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Google Pixel Buds A-Series price, release date, features, and specs

google pixel buds a
(Image credit: Google )

Google has finally announced its next true wireless earbuds. The Google Pixel Buds A-Series have launched with a waitlist, and cost just $99 / £99.99 (about AU$130), making them far cheaper than the previous Pixel Buds, which cost $179 / £179 / AU$279. 

Google says the Pixel Buds A-Series will be officially released on June 17, and will come in a choice of olive green, white, or gray.

The new Pixel Buds A-Series look nearly identical to their predecessors, although there's a new 'stabilizer arc' on the inside of each earbud, which Google says "ensures a gentle, but secure fit while spatial vents prevent that plugged ear feeling".

Unfortunately, the battery life hasn't been upgraded, still coming in at five hours, with a further 19 hours provided by the charging case – although, that's still respectable, especially when you consider the price. 

Other potential cost-cutting measures include the loss of wireless charging and swipe controls, but you still get hands-free access to Google Assistant, real-time translation, and an IPX4 water-resistance rating, which mean you can use them while working out without worrying about sweat or rain.

As for the sound? In spite of the lower price, it sounds as though you'll be getting the same audio performance as the previous Pixel Buds along with the same Bass Boost feature that should make the lower frequencies in your music sound more powerful.

There's no noise cancellation, but there is an Adaptive Sound feature, which "increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings", which could come in handy if you're wearing these wireless earbuds while out and about.

Cut to the chase

  • What are they? The next true wireless earbuds from Google.
  • When will they be released? June 17, but you can join a waitlist now.
  • How much will they cost? $99 / £99.99 (about AU$130)

Google Pixel Buds A-Series release date

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series will be available to buy from June 17, though you can join a waitlist now in the US, and UK. 

You can also join that waitlist if you're in Australia, though the price is still to be confirmed in this region.

google pixel buds a

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel Buds A-Series price

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series cost just $99 / £99.99 (about AU$130), making them far cheaper than the previous Pixel Buds ($179 / £179 / AU$279).

While that new, cheaper price does come with a few concessions (no wireless charging, for example), it could make the new Pixel Buds a real competitor for the likes of the Apple AirPods

It's no real surprise that the Google Pixel Buds A-Series are less expensive than their predecessors, as the company has previously offered more budget-friendly variants of its Pixel phones with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a

Google Pixel Buds A-Series design

The new Pixel Buds A-Series look nearly identical to their predecessors, although there's a new 'stabilizer arc' on the inside of each earbud, which Google says "ensures a gentle, but secure fit while spatial vents prevent that plugged ear feeling".

They come in three colors: olive green, gray, and white. The Google Pixel Buds A-Series retain the same egg-shaped charging case as their predecessors, though there's no wireless charging – likely one way Google has kept costs down. There's also been no improvement to battery life, which comes in at 24 hours in total.

Another change: there are no more swipe controls, but you can still summon Google Assistant using your voice and use simple touch commands. For example, you can tap your earbud once to play͊/pause, twice to skip or three times to rewind. Google says the controls are identical on both earbuds, making gestures easy to remember. Finally, to change the volume you can sayͺ"Hey Google, turn up͊/down the volume."

google pixel buds a series

The 2020 Google Pixel Buds A. (Image credit: Google)

If you're making a phone call, the Pixel Buds A will use its beam forming microphones to pick up your voice that Google says will help you sound crystal clear on calls even in noisy conditions, like on a noisy street or in a home with roommates.

In the second-gen earbuds, we found that the microphone was just so-so as we had a few problems with phone calls with our friends and family, but it will be interesting to see how Google has addressed those concerns in the latest earbuds.

Google Pixel Buds A features 

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series retain a few of the features seen with the previous Pixel Buds, including hands-free access to Google Assistant, real-time translation, and an IPX4 water-resistance rating that makes them sweat-resistant.

It looks as though you'll be getting the same audio performance as the previous Pixel Buds, with 12mm dynamic drivers powering your music. However, there's a new Bass Boost feature that should make the lower frequencies in your music sound more powerful.

Unfortunately, however, there's no noise cancellation – which is to be expected at this price – but there is an Adaptive Sound feature, which "increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings".

Returning on this model is Google's Live Translation feature that we really liked from the original Pixel Buds that can facilitate a conversation between two different languages. The way it works is that you give one of the Buds to another person and ask Google to translate from one language to another. The results a few years ago weren't exceptional and often required us to repeat part or all of some sentences, but it's a neat concept that we can't wait to see return in the Pixel Buds A.

Finally, the Google Pixel Buds A have quick charging: 15ͦ minutes of charge in the case gives you up to 3 hours of listening time and an hour will give you a full charge – meaning you won't have to worry if you've forgotten to charge them before a flight.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia is TechRadar's Audio & Music Editor, covering everything from headphones to music streaming services. Based in TechRadar's London offices, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, Top Ten Reviews Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.