It’s been a while but Google’s Pixel buds finally keep their date with India. The earlier generations of Pixel buds have divided opinions especially on the case design front but the A-Series buds that made their global debut in June seem to have ironed out some of those cribs, with a product that ticks most boxes. They’re also the most affordable True Wireless (TWS) earbuds from Google. These buds land with the same price tag as the OnePlus Pro buds that went on sale just a few days ago in India. Does the A-series deserve to be on your radar? 

 

Are you one of those who is guilty of using your earbuds case as a fidget toy? You’re not alone. The A-series case is just perfect for those multiple clicks and wins our approval with its soft and smooth finish. It’s also ultra-compact, designed to slip into your tiniest pockets. The design sensibilities extend to the buds too. The distinctive element here is the stabiliser arc – a tiny extension of the earbud, that keeps the bud securely in your ear. This is a practical design touch, one that I found handy during my gym workout or even while wearing on a tee when the buds were already in my ears. They don’t fall of easily.   

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Just like most rivals, these buds come with three pairs of silicon tips in the box for the perfect ear fit and ear seal to shut out external sounds. I also found these buds comfortable to wear for long periods of time, something WFH warriors who spend all day in online meetings will appreciate. Google claims a battery life of 5 hours for the buds; we found that fairly accurate in our tests. You get 24 hours with the charging case included. The case charges in quick time – a 15-minute charge gives you about three hours of listening time. We would have liked to see a wireless charging option that some of its rivals offer at a similar price point.  

 

Google Assistant is an integral part of the Pixel Buds experience. No surprises here. I found the ‘on the fly’ translation tool particularly useful, something you might use once global travel patterns slowly get back to normal. I paired these buds with an iPhone 12 Pro Max and a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. While pairing was a breeze, the Android experience with the companion App (Pixel Buds app) offers more customisations and options. The buds offer the standard skip track and stop/play options.  

Sound quality is quite impressive for the price. These buds feature 12mm dynamic drivers, I found a marked difference with ‘Bass boost’ activated. I tried these buds with a mix of podcasts, electronic and rock music; the results were quite impressive. Google is betting big on its adaptive sound that automatically tweak volume levels depending on your external environment. It’s a clever tweak and a feature that actually works. I found it particularly useful during an outdoor workout. While there’s no ANC (Active noise cancellation) mode, these buds do a reasonably good job of isolating you from external sounds.  

 

One of the key considerations for customers looking at earbuds is call quality. It’s an area where these buds score. These buds boast of dual ‘beamfoaming’ microphones, my callers could hear me clearly despite external sounds in the background. Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series get many key elements right – they’re thoughtfully designed, offer excellent call quality and deliver great sound especially with the bass boost mode activated. If you’re an Android user, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series are among the best you can buy at this price point. 

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series cost Rs 9,999 and are available in Clearly White. There’s a special launch offer of Rs 8,999 or Rs 4,999 if you buy it bundled with a Google Pixel 4a.