Amazon’s $50 Wireless Earbuds Compete with Apple’s AirPods

Amazon’s $50 Wireless Earbuds Compete with Apple’s AirPods

Although Amazon’s original wireless earbuds weren’t exactly a home run, 2021’s follow-up gave terrific sound, solid ANC, and a highly competitive starting price of $120. After two years, the Echo Buds have undergone a full overhaul. Now, rather than competing with Apple’s AirPods Pro, Amazon appears to be focusing on the company’s more affordable, basic AirPods.

The previous version Echo Buds had an in-ear design with silicone tips that offered a tight seal for both a snug fit and to provide good active noise cancellation. The new Echo Buds forego the silicone tips entirely in favor of a semi-in-ear design that is more comfortable while still allowing ambient sounds to be heard naturally. The latest-generation Echo Buds, like the AirPods, have no ANC and instead feature a projecting stem design that hangs outside the ear.

Many AirPods owners have complained about difficulties keeping the earbuds in their ears without silicone tips. Amazon’s solution is pre-installed silicone coverings on each earbud (with an additional backup pair), which provide more grip and also help to keep the earbuds clean because the covers can be simply removed and washed as needed.

Amazon’s $50 Wireless Earbuds Compete with Apple’s AirPods

As expected, the battery life is subpar. With sophisticated functions turned off, you can expect up to six hours of music playback from the buds’ 12-millimeter drivers, or a total of 20 hours when sometimes coupled with the charging case for a top-off. There is no wireless charging (the previous generation Echo Buds had it as a premium feature for an extra $20), and Amazon does not even give the USB-C cord required to power them.

However, the new Echo Buds do not lack advanced functionality. Users can still use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant without touching any buttons (at the expense of an hour’s less battery life).

Siri and Google Assistant are also supported but require a short button tap to activate. Users may rapidly switch between two devices thanks to multipoint device connectivity, which eliminates the need to constantly navigate Bluetooth settings to connect and disconnect the buds.