Whether you’re already a fan of the first-generation Echo Buds or are looking for wireless earbuds that combine advanced features with affordability, the All-new Echo Buds are worth checking out.
Amazon announced on April 14, 2021, that second-generation Echo Buds would be available for pre-order prior to hitting the market on May 13, 2021. With updates that promise enhanced sound quality and a lighter-weight, more comfortable fit than the first version, the second-generation Echo Buds are a noteworthy addition to Amazon’s ever-expanding smart tech ecosystem.
We’ve taken a look at what the new Buds will offer to see how they’ll compare to the first-gen device (which we tested upon their release in 2020). We’ll be following up with a detailed review after we complete thorough testing of Amazon’s new release, but here’s a glimpse at what you can expect from the 2021 updates.
Amazon appealed to fans of wireless in-ear buds in early 2020 when it introduced the first iteration of the Echo Buds. While they have similar user-friendly features as the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Apple AirPods, Echo Buds are available at a lower price point, giving them a widespread appeal.
But saving money on Echo Buds doesn’t necessarily mean missing out on must-have wireless earbud features. Echo Buds can be used hand-free, as they support voice control via Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant — making them simple to pair with whatever types of devices you use. They offer a customizable fit with interchangeable ear tips (giving them a noteworthy edge over Apple’s AirPods), a lightweight design and notable sound.
After thoroughly testing the first version of Amazon’s Echo Buds, we noted some standout features and others that could be improved upon. What impressed us most was the balanced yet immersive sound, and we liked the overall build quality as well as the hand-free Alexa voice control.
Although the sound quality was noteworthy, the “Passthrough” mode that allowed the wearer to hear ambient noise was unimpressive. Amazon’s first attempt at in-ear buds also came up short in the comfort department, as the inaugural Buds were bulky, making them generally uncomfortable for all-day wear.
The second-gen Echo Buds are all about sound quality and comfortable fit. While we found that the first-gen already offered impressive sound, the new version promises even better audio quality thanks to state-of-the-art noise-canceling technology and a trio of microphones in each bud. Amazon also claims that the first version’s comfort issue has been corrected with a lighter, more streamlined build that’s supposed to be barely noticeable in the ear even after hours of wear.
According to Amazon, the new Buds are actually 21% smaller for better comfort and a more secure fit. They also feature a pressure-reducing vent, a shorter nozzle and four interchangeable ear tips for ears of various sizes.
While the second-gen Buds no longer feature the Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology of the initial version, Amazon assures that the sound quality of the new release offers a balance of treble and bass — supposedly even better than the first.
Amazon claims that compatibility with Android and iOS has been improved over the first-gen that was designed for the Alexa App.
Other features will remain the same in the updated design, including Passthrough mode, Alexa compatibility, fast charging times, the included charging/storage case and an exceptional battery life with each charge.
Prior to the official release date of May 13, 2021, consumers can place pre-orders for the All-new Echo Buds (2nd Gen). During the pre-order promotion, the wireless charging version of the second-gen Echo Buds are $119.99 at Amazon, a reflection of the $20-off introductory promotion. With that same $20 discount, the standard-charging version of the new Buds is currently $99.99. When the promotion ends, the prices will increase to $139.99 for the wireless Echo Buds and $119.99 for the standard option.
In the near future, BestReviews will be putting the new Amazon Echo Buds to the test in order to judge the sound quality, comfort and Android and iOS compatibility for ourselves. Be sure to check back for a more detailed report on how the new Buds live up to their promises.
Jennifer Manfrin 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.