Image Credit: Amazon
Amazon have announced their 2nd generation true wireless earbuds, Echo Buds, now with active noise cancellation and an optional wireless charging case.
Amazon have updated their budget true wireless earbuds with Alexa built-in, and now with active noise cancellation, at an even cheaper price.
While Echo Buds share the sealed in-ear design with the previous generation, the new buds themselves are 21% smaller with a shorter nozzle. The second generation also shaves a couple of grams off the weight of the buds and case. The buds are 5.7g from 7.6g, and the case is 44.4g wired charging, 47.6g wireless charging, from 70g. Included in the box are 4 sizes of ear tips and 2 sizes of wing tips for a customizable fit. Packed in each bud is a re-engineered 5.7mm dynamic driver, that Amazon claim will give better sound quality with increased fidelity in bass and treble. IPX4 sweat-resistant from the previous model has been carried forward to the new model.
The first generation Echo Buds passively reduced noise with their in-ear fit and active noise reduction. Much like the true wireless earbud market leaders, this year’s model has active noise cancellation to proper block external noise using antiphase. A vent on each bud will reduce in-ear pressure. Like Transparency Mode on AirPods Pro, when you need to hear your surroundings, Passthrough Mode will let outside noise in, a great safety feature for exercising. A tap on the bud will quickly switch modes.
Each bud features 3 microphones, one internal and two external beamforming microphones for voice pick-up and ANC support. Hands-free Alexa is on hand at all times to stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, or make calls, set reminders, add items to your shopping list, start a medidation session and more. A tap can also activate your phone’s assistant, such as Siri or Google Assistant.
Battery life is solid on the new Echo Buds. With ANC and the Alexa wake word on, the buds will last 5 hours on a single charge. This is increased to 6.5 hours with both features turned off. Once you include the charging case, with ANC and the Alexa wake word on, you’ll be good for 15 hours of music playback, or 19.5 hours total with these features turned off. A 15 minute quick charge will keep you going for 2 hours of music.
The new Echo Buds connect to your device via Bluetooth 5.0, no change from the previous generation. Activating ANC and other features are also available in the Alexa app. Here you can also mute the microphone for privacy, as well as view, hear and delete your “Alexa, …” recordings at any time. Coming later this year, VIP Filter will allow you to select notifications from compatible messaging apps, you want to hear read out.
The buds and case are available in either Black or Glacier White, with pre-orders open today and a release date for May 13. The first generation Echo Buds retailed at $129.99. The new Echo Buds are starting at $99.99 with the wired charging case. The wireless charging case is available for an addition $20, at $119.99. Amazon are also offering both options with 6 months of Amazon Music Unlimited at no extra cost. Echo Buds are significantly cheaper than competitors such as Apple’s AirPods Pro currently at $197 and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro at $189.99.
Amazon are also selling a varient with an Anker Wireless Charging Pad, designed specifically for the buds. The pad has a groove on the surface to ensure perfect alignment for the case, plus LEDs to indicate battery level of the buds and case. The pad will also charge other Qi-compatible devices at a maximum of 5W. The pad is available separately for $17.99 or bundled with the Echo Buds and wireless charging case for $137.98.
Click here to see the best true wireless earbuds at every price point. For more budget ANC earbuds, click here for options betwen $50 and $100. Don’t forget to keep your eye out for Sony’s updated flagship earbuds WF-1000XM4.