As usual for Google hardware, the new Pixel Buds A-Series have already been extensively leaked, and the company even tweeted about them prematurely. But today, the earbuds are being officially announced. They’re priced at $99, a significant savings compared to the $179 standard Pixel Buds, and are available for preorder in the United States and Canada starting now. Google says the Pixel Buds A-Series be released on June 17th. They come in either olive green or white and gray.
Despite their much lower cost, the Pixel Buds A-Series retain the same sound quality as the 2020 Pixel Buds. They also still offer hands-free “Hey Google” voice commands and are rated IPX4 for water and sweat resistance. Google has slashed some features of the prior earbuds — like wireless charging for the case and swipe controls for volume — but the Pixel Buds A-Series don’t skimp on much else.
Battery life is rated at five hours (24 hours counting recharges in the case), and Google says you can get up to three hours of listening time with a 15-minute quick charge.
While the Pixel Buds A-Series look practically identical to the regular Pixel Buds, Google has tweaked the design by softening the integrated ear hooks / stabilizer arcs and making them a bit smaller. The company has also taken steps to avoid the connectivity bugs and audio cutouts that still affect some owners of its last earbuds. And the Pixel Buds A-Series can crank louder in overall volume.
Did Google succeed in making a must-have pair of $99 earbuds? Well, I’ve actually been using the Pixel Buds A-Series for a few days now, and you can read the full review right now.