No Headphone Jack on the Google Pixel 7a? How to Play Audio With Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
The recently released Google Pixel 7a smartphone delivers premium features at an affordable price point. However, one missing element that may disappoint some users is the lack of a 3.5mm pixel 7a headphone jack.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for wirelessly listening to audio on the Pixel 7a via Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. This guide explains everything you need to know.
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Overview of the Pixel 7a Headphone Jack Audio Capabilities
The Pixel 7a contains stereo speakers that provide solid sound quality for a mid-range smartphone. However, to privately listen to music, podcasts, and more, you’ll need to use Bluetooth headphones or purchase a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.
Here are some key facts about the Pixel 7a’s audio features:
- Stereo speakers with decent volume and clarity
- Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity for wireless headphones/earbuds
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- USB-C port for wired headphone adapters
So while the missing headphone jack may be an inconvenience, wireless Bluetooth accessories provide a good alternative.
Top Bluetooth Headphone Recommendations
There is an abundant variety of Bluetooth headphones and earbuds to pair with your Pixel 7a. Choices range from budget options under $50 to premium models over $200.
We’ve compiled suggestions across four categories to suit different needs and budgets:
True Wireless Earbuds
True wireless earbuds provide the most portable listening experience. Here are top options:
Google Pixel Buds Pro – Excellent integration and sound with Pixel devices. Active noise cancelation, up to 11 hours battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 – Impressive overall performance with deep bass. Comfy fit, 20 hours total battery with case.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro – Very affordable but still high-quality audio. Active noise canceling available.
JBL Live Free 2 – Sweatproof and durable. Decent noise isolation for workouts. Up to 7 hours playtime per charge.
Over-ear headphones cover your whole ear and often provide richer sound quality.
Recommended models include:
Sony WH-1000XM5 – Class-leading noise canceling technology. Ultra plush comfort with 30 hour battery life.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 – Top tier, audiophile-quality sound powered by large 50mm drivers. Carbon fiber construction.
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 – Extreme value under $100. Impressive warmth and clarity given the cost.
JBL Live 660NC – Robust Bluetooth connectivity. Punchy sound with noise and echo canceling features.
For active lifestyles, look to earbuds made to handle sweat without failure:
Jaybird Vista 2 – Fully waterproof with eight hour battery. Customizable sound via EQ settings in app.
JBL Endurance Race – Touch controls let you skip songs without pulling phone from your pocket. 10 hours playtime with case.
Under Armour Project Rock – Engineered with help from athlete Dwayne Johnson. Extremely secure over-ear hooks.
Adidas Z.N.E. 01 ANC – Active noise canceling to block exterior noise at the gym. Ambient HearThrough mode lets in sound when needed.
Neckband Bluetooth Headphones
Neckband style headphones wrap behind your neck for versatile all-day wear:
Bose SoundLink II – Signature Bose noise cancellation in a neckband form. Sweat/weather resistance.
Sennheiser Momentum 3 – Sophisticated model tuned for clarity and detail. Auto on/off and transparency mode.
TaoTronics SoundElite 85 – Budget-friendly neckbands with impressive 360° surround sound.
Anker Soundcore Life P3 – 10mm graphene drivers deliver stunning musical nuance given the low price.
Those are some of the top options that will pair well with the Pixel 7a over Bluetooth. Keep reading for more guidance on getting set up.
Step-by-Step: Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Pixel 7a
Connecting your Bluetooth headphones to the Pixel 7a only takes a few moments.
Follow these steps:
- Power on headphones – Make sure headphones are powered on in pairing mode. This usually involves pressing and holding a button for a few seconds until an indicator flashes. Consult device instructions for exact steps.
- Open Bluetooth settings – On your Pixel 7a, open the Settings app then tap Connected Devices > Bluetooth.
- Select headphones – Under Available Devices, you should see your Bluetooth headphones listed once they are in pairing mode. Tap them.
- Confirm pairing – A prompt will appear to confirm pairing. Accept any needed codes/prompts on both devices to finish syncing them.
Once finished, your headphones’ name will appear in the Currently Connected Devices list. You can now start enjoying music streamed from apps on your Pixel.
The above applies to most Bluetooth headphones. However certain models may have their own custom apps or settings to explore as well.
If ever having trouble getting headphones to connect, power cycle both devices then repeat the steps above. This typically resolves most pairing issues.
Buying a USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
While wireless Bluetooth options are very convenient for daily use, a wired USB-C to 3.5mm adapter can also come in handy for connecting traditional headphones.
Reasons may include:
- Listening while phone battery is low
- Avoiding Bluetooth latency when watching video
- Using your existing 3.5mm headphones
Pixel owners have two good choices for a headphone adapter:
Google USB-C to 3.5mm Adapter – $12 – Official made for Pixel adapter that simply plugs into USB-C port
Apple USB-C to 3.5mm Adapter – $9 – Popular simple adapter from Apple, cheaper than Google’s
There are also lots of affordable third party adapter options sold on Amazon that work just fine. Stick with brands offering plenty of positive reviews for reliability.
While not as seamlessly portable, having the adapter as a backup lets you continue enjoying wired headphones with the jack-less Pixel 7a whenever needed.
FAQ About Pixel 7a Audio and Bluetooth Headphones
Many users have similar questions around setting up wireless headphones or other audio accessories with the Pixel 7a smartphone.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Can I charge the phone while using wired headphones through adapter?
Yes, your Pixel 7a will still charge as normal when using a wired USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for headphones. Just be aware that using a splitter for charging while listening to headphones can sometimes cause electrical interference resulting in buzzing sounds.
What Bluetooth codecs does the Pixel 7a support?
It supports SBC, AAC, and aptX for streaming audio over Bluetooth 5.2. So you’ll get solid connectivity with both budget and high-end wireless headphones supporting those standard codecs.
Why can I only hear audio through one side of my Bluetooth headphones?
If one side cuts out, first try re-pairing headphones by unpairing then pairing again through Bluetooth settings. Also inspect headphones for debris buildup; clean earbuds/ports if needed. Moving closer to phone may help. If issue persists, consult manufacturer support page for headphones.
How can I get the best sound quality over Bluetooth on Pixel 7a?
Choosing headphones with Qualcomm aptX or aptX HD support will provide higher quality streams than basic SBC codec alone. LDAC is also great but less common. Then within Spotify or your music app, enable highest quality streaming setting. Streaming over mobile uses less data than you’d think while benefitting sound quality.
What Bluetooth transmit power does the Pixel 7a use?
It transmits at power class 1 for stronger more reliable Bluetooth connections up to 100 meters away (device depending). This ensures solid wireless headphone connectivity even if leaving phone in one room while listening from elsewhere.
While the lack of a headphone jack may be disappointing to some, Bluetooth wireless headphones provide an excellent listening experience with the Pixel 7a smartphone. Plus, the ability to add a USB-C to headphone adapter means traditional wired headphones can still be used when needed.
There are many great earbud and headphone options to consider across all budgets and use cases. Once paired correctly, they will reliably deliver vibrant, immersive audio every time you listen on the Pixel 7a.
So don’t let the missing 3.5mm jack deter you. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility and squeezing impressive stereo sound from the phone’s own speakers, audio still shines as a standout feature on Google’s latest affordable flagship smartphone.