The other week, as I was reviewing the Master & Dynamic MW08, I wondered how many wireless earbuds I’ve reviewed at Input (8!!!), and when Amazon would refresh the Echo Buds, or if they were being retired. Well, turns out that day is today.
The “all-new” Echo Buds, which I’m going to call Echo Buds 2 because this whole “new” and “all-new” naming nonsense needs to stop, address all of the complaints I had of the original Alexa-enabled wireless earbuds. The first-gen Echo Buds retailed for $129.99 at launch. The Echo Buds 2 launch on May 13 and cost $119.99 for the wired version and $139.99 for the model with wireless charging. That’s a solid price that significantly undercuts other ANC wireless buds like the AirPods Pro ($249), Master & Dynamic MW08 ($299), and Galaxy Buds Pro ($199). And for a limited time, Amazon’s selling them for $99.99 and $119.99, respectively, because why not when Amazon made a gazillion dollars during the pandemic?
Smaller buds and case — The Echo Buds 2 come in black or white and are 20 percent smaller with a streamlined design that Amazon says sits more flush with your ears as opposed to jutting out. There’s also the Amazon smile logo emblazoned on each bud. I’m not sure if that’s tacky or not until I’ve seen them in my ears. The smaller buds design also comes with better comfort I’m told — built-in vents like on other AirPods Pro should help with reducing pressurization in the ear.
The Echo Buds 2 charging case also is noticeably more compact: 40 percent smaller with LED battery indicators, and USB-C (praise Bezos!). A version with wireless charging costs extra.
Proper active noise-cancellation — In my review back in 2019, I said the Echo Buds’ Bose active noise-reduction (ANR) was surprisingly good, but not quite on par with active noise-cancellation (ANC). The Bose audio tech is gone and replaced with proper ANC by Amazon; the company says the Echo Buds 2 block out almost twice the amount of noise compared to the original buds.
Larger 5.7mm drivers promise louder and richer bass and improved sound quality across all frequencies and three onboard mics are tuned to better pick up your voice for Alexa commands and help with noise cancellation.
Same-ish battery life — The MW08 is the king when it comes to battery life with up to 10 hours with ANC on. The Echo Buds 2 are more comparable to AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro with 5 hours with ANC. The charging case holds 15 hours of battery life. A 15-minute quick charge will get you 2 hours of music playback says Amazon.
More Alexa support — These wouldn’t be worthy of the Echo branding if Alexa wasn’t core. New for the Echo Buds 2 is support for VIP filters for notifications and more public transportation navigation in more cities in the U.S.
Other notable features — Pretty standard stuff here.
- IP4X water and sweat resistance
- Ear tip fit test with the Alexa app
- 4 ear tip sizes (small, medium, large, and extra large)
- 2 wingtip sizes
Review as soon as they’re in my ears — The value proposition with Echo Buds 2 sounds almost too good to be true. You know the drill. I’ll have the skinny once I can get a pair of Echo Buds 2 in my ears for a listen.