Google Pixel Buds A: Everything we know so far
Five 'Google Pixel Buds A' stories
March 2021 - April 2021
Google is preparing a new set of true wireless earbuds for 2021, the “Pixel Buds A,” just one year after the most recent model launched.
Table of contents
Features: What features and specs will Google Pixel Buds A have?
Design and dimensions
The first source of information we had for the Google Pixel Buds A was a pair of FCC listings, full of technical documents about the testing of the new earbuds. One tidbit we found is that each individual bud of the new Pixel Buds will measure in at 27 x 20 x 15mm, which is almost exactly the same dimensions as last year’s set — excluding the rubber eartips. From this, we could guess that Google may not be shaking up the design with the Pixel Buds A.
From our own reporting, we can confirm that the Pixel Buds A and their charging case should look almost identical to last year’s earbuds, but in two new color schemes, white and green. Where the 2020 earbuds featured prominent black accents both on the buds themselves and the inside of the charging case, the Pixel Buds A color scheme will carry on throughout the design.
Thanks to an email from Google Nest, we’ve actually gotten an early look at what the Pixel Buds A look like in their forest green colorway. From what we can see, the green seems to be distinctly darker than the “Sorta Sage” seen on the Pixel 5. Additionally, we can see that the interior of the charging case uses an even darker shade of green, where the second-generation Pixel Buds case had an all-black interior.
The email, which highlights new features coming to Google devices, contains links to the Google Store at the bottom with the Pixel Buds A listed over “Accessories.”
This small image gives us our first full glance at the new headphones, which is more thoroughly colored across the earbuds, wing tips, and charging case.
Like both generations of Made by Google earbuds before them, the Pixel Buds A will offer touch controls for both media controls and access to the Google Assistant. The touch controls themselves should be almost identical, if not exactly the same as last year.
The biggest known improvement of these new Pixel Buds over the previous model was also laid out in the FCC documentation.
The most important tidbit we’ve spotted is that Google may be attempting to address the somewhat frequent disconnection issues with the current Pixel Buds. While these new Pixel Buds use the exact same Bluetooth bands as the current generation, the power output is significantly higher — 8mW/16mW on 2020 Pixel Buds versus 13.24mW/19.82mW on this new model. This should help boost the signal strength, reducing the likelihood of disconnects.
High-end or low-end?
One of the bigger lingering questions is whether these new Pixel Buds will be a higher-end revamp of last year’s pair or a low-end set meant to complement the affordable Pixel 5a. On the high end, the Pixel Buds lineup could certainly use a model with noise cancellation to compete with models from Apple and Samsung. Meanwhile, on the lower end, the current $179 price tag of the Pixel Buds is a bit steep for someone buying a $350 phone.
So far, the only clue we have to the answer to this question is the “Pixel Buds A” name itself. Considering the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a before it, it’s possible that the “A” designation means these new earbuds will be more affordable than the flagship set.
Release date: When will Google Pixel Buds A come out?
Last year’s Pixel Buds released in late April after being announced six months earlier at Made by Google 2019. It’s possible that the Pixel Buds A could launch in the same window, or perhaps closer to May when Google traditionally intends to release their Pixel “a” phone for the year. It’s impossible to know for certain at this point.
One thing we do know is that Google will almost certainly unveil the Pixel Buds A somewhere in the spring or summer season. The images in the FCC listings for the Pixel Buds A are listed as confidential until mid-September 2021, weeks before the usual Made by Google event window.