With an almost identical design to the regular Pixel Buds, the Pixel Buds A-Series have their own identity thanks to the unique color options, Clearly White and Dark Olive. The Dark Olive colorway is much more reserved, especially compared to the salmon and mint color options of the previous model.
The case is noticeably lighter, weighing 1.9 oz versus the original’s 2.35 oz. The inside of the case is now a glossy plastic that looks cheaper, but it’s not like you’re spending all day looking at it. Small touches like the internal LED are gone, and the external LED have now moved as well.
Though pairing is quick, the Fast Pairing feature, which is supposed to prompt Pixel phones and other Android devices to immediately initiate pairing, didn’t work most of the time. Instead, I usually had to manually long press the button on the back of the case to initiate pairing. It’s a small gripe, but worth noting as it’s a highly-touted feature.
The Pixel Buds A-Series don’t sound great out of the box, but neither did the preceding Pixel Buds. Thankfully, Bass Boost, which was added in an update last year, improves the sound and makes it sound less hollow and tinny. However, even with Bass Boost on, the sound feels thinner compared to the Pixel Buds.
Marginally worse sound aside, the Pixel Buds A-Series fix the connection issues I experienced with the regular model, which persisted for me after several updates and two replacement pairs. Problems like one earbud completely disconnecting, randomly unpairing, and pairing with my phone while inside the case were all too common.
The Pixel Buds A-Series are comfortable, have good battery life, sound decent, and come in my favorite shade of green (thought they look blue in some of my photos). And the price is unbeatable. The buds lack some features, but the fixed connection issues that plagued the regular buds make up for it. Android owners, especially those with a Pixel, can rest assured that Google finally nailed it.