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  • Jordan Mladenov

Introducing Echo Earbuds


Advantages


  • Excellent noise reduction

  • Strong, reliable connection

  • Great value


Disadvantages


  • Average sound quality

  • Average battery life

  • Illogical touch controls


Brief information about Amazon's Earbuds


Nowadays, Amazon is trying to add Alexa to almost every smart electronic device. We are not surprised that they reached to wireless earbuds.The Amazon Echo Buds are the company’s first attempt at making a true wireless headphone with Alexa in-tow and although they're not perfect, they have a lot going for them.


An interesting fact is that it's actually Bose’s active noise reduction (ANR) technology that makes the Echo Buds special.For people who want more than just passive noise isolation from the outside world, the Echo Buds’s ANR offers great features, that can't usually be found at that price range.


For the most part, Echo Bud’s ANR, features and reliability, make them a great first pair of headphones for newcomers to the true wireless space, but the headphone’s illogical touch controls ,average battery life,and average sound quality won't position them on the first place for best wireless earbuds.


Design

Overall,the design of the new Echo EarBuds is pretty basic. In fact you will struggle to recognize who makes them if it weren’t for the Amazon “smile” on the case.

The buds don't have any branding and look like other generic wireless earbuds sold on the market.That,on the other hand, can be a positive aspect if you don't want everyone to know you are wearing a pair.


The material that the earbuds are made from is plastic.They feature both matte and gloss black.Each bud has a touch-sensitive button that can be reprogrammed to do different things in the Amazon Alexa app. (more on that later).


Having touch controls is a great feature but,for some reason,the default controls of the earbuds are illogical.The headphones only recognize double taps and long presses, which means you won’t be able to control everything you want. You’ll have to choose between controlling music playback, activating your phone’s assistant, toggling ANR, and toggling pass-through. Every other true wireless headphone, that has one button, allows for single, double, triple, and long presses to control more features.

Speaking about the sizes of the tips for the earbuds, Amazon ships small,medium and large tips to help you find the best fit. The company also ships silicone “wings” to help stabilize the headphones in your ears. However, the headphones manage to fit greatly in your ear without the wings, even while running.


The case of the Earbuds features a microUSB charging port instead of USB-C port,which is slightly disappointing.On the bottom of the case you can also find a button that lights up a single LED on the case to let you know the charge level.


Release date and Price


The Echo Buds cost just $129 (£119, about AU$220), which is a pretty competitive, price point, considering the smart features that the buds have, from hands-free Alexa to active noise reduction.


If we compare them to Apple's flagship AirPods Pro,costing $249, the Echo Earbuds are $120 cheaper.


Alexa Integration


The integration of Alexa assistant in the new Echo Buds is unsurprisingly great, concidering the fact that they are an Amazon product.The headphones are always listening for the Alexa command so you don’t have to press any buttons to access the assistant.


The best thing is that you don’t have to use Alexa at all as the Alexa app allows you to choose which assistant you want to activate with a press.

However, this means that Alexa is the only assistant that can be activated with a keyword instead of a long-press.


Performance

The headlight of the new Echo Buds is the Active Noise Reduction (ANR) feature.You should mind that this feature differs from Acrive Noise Canceling (ANC). ANR isn’t as effective as creating a sense of silence but it does a great job of reducing the noise from the outside world.


In terms of sound quality, the Amazon Echo Buds leave a lot to be desired. Bass is heavy-handed and muddy. The medium frequencies aren’t affected too much by the excessive bass but there’s a lack of resolution across the frequency range. High frequencies are rolled off, helping the headphones to never sound fatiguing but it also blunts the sparkle of cymbals and violin. For non-audiophiles, the sound will be acceptable but there are many other better sounding Earbuds.


The microphones of the Earbuds are good at picking voice commands,but you'll have to raise your voice in noisy environments.If you have to use them for calls,they sound fine but the audio quality can be similar to that of speakerphone.


The battery life of the earbuds is 5 hours, listed by Amazon.During real time test the measure time was four hours and a half, per charge playing music at 50% volume. The case also provides an additional 3 charges for a combined total of around 20 hours of playback.


If you choose to remove your Echo Buds, you’ll be pleased to hear that an they have an optical sensor that will kick in, pausing your playback and will smartly activate the tunes once again when you pop them back in.


Conclusion


The Amazon Echo Buds are a great choice for earbuds newcomers and can provide them with great battery life, good enough sound and the addition of Bose’s ANR is something you don’t see in this price range.

However, the not good enough controls and average sound quality prevent them from outclassing other true wireless buds.

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