In a nutshell: Google has introduced a new version of its truly wireless Pixel Buds featuring a low-profile design at a more affordable price point. Based on feedback from early reviews, they look to be a solid value for the price, so long as you’re willing to give up a couple of premium features like active noise canceling and wireless charging.
The new Pixel Buds A-Series feature custom-designed 12mm dynamic drivers with optional bass boost functionality and adaptive sound that can increase or decrease the volume automatically based on your surroundings. They are housed inside enclosures featuring a stabilizer arc for a “gentle, but secure fit” that also utilize spatial vents to prevent that “plugged ear feeling.”
Like the original Pixel Buds, the new Series-A model also uses beamforming mics to cut down on background noise during voice calls and has the Google Assistant built in for hands-free help.
Battery life is rated at up to five hours of listening time on a single charge, or up to 24 hours when using the charging case. A quick 15-minute charge in the case can supply up to three hours of listening time, Google notes.
The buds also carry an IPx4 water resistance rating, although the fine print says water resistance is not a permanent condition and may be compromised by normal wear and tear, repair or disassembly.
Pixel Buds A-Series are available to pre-order in the US and Canada as of writing in your choice of clearly white or dark olive for $99. Look for them to ship on June 17.