Amazon has released Echo-branded wireless earbuds, named Echo Buds, that start at $130 and includes features such as Active Noise Cancellation, Alexa-integration and lots more.
Available to purchase in the US now, the buds will work just like any other Alexa-enabled device – where you say the wake word and activate the smart assistant. You can ask any questions, check news and weather, play music, use skills and control home devices by simply asking Alexa.
Each Echo Bud has customizable ear tips to suit your ears (similar to what Apple has included with AirPods Pro), so you can find a comfortable fit. The design looks, unlike AirPods, too, as they’re rounded and have an in-ear fit, so you won’t find a tail that sticks out on these. They’re only available in black, as opposed to Apple’s signature white color, and are made out of plastic.
Things get interesting when you mention Active Noise Cancellation. Amazon has partnered with Bose to use it’s ANC feature, and it can be turned on (or off) with a tap on a bud. Transparency Mode allows you to hear ambient and outside noise and can also be disabled.
For $139, the Echo Buds offer quite good sound quality, on par with AirPods 1st and 2nd generation, the smartest and most capable assistant out there right in your ear, noise cancellation and external sound detection. They’ve got just as many features as the AirPods, if not more, albeit the lack of the amazing ecosystem, and nearly as much as the new AirPods Pro.
The AirPods Pro have better ANC technology, and higher-quality sound and passthrough modes. They also have a more distinct, popular and trendy design that’s really recognizable. On the other hand, the Echo Buds are blander, but for the cheap price, the built-in features and the amount of them, are pretty amazing.
When reviewing the Echo Buds, The Verge said they were “an inexpensive pair of truly wireless earbuds that also manages really effective noise reduction”, whilst Digital Trends claims that “Amazon has put together one of the best values in a true wireless earbud we’ve ever seen”. They really take on the AirPods and give it some good and well-needed competition.