Amazon is taking the fight to Apple with the launch of its all-new budget AirPods rivals. These latest in-ear headphones, called Echo Buds, were announced earlier this year and are finally hitting UK stores from tomorrow.
Amazon’s Echo Buds, which join its ever-growing range of Amazon Echo tech products, launched in the United States on October 30, 2019.
The online retailer is making big noises about its new wireless headphones, which arrive with a more affordable £119 price (AirPods start from £159 and max-out at £249 for the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro) and noise-cancelling technology powered by a leading audio brand.
The Echo Buds feature Bose’s Active Noise Reduction Technology, which lets you choose how much to minimise the noise around you. Once activated, users should only hear their music rather than all of the background sounds that often spoil the audio experience.
Like most wireless earbuds, this latest release from the online retailer also features a clever charging case which offers an instant refill the moment the headphones are placed inside.
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With one full charge, Amazon says its Echo Buds will keep going for around five hours. And, when they do run out, the case holds up to three additional charges. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging case to be found here – so you won’t be able to top-up your case on the Qi charging boards in your local McDonalds or Starbucks, unlike the £199 AirPods With Wireless Charging Case, or £139 Samsung Galaxy Buds.
Another bonus of opting for the Echo Buds is the quick access to Alexa. Amazon is boasting that its Echo Buds use two outward-facing microphones and one microphone pointed inwards to reduce ambient noise to make your voice command come through loud-and-clear to Alexa – even if you’re in a busy train station, on a packed street, or at a house party.
When it comes to music, Echo Buds have two premium balanced armature drivers in each earbud. The driver design is inspired by in-ear monitors used by professional musicians to deliver crisp, clear vocals and dynamic bass, Amazon says.
Echo Buds connect to Alexa via the Alexa app on your smartphone and use your existing mobile data plan to answer any general knowledge queries, news and weather updates, music requests, navigation via Google maps, phone calling, and more. When connected to a smartphone with a strong 3G, 4G, or 5G connection, Alexa in the Echo Buds should work in exactly the same way as your Echo smart speaker at home.
You can also tap and hold on your Echo Buds to access your handset’s built-in voice assistant, either Siri, Google Assistant, or Samsung’s Bixby.
Although Amazon is still not revealing a date on its website for an official launch, express.co.uk has been informed that these headphones will go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday December 11.
Express.co.uk has already got a pair of Echo Buds in our ears, so you can expect to read our in-depth thoughts very soon.