Amazon Echo Buds Review

Alexa is listening. And not just in your home. She wants to come with you to work, to the store and to the gym. If you’re in the mood to take her with you, you’ll probably be into Amazon’s Echo Buds. What do they offer in terms of design? And do they sound any good? Let’s find out in this Amazon Echo Buds Review.

Amazon Echo Buds Review

IN the BOX

FIT

I didn’t run into any issues in this department. The Echo Buds come with a variety of eartips as well as different sized wing tips that fit within the contour of your ear. And I found the fit to be comfortable and secure enough for sports activities.

DESIGN

Functionality

The Echo Buds are designed to be used with the Amazon Alexa app, which can be downloaded on your mobile device. But what I like about the Echo Buds is that in addition to Alexa, they also allow you to use Siri. So, dialing your mother and ordering more batteries for your vibrator can all be done through one pair of headphones. That being said, I asked Alexa to remind me to buy milk, and she said she was sorry, but she was having some trouble. So, she picks and chooses her talents at times. Still, she was happy to play one of my Audible audiobooks, and her comprehension skills in general were quite impressive. And of course, she’ll perform tasks like reporting news and weather, and directing you to the nearest coffee shop. Another creepy feature is the ability to access your Alexa at home through your mobile app. A great way to scare the $%^# out of your 4-year old child.

Controls

A couple of the Echo Buds’ functions can be controlled through the touch sensors on the side of the earpieces. In addition to accepting and ending calls, you can also toggle between two callers and put one of them on hold. Using the touch sensors, you can also activate the noise-reduction feature, as well as Passthrough Mode. But more about this below.

Battery Life and Charging

The Echo Buds deliver about 5 hours of use before you have to put them back in the case for charging. And the charging case holds an additional 20 hours of power. The charging case uses the older, Micro-USB connection for charging. And of course, the charging cable is included in the box. (Unfortunately, Micro-USB doesn’t charge as fast as USB-C, which is considered the fastest and most reliable USB format). 

Call Clarity

The Echo Buds deliver decent call quality. A little tinny, perhaps, but clear enough to run through the grocery list with your spouse. 

Noise Reduction and Passthrough Modes

Amazon has implemented noise reduction technology from Bose, which turns out to be quite effective. As mentioned above, you can either double tap on one of the touch sensors on your Buds or simply ask Alexa to do it for you. The Echo Buds also have a Passthrough Mode, which invites in the sound from your surrounding environment.

SOUND

Lower Frequencies

Wow. Alexa gets down and dirty in the low-end. A fat, deep and juicy bass takes center stage in the mix. So, she gives tons of oomph to pop tracks. The sub-bass frequencies are crazy too. In fact, after I played some hip-hop, I found a dead whale under my desk. Certainly, this sound profile is not for those with bass-anxiety. That being said, once you move to other genres, like rock, folk and classical, the bass calms down, giving room for other frequencies to shine through. I also enjoyed listening to podcasts and audiobooks on these things. The sound profile gives the narrator a deep and distinguished voice.

Middle Frequencies

Surprisingly clean in the midrange. The level of separation is impressive for true wireless earbuds at this price point. Guitar strums in the lower frequencies were tidy and well-defined. And the level of detail isn’t  too shabby either. In terms of balance, the lower-midrange is a little scooped out. So, there’s a nice contrast between the bass and higher frequencies, giving the sound a dynamic feel. And this sound signature works particularly well for pop and rock.

High Frequencies

The highs are easy listening. You won’t get any sparkle or brightness. Audiophiles would call this a roll-off and perhaps poo-poo it for losing the highest frequencies. But the good news is that you can listen to music for long stretches without any fatigue.

Soundstage

Not the most precise instrument placement. But you will get some sense of dimension – height and width. So, though it’s not the most holographic experience, the soundscape has a little color.

SUMMARY

Going by the physical design alone, I wasn’t expecting much. But I have to say, they’re very responsive to voice commands. And Bose’s noise reduction is quite effective. The sound quality may not be high fidelity, but it’s decent enough, considering that these earbuds’ primary function is to interact with Alexa. That being said, if sound quality is your priority, you can find better for the price. But at the end of the day, though Alexa may not be the most attractive broad on the block, she certainly gets the job done. And you’ll be hard pressed to find such effective noise-cancelling technology for 130 bucks.

You can find the Amazon Echo Buds for the best price here:

Amazon Echo Buds on Amazon

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