What you need to know
- Amazon has announced its second-generation Echo Buds.
- The new earbuds bring improved active noise cancellation and a more comfortable design.
- They are now available for pre-order and will begin shipping in the U.S. next month.
The new earbuds are claimed to be 20% smaller than the first-generation Echo Buds, which makes them a lot more comfortable for extended use. Amazon is also using a shortened nozzle to improve comfort, along with built-in vents that help reduce ear pressure during use. Just like the best wireless earbuds, the all-new Echo Buds are IPX4-rated, which means they are capable of withstanding some splashes and light rain.
When it comes to the audio experience, the new Echo Buds feature enhanced Active Noise Cancellation technology, which Amazon says can "cancel twice as much noise compared to the first generation." When you want to hear what's going on around you, all you need to do is enable Passthrough Mode by pressing and holding on either earbud or by saying, "Alexa, turn on Passthrough."
The new Echo Buds promise up to five hours of music playback on a single charge with ANC enabled. The earbuds' case provides two additional charges for a total of up to 15 hours. Thanks to quick charge support, you can get up to two hours of music playback from a 15-minute charge.
Similar to the first-gen Echo Buds, the new model lets you access Amazon's Alexa voice assistant from anywhere. You can ask Alexa to play a specific song, set reminders, check your calendar, add things to your shopping list, place a phone call, find directions to the nearest train station, and a lot more. Starting later this year, you will even be able to use VIP Filter on the earbuds, a feature that was introduced with the Echo Frames. VIP Filter lets you select the phone notifications you want to hear and filter out the rest.
Amazon's second-generation Echo Buds will begin shipping in the U.S. in May and are already up for pre-order. The earbuds have been priced at $120 for the USB-C wired charging option and $140 for the wireless charging option. For a limited time, however, you can get the wired charging option for just $100 and the wireless charging option for $120. Customers who qualify will also get six months of Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible Plus subscription for free.
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