Amazon's new Echo Buds take on AirPods Pro with improved sound, ANC

Posted:
in General Discussion
Amazon's second-generation Echo Buds are 20% smaller, with improved audio and active noise cancellation in an effort to compete with AirPods Pro.

Amazon's Alexa-based Echo Buds 2 improve ergonomics, sound, and ANC
Amazon's Alexa-based Echo Buds 2 improve ergonomics, sound, and ANC


Like the first-generation Echo Buds, Amazon built the new model around hands-free Alexa integration. Amazon's AI assistant always listens, letting you control calls, music, podcasts, and more without lifting a finger.

Amazon has prioritized improving the first-generation Echo Buds' weak spots, including audio and Active Noise Cancelation (ANC). The online retailer describes the earphones' improved audio as providing "dynamic audio" and "crisp, balanced sound."

Amazon says the new Echo Buds also have better microphones to improve call quality.

For this updated model's ANC, Amazon appears to have ditched the Bose partnership it had touted in the 2019 originals. Describing the tech as "Amazon's custom-designed Active Noise Cancellation technology," the firm says the new Echo Buds will cancel twice as much noise as the first model.

"The technology," Amazon's press release reads, "uses the inner and outer microphones to intelligently estimate sound pressure in your eardrum -- which directly correlates to how you hear sound around you -- to generate the inverse of that signal and cancel out unwanted noise, helping you stay immersed in your audio."

The updated earphones provide up to five hours of music playback with ANC on
The updated earphones provide up to five hours of music playback with ANC on


Amazon's ANC uses an ear-tip fit test, similar to AirPods Pro, that will advise you on whether the current tip provides a tight seal. The earbuds include four ear-tip sizes and two wing-tip sizes to help customers find an ideal fit. By comparison, AirPods Pro doesn't use wing tips and gives owners three different ear-tip sizes.

The new Echo Buds also add wireless charging capabilities. Amazon says any Qi-based charging pad will charge the earbuds' case. The company also partnered with Anker on a $17.99 pad with a custom cavity designed to hold the charging case upright.

The Echo Buds case can also charge via USB-C.

Amazon estimates battery life at up to five hours of music playback with ANC turned on. The case provides two additional full charges for up to 15 hours total.

The company says a 15-minute quick charge will provide enough battery for two hours of music.

Amazon is adding the VIP Filter that it introduced in the company's Echo Frames smart glasses. The feature lets users choose which contacts and notifications they will hear alerts for in the earbuds. VIP Filter won't be available on the Echo Buds until "later this year."

The Echo Buds will cost $119.99 but pre-order customers can buy them for $99.99
The Echo Buds will cost $119.99 but pre-order customers can buy them for $99.99


The Echo Buds will ship in two colors: Black and Glacier White.

The second-generation Echo Buds are available to pre-order for $99.99. Their retail price after the pre-order period will be $119.99. They don't ship until May 13. Amazon is also throwing in six free months of Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible Plus.

Apple is holding an event on April 20, where the Cupertino company could announce updated AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 555member
    Has anyone actually had a positive experience using the first gen Echo Buds with Apple gear? All the feedback I’ve received suggests that the Bluetooth connection with iPhones and iPads is, at best, unreliable. Constantly having to re-pair, signal repeatedly dropping off…
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 2
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,536member
    Most of the online reviews I’ve read for the 1st Gen Echo Buds complain about the mediocre sound quality, insufficient gesture based control (no volume control other than voice), and uneven battery depletion, as in one bud discharging much faster than the other bud. There are also a number of reviews that imply that the 1st Gen Echo Buds would be far more attractive at $99 versus their full $129 retail price. The fact that that point popped up more than once gives me pause.

     My #1 concern with this entire product category is battery longevity. I still have a difficult time reconciling the purchase of a product that will only last a couple of years until the non-replaceable battery renders it useless. To a certain extent I know that this type of battery anxiety is irrational since it can be amortized into the cost-benefit equation of owning a product category that delivers such compelling levels of enjoyment, convenience, and comfort.

     However, I can’t quite brush my battery life anxiety aside because I want to believe that companies like Apple could come up with a design that has a user replaceable battery, especially with the AirPods line that has a stem hanging down. When I see the stem on the AirPods I can’t help but wonder why that thing doesn’t unscrew and have a battery inside the stem. Obviously, serviceability and maintainability has never been a quality attribute that Apple places a great deal of value on when designing products, but I keep hoping they will.
    edited April 15 watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.