The 2nd Generation Amazon Echo Buds are here! After the first announcement of their release on Amazon’s fall product launch, the true wireless earbuds are finally out—and they’re even more affordable than the 1st Generation. Here is everything you need to know about their features, pricing, and other details.
Inside This Article:
- What Are the Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Generation?
- Out of the Box: First Impressions
- Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen Features
- Compatibility With Alexa and Other AI Assistants
- Potential Issues Working With Your Alexa Home
- How to Play Spotify Music With Alexa
- How to Get the Echo Buds on Amazon Payments
- Amazon Echo Buds: What We Adore and Dislike
What Are the Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Generation?
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) are a massive upgrade from Amazon’s first wireless earbuds. They are smaller and lighter than the 1st Gen model and they have a lot of upgraded features that the previous one didn’t offer. One of these is the true active noise cancellation, discussed in detail below, whereas the 1st Gen only offered noise reduction. There are also two color options while the previous model only came in black.
They are part of Amazon’s efforts to make the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, Alexa, more widely used. Alexa is no longer confined to the small Echo speakers. She can now smartly assist you wherever you go. Not only that; the new Echo Buds also work with other smart assistants like Siri and Google.
Let’s take a closer look!
Out of the Box: First Impressions
Here’s what you can expect from the 2nd Gen Echo Buds out of the box.
Look and Feel
The 2nd Gen Amazon Echo Buds come in white and black. Both look sleek and modern, with silicone ear tips of different sizes. They provide a comfortable and secure fit, and you can even use the “ear fit test” from the Alexa app to ensure that the sound goes smoothly in your ears.
As with most Amazon gadgets, like the Kindle Paperwhite, they do have the Amazon smile logo on the surface. Some are not quite excited about that but the logo is pretty subtle.
Wired and Wireless Charging Case
You can choose from two packages—one with a wired charging case and the other is wireless for around $20 more. Both charging cases have a flip cover, matching the color you choose for the earbuds. The case has a magnetic pull-in mechanism to ensure that your earbuds fit in securely while charging. You will see an indicator light in front to tell you if it’s properly charging and when it’s done. The wired case requires a USB-C cable and the wireless case requires a charging pad.
It’s a pretty small case that looks like a medicine box and should easily fit in your pocket or purse. It is 20% smaller than the 1st Gen Buds. The edges are rounded, which makes it look more attractive.
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) Features
True Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
The upgraded noise cancellation is one of the best for the 2nd Gen Buds. As mentioned, the first only had noise reduction which isn’t quite effective if you really want to drown out background noises. The 2nd Gen can isolate sound, especially with its sealed in-ear design. Experience crisp and balanced sound whether you are listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
As per users, the ANC feature could still improve—if compared with more expensive wireless earbud systems. But for other models in its price range, the sound quality is far superior.
They also feature an equalizer (EQ), which you can adjust with a few taps on the earbuds. More about the touch surface below. You can also adjust the EQ from the Alexa app. There is a “pass-through mode,” which lets you adjust the amount of background or ambient noise that goes in through the earbuds. Overall, the sound quality has a rich bass and the highs and lows are distinct, but not too many EQ customizations.
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) come with three pairs of wingtips; not to be confused with the ear tips. The ear tips are the silicone coverings you put on the wingtips. So, depending on the size of your ears, you can now choose the right pair of ear and wingtips for you.
You can also use the “Eartip Sizing Test” from the Alexa app to determine which pair is the for your ears.
- Make sure your Alexa app is updated to the latest version.
- Select Devices on the Alexa app’s home screen. It is in the lower-right corner.
- Tap on Echo and Alexa, then look for your Echo Buds and tap on it.
- Scroll down and tap on Eartip Sizing Test.
- Follow the instructions on how to complete the test.
Most users report that the comfort of the earbuds is moderate, meaning they are able to wear them for up to two hours before they feel some fatigue in their ears. And even though there are three different sizes, they run small so these may not be the perfect earbuds for those with bigger ears.
Touch Surface With Gestures
One of the coolest things about the 2nd Gen Echo Buds is the touch surface feature. Also called responsive touch control, this feature lets you control some of the basic functionalities of the earbuds.
One tap lets you pause and play your music; two taps to play the next track or answer and end a call. If you tap three times, you can play the previous track. You can also assign functions to other gestures, such as the long-hold touch. You can set them to adjust the volume, mute or turn on your mic, etc.
While it’s great that the touch controls are responsive—there have been some reports that they can be too responsive, which means you could accidentally pause or play your music, or accidentally turn the volume up or down.
Another awesome feature is that your music will automatically pause when you take off the earbuds and will resume once you put them back on.
The new Echo Buds are designed to withstand sweat, as well as light rain and splashes. Have a run or a hike while listening to your favorite songs without worrying about your wireless earbuds getting wet.
These earbuds can play up to five hours of music with a single charge. They can last up to six and a half hours if you turn off the ANC and the Alexa voice commands. That is a lot longer than the battery life of the Apple AirPods! Keep them in the case for a bit—a few times per day and they can last an entire day.
