit option for just about anyone, and if you use the Google Assistant or just want something that’s well-made (and not the AirPods) then these are a good choice. … Android users finally have their AirPods competition.

Are Pixel Buds A Noise Cancelling?

Google’s Pixel Buds also uses software and hardware to adapt to your environment, but that’s more for real-time volume adjustments. It lacks active noise cancellation, so it is $50 less than the AirPods Pro. August 26, 2021

Can Pixel Buds Be Comfortable in a Series?

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series is lightweight and comfortable, which makes it easy to wear for long periods.Sep 14, 2021

Does Running Cause Pixel Buds to Fall Out?

The adaptive sound feature, an audio function that adjusts volume to suit your surroundings, is another unique option. If you run past a busy traffic intersection, adaptive sound will adjust the volume to compensate.

.Pixel Buds Review