For the first time, Amazon is bringing its own true-wireless headphones to Germany. The second generation of Echo Buds comes with Alexa and active noise reduction.
Amazon itself describes the Echo Buds as the first hands-free Echo device for on-the-go. Already in 2019, the company presented the first generation of its in-ear headphones with Alexa, but this never appeared in Germany. But Amazon is now changing that with Generation 2. The new version of the Echo Buds will be available in this country from February 24.
Echo Buds come in two versions
Visually, the Echo Buds (Gen.2) are somewhat reminiscent of the Google Buds. The headphones themselves come without a stem and look quite knobbly with their round shape. They are available in black or white. They are stored in an oblong charging case, which is also available in two versions. One case is charged via USB-C, another version also supports wireless charging. In cooperation with Anker, Amazon offers a QI charger especially for the latter version, which has a small hollow in which the charging case of the Echo Buds can be placed.
Amazon promises a battery life of about five hours with activated noise cancellation for both versions. The headphones can be fully charged twice in total via the charging case, so the total runtime is about 15 hours. Thanks to the quick-charge option, about 15 minutes should be enough to charge the battery to the point that two hours of music playback are possible.
Specially developed noise cancellation
The Echo Buds promise IPX4 protection against splashing water and sweat. This means they can be worn in the rain as well as during sports. In addition, the True Wireless headphones have a vent on each earbud, which is supposed to reduce pressure in the ear. They are customizable thanks to four included ear cushions and two different ear hooks.
Amazon’s in-ear headphones feature dynamic drivers in each earpiece, which are supposed to provide improved sound reproduction for high frequencies as well as lower tones and bass. In addition, three microphones are integrated in each for telephony, for example. For noise cancellation, Amazon uses a proprietary technology that uses the inner and outer microphones to estimate the sound pressure at the eardrum. They then generate an inversion of this signal and thus remove unwanted noise.
The noise reduction can be switched on and off via the touch surfaces on the Echo Buds. They can also be used to control the music, activate the transparency mode or answer calls. It is also possible to mute the microphones at the touch of a button and thus deactivate Alexa if one wants more privacy.
Alexa in the ear
The special feature of the headphones, however, is the integration of Alexa. It allows users to search for music or podcast by voice. The smartphone can stay in the pocket. The Echo Buds not only access Amazon Music, but also Apple Music or Spotify if desired. Music played on the Echo at home, for example, can be played directly on the Buds when you leave the house. All it takes is the command “Alexa, continue music on the Echo Buds”.
But Alexa also helps organize everyday life, Amazon says. Users can, for example, use Echo Buds to be informed about appointments, set reminders – for example, to get up regularly after 30 minutes when working – or ask general questions about opening times, the weather or traffic conditions. With the help of other Echo devices or the Alexa app, the Buds can also be found again if they are misplaced. As an alternative to Alexa, the Echo Buds can also be used with Google or Apple voice assistants – depending on whether you have an Android smartphone or an iPhone.
The prerequisite for using the Echo Buds is the installation of the Alexa app on the smartphone. It needs access to contacts, location, etc. – so users should not have any problems with this kind of data sharing with Amazon.
Prices and availability
Amazon offers two versions of its headphones. The model with USB-C charging option costs 119.99 Euros. For a short time, it is available at the launch of the headphones for the introductory price of 79.99 Euros. The variant with wireless charging option costs 139.99 euros and is also available at a discounted price at launch. It will then cost 99.99 euros. Pre-orders are available now, with delivery of the Echo Buds starting February 24, according to Amazon.