Are Amazon’s Echo Buds a good affordable alternative to AirPods? We put them to the test

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The Amazon Echo Buds 2 give you the freedom to listen to podcasts, music or audiobooks without having to take your phone out of your pocket.

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Echo Buds promise top-notch sound, a comfortable fit and active noise cancellation. As someone who owns numerous pairs of headphones, I was excited to put the Echo Buds 2 to the test in every style you could imagine. To ensure I was testing them in multiple everyday scenarios, I wore the Echo Buds while exercising, working in my house and walking around town.

What are Echo Buds? 

The Echo Buds 2 are a significant improvement to the First-Generation Echo Buds, as they’ve improved both their onboard tap controls and overall sound quality. These earbuds promise a crystal-clear noise cancellation feature. Though I found a buzzing sound when I used it, I still felt it was an impressive feature overall.

The Echo Buds 2 are sleek, lightweight and durable. I wore them most of the day, and they never felt uncomfortable, even when I was exercising. The Bluetooth pairing is exceptional. I was able to walk roughly 40 feet away and on the other side of three walls before the connection started to drop. 

How Echo Buds work

Pairing the echo buds was a breeze. You have to pair them through the Amazon Alexa app to utilize all of their features, but since I have Alexa devices already, this was simple. The Echo Buds’ onboard tap controls allow you to access Alexa with the tap of a button, although you can also simply say “Alexa” to access this feature just like with other Echo devices. I was concerned I would accidentally touch the control when adjusting the earbuds, but that wasn’t an issue. The touch area is sensitive enough that making light contact will trigger the action but not so sensitive that it becomes problematic.

What you need to know before purchasing Echo Buds 

The Echo Buds 2 are a significant step up from Amazon’s first-generation model. Some people may still prefer AirPods, but if you already regularly use Alexa devices, you’ll likely get more out of the Echo Buds. 

I loved the sleek-yet-comfortable design and the hands-free controls. The Echo Buds case has a durable design and a tight magnetic lid, although the lid itself did feel a bit flimsy. Overall, I think these are an excellent pair of headphones for everyday users, especially those that love Alexa devices.

One of the biggest complaints about Amazon’s Echo Buds 2 is the permissions you have to grant them to use them. The Echo Buds 2 requires you to use location services and permit them to view your contacts. Still, if you’re already used to these kinds of permissions with other apps and devices, you likely won’t mind the setup process.

Where to buy Echo Buds

Echo Buds (2nd Gen)

You can purchase the Echo Buds 2 on Amazon for $69.99 right now, which is 42% off the usual price.

Other headphones worth considering

New Apple AirPods Pro

New Apple AirPods Pro: 28% off at Amazon

Apple’s AirPods are likely the Echo Buds’ biggest competitor. These advanced earphones feature active noise cancellation that rivals their first-generation AirPods and a case that automatically charges them. The New Apple AirPods Pro comes with three different sizes of silicone tips, allowing you to find the perfect fit. Some quality-control issues are worth mentioning, as many users received AirPods with noticeable glue overflow.

Sold by Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: $50 off at Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are an excellent alternative to the Echo Buds 2 for people who don’t want AirPods but do want quality. These earbuds feature a sleek, discreet design. They’re louder than the original Samsung Galaxy Buds, and the sound quality is a significant step up from the original model. Many users felt that these earbuds require excessive access to information on their phones, such as contacts. Still, these earbuds are an excellent choice.

Sold by Samsung

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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