Amazon improved its Echo Buds in nearly every way when it came out with the second generation last year, and at $120, they’re a solid option for those who don’t want to spend a ton on ANC earbuds. Now, Amazon’s knocked 58 percent off the second-gen Echo Buds, bringing the models with the standard charging case down to only $50. That’s $20 cheaper than they were during the holiday shopping season last year.
The online retailer learned from the shortcomings of its original Echo Buds and rectified many of them when redesigning the latest models. The buds are 20 percent smaller than the previous models, a bit lighter too, and the entire design is IPX4 rated against water splashes. Sound quality has been massively improved: audio sounds less compressed and you’ll be able to hear the differences at low, medium and high volumes. In the Alexa companion app, you can mess around the the EQ if you wish while also customizing the settings for ANC mode, hands-free Alexa and Power Save mode.
Amazon switched from active noise reduction to true active noise cancelling on these buds and it made a world of difference. The buds block out surrounding noises and the Passthrough feature, which allows some environmental noise in, sounds more natural than that of other earbuds. Naturally, you’re also getting Alexa voice commands on these buds, and the assistant can do more than it could before, controlling music and podcast playback, finding specific shows on Amazon Music and making recommendations for other content you may want to listen to.
Battery life is pretty decent as well — you’ll get about five hours of listening time before the Echo Buds need more juice, and their case can give you two hours of listening time after only 15 minutes of charging. While call performance could be better, the second-gen Echo Buds are still a good option if you rely on Alexa for a lot of things or if you want a pair of ANC earbuds that won’t break the bank.
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