Google Pixel Buds A-Series
Google may be most people’s search engine of choice, but it’s not the first name you think of when it comes to earbuds. However, these earbuds come with Google’s voice-activated assistant – imaginatively called Assistant – letting you perform voice commands such as playing music, making a call and setting alarms. It effectively places a Google Nest smart speaker in your ear.
It’s worth noting that although you can connect these earbuds to any Bluetooth 5.0 (or later) device, you’ll need to connect to a phone or tablet running Android 6.0 (or higher) to use Google Assistant.
The batteries in the buds should last for hve hours of audio playback, with 24 hours of recharging available via the case. If you’re talking on a phone call, these numbers drop to 2 hours 30 minutes and 12 hours respectively. However, a full charge only takes an hour, and even 15 minutes of charging the case provides enough for three hours of audio playback.
All the usual features of Google Assistant are present, but there are some serious benehts to having it in your ear and always available, such as real-time translation courtesy of Google Translate. However, this isn’t Douglas Adams’ Babel fish just yet (sorry fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) because it still needs your phone to show translations.
The touch controls are simple and responsive. A single tap on either bud plays or pauses your audio, a double-tap skips forward a track and a triple-tap plays the previous track. Remove either bud from your ear and audio pauses; pop them back in and it resumes. You can use Google Assistant hands-free, though, with the usual “Hey Google” or “OK Google” command. This worked every time we tried it.
Overall sound quality is impressive, particularly with vocals. They lack power in the bass sounds, even with ‘bass boost’ mode turned on, but that’s not unusual for earbuds this cheap. They don’t block or cancel background noise, either, so they’re not great in noisy environments, such as train carriages.
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 12mm dynamic speaker driver
- USB-C charging case
- 3 sizes of ear tips
- Buds: 20.7×29.3×17.5mm
- Case: 63x25x47mm
- One-year warranty
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