Amazon takes on AirPods with Alexa-powered Echo Buds

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2019
Amazon has revealed the Echo Buds, the retailer's attempt to capitalize on the wireless earphone trend led by Apple's AirPods, with its version including Alexa as well as Bose-developed active noise cancellation.

Amazon Echo Buds


Just as previously rumored, Amazon's take on Apple's AirPods called "Echo Buds" are wireless audio accessories. Working on both iOS and Android devices, the earphones offer some of the basic functionality as the AirPods, namely wireless audio with the ability to access virtual assistants.

Rather than limiting to just Alexa, the Echo Buds will also summon Siri and Google Assistant with a tap. For Alexa, the Buds will offer some unexpected features, such as helping to navigate a Whole Foods store.

Amazon has also included Bose Active Noise Cancellation in the Echo Buds, which can be turned on and off with a double tap. Two microphones outside the bud and one inside work together to reduce ambient noise, and to help assist Alexa with recognition.

Amazon Echo Buds close up


Each bud also includes two balanced armature drivers for claimed crisp and clear vocals, and a dynamic bass, which is said to be inspired by in-ear monitors used by professional musicians.

Battery life is said to be up to 5 hours for just the earbuds, extending to 20 hours when using the recharging case. Suppled with three different ear tips and wing tips to secure them in place, the earbuds are also IPX4-rated, enabling them to survive splashes and sweat from workouts.

Amazon is certainly attempting to go after potential AirPod owners with this product, with the price being set at $129, considerably lower than the $159 retail price of Apple AirPods with Charging Case or $199 with the Wireless Charging Case (although both are on sale at press time). The low cost could be attractive to both those looking for AirPod-style functionality without the price, as well as for Android users wanting an AirPod-like device of their own.

Preorders open today with shipments starting from October 30.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,635member
    The one feature I want in the next generation of AirPods is switchable noise cancellation.
    llama
  • Reply 2 of 9
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,848member
    I find it rather funny that all Amazon’s sound equipment is branded “echo” when it’s not really something you would want when listening to, just about anything.
    lollivermike1
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Awwww cute, Galaxy Buds had a baby.
    pujones1
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Combine always-on AR glasses with wireless earphones and powered by machine learning on the backend and you’ve got a formidable new experience for shopping, learning, data gathering... yeah, it’s all right there.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,608member
    I'm sure the first scandal of Amazon's EchoBuds transmitting private info to the mothership is brewing right around the corner.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    sflocal said:
    I'm sure the first scandal of Amazon's EchoBuds transmitting private info to the mothership is brewing right around the corner.

    Possibly, but if people are simply informed up front about the risks vs. rewards, most people tend to gravitate toward the rewards side. Few consider bad things could happen to them.
    edited September 2019 CloudTalkinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    sflocal said:
    I'm sure the first scandal of Amazon's EchoBuds transmitting private info to the mothership is brewing right around the corner.

    Possibly, but if people are simply informed up front about the risks vs. rewards, most people tend to gravitate toward the rewards side. Few consider bad things could happen to them.
    This is true.  It's true because, by and large, nothing bad is going to happen to them.  Worst case they'll get some personalized ads that can easily be ignored.  The vast majority of us don't care (or seem to be concerned) about the companies that actually really literally legitimately sell our data - telecoms, credit agencies, some financial services companies - so why would we be concerned about companies that don't actually sell the data, but use it to sell ads.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Generally speaking we just don't care.  We don't care when real data selling happens so the philosophical data selling means less than nothing in the grand scheme.  Sad? Yes.  True?  Also yes.
    muthuk_vanalingamphilboogie
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Combine always-on AR glasses with wireless earphones and powered by machine learning on the backend and you’ve got a formidable new experience for shopping, learning, data gathering... yeah, it’s all right there.
    Actually, no. Because nobody wants AR glasses. At all. Nobody ever has. We've been watching this get exhaustively tested in the market. Nobody wants it. At least not yet. We don't seem to be very close to a user experience compelling enough to get folks to wear clumsy glasses.
    llama
  • Reply 9 of 9
    *active noise reduction, not cancellation
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