The charging case is compatible with Qi wireless chargers such as the Anker PowerWave Pad and the Anker Wireless Charging Station. Simply place the charging case, with the earbuds inside, on the center of the pad and they will start charging.
You can expect only the best of hands-free entertainment from the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) as voice commands are the trademark of the Amazon Echo line. You can stream music by syncing either your Amazon Music or Spotify account with the Alexa app. Then simply ask Alexa to play any song or playlist. You will see the detailed steps to play Spotify music on Alexa below. Make sure to set your desired music streaming service as the default for Alexa to play music from it. Listen to Spotify podcasts, radio, or ask Alexa to play all your liked songs.
You can even listen to audiobooks when you sync your Audible account with the app. Just ask Alexa to read your book, making sure to say the correct title of your book. Or you can say, “Continue reading,” and she will pick up where you left off.
If you’re worried about your privacy being compromised while using the earbuds, you can change your privacy settings from the app. You can mute the mic and take control of your voice recordings, among other things in the multiple layers of privacy protection.
Compatibility With Alexa and Other AI Assistants
Of course, the 2nd Gen Echo Buds are designed to easily work with Alexa, but it is also compatible with other AI assistants like Siri and Google Home.
Answer and make calls hands-free, change the music that’s playing, update your calendar, and add items to your grocery list. These are the things you can do with your Echo Buds synced with the Amazon Alexa app. You don’t even have to tap on the earbuds; you can just talk to Alexa while you have the earbuds on. Tell Alexa to turn the volume up or down and other Alexa commands.
Syncing the earbuds follows the same process as syncing other Alexa-enabled devices, like the Echo Dot. You will automatically get a prompt on your mobile device to start the syncing process when you first open the case. Follow the prompts on the Alexa app and you’re all set. You will see a section on the app dedicated to your Echo Buds. This is where you can do more customizations.
Siri and Google Assistant
To enable voice commands for AI assistants other than Alexa, you would have to press and hold the earbuds’ touch sensor. Wait till you hear a chime then say the wake word. This will either be “Hey Siri” or “Hey Google.”
Potential Issues Working With Your Alexa Home
Some users have noted minor issues while using the Amazon Echo Buds when they have Alexa Smart Home set up as well. This is because the wake word is the same to activate both systems, which is saying “Alexa.” So, if you are in your home and are trying to use the wake word on your earbuds, you may accidentally trigger your Echo speakers’ response. This can cause some minor inconveniences like music playing on your speaker instead of your earbuds and vice versa.
One solution for this is to change the wake word on either system. There are three other wake words that you can use to activate Alexa. Those are Amazon, Computer, and Echo. You can do this for any Alexa-enabled device. If you have two Echo speakers in a room, for example, each of them can have different wake words.
To change the wake word, you can either say “Alexa, change the wake word” to your Echo device or go to the app and access the settings under Echo and Alexa. Choose the device from the list, scroll down and tap Wake Word.
How to Play Spotify Music on Echo Buds (2nd Gen) With Alexa
If you want Alexa to play music from your Spotify playlists, Spotify has to be selected as your default music streaming service. You can do this via the Alexa app on your mobile device. It only takes a few minutes to set up.
- Open the Alexa app and tap on More on the lower-right corner of the home screen.
- Choose Settings then scroll down to Alexa Preferences.
- Tap on Music & Podcasts then Default Services.
- You will see two sections: “Music” and “Artist and Genre Stations”. By default, this will be Amazon Music.
- To change the default to Spotify, tap on “Change” then select Spotify.
Now, every time you ask Alexa to play a song, music, or podcast, it will play from Spotify. You can even play your custom playlists!
How Can You Get the New Echo Buds on Amazon Payments?
If you can’t or don’t want to purchase the 2nd Gen Amazon Echo Buds in one bulk payment, you can take advantage of the monthly installment plan. This plan has been available for other Echo speakers as well as other Amazon devices. However, not everyone will qualify for it.
- Your Amazon account has to have been active for at least a year
- You should have made enough purchases to qualify, although Amazon does not explicitly say how many purchases are required.
- There should be a payment method that’s been linked to your account for some time.
Availing Installment Payments
If you are eligible, you will see from the prices on the item listing the option to purchase it in installments. Click on that and select the terms that you prefer. You will only be charged the initial installment upon checkout and the remaining balance will be automatically charged to your selected payment method on the dates specified.
Amazon Echo Buds: What We Adore and Dislike
- Incredibly smooth Amazon Alexa integration
- Excellent noise cancellation for its price range
- Sleek design for both the earbuds and charging case
- 30% smaller than the 1st Gen Echo Buds
- In-ear design keeping the earbuds secure
- Comfortable fit
- Three size options
- Longer battery life than the AirPods
- Too much bass according to users (This can be adjusted in the EQ settings.)
- Touch controls can be too sensitive/responsive
- Amazon Smile logo on the earbuds
- Limited EQ settings
- No battery upgrade
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) are undoubtedly a massive upgrade from the 1st Gen model. They can be flawlessly synced with Alexa and other AI assistants, proving them to be true wireless earbuds. The 2nd Gen model is a lot more affordable than the previous one, has a longer battery life, and a highly improved design. Try them now and experience true wireless technology without breaking the bank!