From rumor to reality, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series have arrived here in the office and we’re doing what we do with new tech: unboxing them! This is a full-blown unboxing and first impressions, so there are a few answers I don’t yet have for many of you out there. Mainly, I can’t speak to long-term connectivity issues that cropped up with the original Pixel Buds. What I can cover, however, is the feel, look, and functionality these earbuds offer versus their predecessor and the vaunted AirPods Pro. So, let’s take a look, shall we?
Overall, the Pixelbuds A-Series are a chip off the old block. They look and feel very much like the originals and keep much of what made those earbuds great. We lose the volume controls and wireless charging, but capacitive taps are still there to get your play/pause, Google Assistant, and track skipping taken care of. The fit feels a bit more comfortable as well thanks to a slightly softer fin on the back side of the earbuds. I actually wore them all morning and had no ear fatigue whatsoever. That’s not something I could say of the last-gen model. Oh, and they sound just as good as the 1st-gen Pixel Buds – which is to say fantastic.
Unfortunately, I tested the lag on these and the same lag that plagues the originals is still here and I can’t understand why. Very inexpensive earbuds have lag-free gaming available, so it makes no sense that Google can’t get this sorted out. On a more positive note, however, my early testing on connectivity is yielding very positive results so far. The last-gen Pixel Buds were prone to disconnect at any given time and I could only get about halfway across the office before they completely stopped working. This time around, I was able to leave my phone by the window and go to every single corner of the office with no drops in sound at all.
Along with that improved connectivity we still have the stellar setup and pairing process. My OnePlus 8T picked them up immediately via Fast Pair and the Pixel Buds app that has been lingering on my phone took care of the rest. The deep and intuitive integration was fantastic to see and it is something I’ve sorely missed while using the AirPods Pro with my Android phones for the past year. The setup experience alone was almost enough to make me ditch my Apple-made buds, but the gaming lag I just referenced is enough to keep me away until it is fixed.
While I can’t make the Pixel Buds A-Series my one and only go-to earbuds, I will be using them a lot over the next week or so in preparation for a full review. The early impressions are really good, though, and I think Google has a very solid package on offer here for just $99. They trimmed the fat where needed and like they do with the A-series of Pixel phones, they’ve kept the Pixel experience intact. From unboxing to setup to use, these are fantastic earbuds that many of you are going to love, I think. Get subscribed so you don’t miss the review.