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Google Pixel Buds A-series review: The smartest earphones without noise cancelling

At Rs 9,999, the Google Pixel Buds is a mid-range truly wireless earphone that brings in a lot of smart features and enhancements. Here's what we thought of their performance.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 9999
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: September 4, 2021 3:53:13 pm
Google Pixel Buds A, Google Pixel Buds A review, Google Pixel Buds A price in India, Google Pixel Buds A earphones, Google Pixel Buds A features, Google Pixel Buds A battery, Google Pixel Buds A price, Google Pixel Buds A sale(Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

Literally, every company that has anything to do with the mobile segment now has a play in the wireless earphones space too. And that is why Google is also seeking a slice of this audio pie with its Pixel Buds A Series truly wireless earphones.

The Google Pixel Buds have a slightly unique design with a charging pod that is almost oval in shape and earpods that have silicone fins to keep them in place. The pods can be charged wirelessly too and have a LED to show if they are charging or charged. There is a pairing button on the case itself, a feature that has been making a comeback this year. The fins on the earpods ensure they stay in place during rigorous workouts as well as endless Zoom calls.

Google Pixel Buds A, Google Pixel Buds A review, Google Pixel Buds A price in India, Google Pixel Buds A earphones, Google Pixel Buds A features, Google Pixel Buds A battery, Google Pixel Buds A price, Google Pixel Buds A sale The Google Pixel Buds have a slightly unique design with a charging pod that is almost oval in shape. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

I initially paired the Pixel Buds with the iPhone and it worked like a regular TWS set. However, when I paired it with a new OnePlus phone, the Buds became a different beast altogether. As soon as I opened the flap of the Buds, there was a pop up on the Android phone asking me to initiate a set-up. The process was really smooth and showed the features of the earphones. It also makes you download the Pixel Buds app, which is not available on iOS.

A look at the features that you get in the Pixel Buds app. (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/ Express image)

The Pixel Buds app lets you track the device, customise the touch controls on the earpods, adjust the equaliser and switch on adaptive sound, a feature that adjusts the volume depending on the ambient noise. This is also when you realise that the Pixel Buds don’t have the one feature that is becoming ubiquitous in earphones of this price range: noise cancelling. Given the price point and that a lot of more affordable options offer even active noise cancelling, this could be a dampener for many users. Thankfully, the design and snug fit of the ear tips does manage to keep out a lot of the noise.

But despite the lack of noise cancelling, the audio quality of the Buds is quite good. In fact, this is among the more natural audio profiles I have heard in recent times. Just the kind of audio signature you need to listen to the soul-stirring voice of Bhupinder Singh singing Ek Akela Is Shahr Main. Even a Jagjit Singh playlist sounds so good on the Pixel Buds. And when you want to amp up things there is always the option of switching on bass boost in the Pixel App.

Google Pixel Buds A, Google Pixel Buds A review, Google Pixel Buds A price in India, Google Pixel Buds A earphones, Google Pixel Buds A features, Google Pixel Buds A battery, Google Pixel Buds A price, Google Pixel Buds A sale The Pixel Buds app lets you track the device, customise the touch controls on the earpods, adjust the equaliser and switch on adaptive sound, etc. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The Pixel Buds also offer the most natural way of using Google Assistant on a wearable. Even as I was in the middle of the Jagjit Singh playlist, I just asked ‘Google, what is the weather like today’ and I got the news that Noida was going to get more rain in the day. You don’t even need to tap the earphones to do initiate this. But again, all this smartness is limited to when it is yoked to an Android phone.

Also, this smart layer means incoming calls are announced and messages are read out, making the Pixel Buds ideal for those who want to wear the earphones all day long. Also, the Pixel Buds are ideal for those on long calls as the dual mic system cuts out ambient noise and makes you heard loud and clear.

But for that, the battery will last only about five hours of playback. And as the battery becomes weak, the connectivity seems to suffer a bit with the audio getting distorted. So remember to charge this when you take a break — 15 minutes in the case is good for three more hours of listening.

At Rs 9,999, the Google Pixel Buds is a mid-range truly wireless earphone that brings in a lot of smart features and enhancements that make it ideal for the work from home environment. But it also lacks noise cancelling which a lot of WFH users needs now to cut out the noise at home. So those opting for the Pixel Buds will need to be sure about the features they are prioritising. Otherwise, for Android users, this is one of the best earphones out there is in this price range.

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