Amazon’s Echo Buds are finally going to hit the stores marking Amazon’s entry into the wireless earbuds market. These Alexa powered earbuds are priced at $129.99 and are packed with an array of features that we will be exploring today. A direct competitor to other tech giants such as Apple with their AirPods (starting at $144.99; amazon.com), AirPods Pro ($249; amazon.com) or even Beats with their Powerbeats Pro ($199; amazon.com), Echo Buds immediately prove to be the more economical option. Let us dive into everything you need to know about Echo Buds!
BUILD AND APPEARANCE
The design is rather minimalistic with no visible branding on the earbuds. A glossy circular prompt accepts touch controls and is surrounded by a matte plastic build. There are no physical buttons making the design rather neat. When compared to other wireless earbuds in the market, they offer a more subtle appearance and don’t jut out of the ear. The buds themselves are 22 millimetres tall and 24 millimetres wide looking to be a comfortable fit. They currently come in just one colour – black.
The provided charging case is also compact. It can be comfortably tucked into one’s pocket or purse. This proves to be a definite advantage when compared to some earbuds in the market with significantly larger cases.
Like the AirPods Pro, there is a measuring test that will help you find the right fit with respect to the ear tips. The Echo Buds come with a set of three colour-coded ear tips that can help you choose your best fit. The colour coding is especially helpful as you can make your choice right away rather than having to do a physical size comparison.
You also get a set of three wingtips, which aim to create a more secure fit. This will especially help in amplifying the Active Noise Reduction and passthrough technologies on Echo Buds. While these options are available to you, the necessity of these completely depends on the structure of your ear, making some people need these additions more than the others.
The Echo Buds are rated IPX4 for sweat and water resistance. This essentially indicates protection from splashing water irrespective of direction. They hold up fairly well in light rain or moderate water exposure and the water can simply be wiped off using a napkin. The Echo Buds need to be dry before being placed in the charging case.
While the Echo Buds can function without the Alexa app, we would recommend downloading the same, on iOS or Android, to make use of the buds’ full potential. On opening the Alexa app, a window pops up for pairing and following the instructions should result in successful sync. The Echo Buds can be paired via Bluetooth as well on multiple devices.
AUDIO AND CUSTOMIZATION
Customizations over treble, bass and mid are available via the equalizer tab in the Alexa app. These buds work with all the popular streaming services, such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. You can ask Alexa to play a specific track or tracks from a specific artist. The Echo Buds are equipped with Bose Active Noise Reduction and Passthrough.
It is important to note that there is a reduction in ambient noise but it does not promise complete noise cancellation. Passthrough can be chosen when the user wishes to hear the surroundings, which is essential from a safety standpoint while driving or walking on the streets. There are five levels of passthrough that you can adjust between in the Alexa app. You can double-tap the Echo Buds to switch between Active Noise Reduction and Passthrough.
These earbuds also allow the user to adjust the amount of “sidetone” or how much of your voice you can hear during a phone call. The Echo Bud features a custom made armature driver that is fitted for music, audiobooks, Alexa responses and podcasts among many other options. The Echo Buds only associate features to the press-and-hold and double-tap gestures.
This can be used to switch between multiple options such as ANC and Passthrough, to switch tracks, to play or to pause, to switch between voice assistants or in muting microphones. The volume cannot be adjusted using the earbuds. This can be done manually using the phone or by asking Alexa to move across volume levels from 1 to 10.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of these buds over the rest is having Alexa in your ears. The possibilities are endless as it is with any Alexa powered device. Alexa comes to your assistance by merely using the wake word “Alexa.”
You can ask Alexa to play your music of choice or anything along those lines such as audiobooks or podcasts. You can also get personal by asking Alexa to pull out the weather reports or going as informal as asking the virtual assistant to make jokes. As mentioned before, these features are available on any Alexa powered device and most features that apply to those devices (like asking for cooking recipes, setting appointments etc) all apply to the Echo Buds. Another nifty feature includes the ability to take in smart homes requests like turning on the lights or regulating temperature control systems.
Echo Buds, essentially functioning as earphones find increased use in calling and messaging. Alexa can be used to call or message contacts on your phone, in addition to messaging in the Alexa app.
Amazon promises up to five hours of battery life for the Echo Buds with three additional full charges in the provided charging case. While this certainly falls short of the ten hours offered by competing brands, it is certainly workable. The price also makes up for this drawback. The case charges with a micro-USB port which is a departure from the usual USB-C.
It also has a quick-charge feature that will give you 40 per cent battery in 15 minutes. Battery levels below 40 per cent result in a light indicator turning yellow and below 5 per cent will flash red. You can also check on the battery level of the case itself when the Echo Buds aren’t inside. Furthermore, you can just ask Alexa to comment on the battery level.
We hope these inputs help you make the best choice that fit your needs. For more updates, click here!