Amazon announces new version of Echo Buds
Amazon’s ecosystem of affordable smart tech is about to expand.
On April 14, 2021, the e-commerce giant announced that the second-generation Echo Buds are now available for pre-order. These wireless Bluetooth earbuds will officially release on May 13, 2021, and they promise significant improvements over Amazon’s first-generation Echo Buds.
We plan to test the new Buds and will have an in-depth review of them shortly, but here are our preliminary thoughts on the updates and how we expect the new iteration to stack up.
About the Amazon Echo Buds
Amazon launched the first-ever Echo Buds in early 2020 to rival popular wireless in-ear buds, like Apple’s industry-leading Airpods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.
The compatibility with Amazon’s technology — in particular, hands-free voice control via Alexa — makes these earbuds appealing to Amazon loyalists. But they also cater to those embedded in other ecosystems, as they also support access to Siri and Google Assistant. And like other Amazon tech, the price tag is appealing.
Just like competitors’ Bluetooth earbuds, the Echo Buds promise a long battery life and come with a charging case. They’re also sweat-resistant, and they offer interchangeable ear tips for a customizable fit (giving them a clear advantage over AirPods).
What we thought about Amazon’s first Echo Buds
In our in-depth product testing of Amazon’s first-generation Echo Buds, we were impressed by the immersive sound quality, the high-quality design and the compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa.
However, in our experience, the comfort level of Amazon’s initial offering was lacking and didn’t hold up to all-day wear — the large size was especially uncomfortable for people with smaller ears. We were also underwhelmed by the Passthrough mode, which is meant to let the wearer hear ambient noise without removing their headphones.
What’s new about these Amazon Echo Buds
According to Amazon, the most noteworthy improvements of the newest generation of Echo Buds include more powerful noise-cancellation technology and a more comfortable fit. They sought to rectify the first-generation’s sizing issue with the redesign, making these 21% smaller than the initial version. In addition to improved comfort, the more compact fit will theoretically improve the sound quality of the new Echo Buds — and since we were already impressed by the sound quality of the first-gen, we’re excited to put the new Buds to the test.
The second-generation Echo Buds also are equipped with a vent to reduce pressure in the listener’s ear and a shorter nozzle — with four accompanying ear tips of different sizes — to maximize comfort. These earbuds aren’t paired up with Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology like the first ones were, though Amazon claims the second-gen Echo Buds will offer increased bass and treble fidelity.
While some features are different, many are the same: practical features of the previous model, like Alexa compatibility, long battery life, quick charging time and Passthrough mode, will still be included.
Apple and Android users interested in the affordable earbuds will be excited to hear that the new Echo Buds are meant to be more compatible with Android and iOS. In our product testing, the first-gen Echo Buds worked best in the Alexa App, so we’re interested to test the new generation with Siri and Google Assistant.
All-new Echo Buds cost
The wireless-charging version of the All-new Echo Buds are currently $119.99 at Amazon ($10 less than the original Echo Buds) for a limited time during Amazon’s $20-off launch promotion. The standard-charging version is $99.99.
After the introductory period, the price of the new Buds will increase $139.99 for the wireless model and $119.99 for the standard model. These are currently available for pre-order and will officially release on May 13, 2021.
BestReviews will conduct in-depth tests of the second-generation Amazon Echo Buds, so check back soon for a more extensive review.
Josh Horton is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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