(Pocket-lint) – Amazon has updated the Echo Buds, its Alexa-powered wireless earbuds, for 2021. The second-generation version adds enhanced noise-cancellation technology, a redesigned body that should make the earbuds more comfortable, and a competitive price point.
The new Echo Buds feature Amazon’s in-house Active Noise Cancellation, whereas the first-generation pair used Bose’s noise reduction technology. While that noise reduction was nice, it couldn’t mask the sound of a chainsaw enough, in our experience, so that you could hear your music or podcasts clearly while outside working. Will the new earbuds achieve total noise cancellation when dealing with loud noises? We’re hoping to test them out and will report back.
Amazon also made clear new Echo Buds will also boast improved sound capabilities, with an emphasis on improved dynamic range.
Just like the first model, the 2021 Echo Buds has Alexa for you to use everywhere you go. You can ask Alexa for an artist or a song to play, control your smart home, play an Audible audiobook, request transit directions, or even use Alexa to find the nearest COVID-19 testing site. Alexa works just as it does on an Echo.
As for the new look, the second-generation Echo Buds have a 21 per cent smaller body. The earbuds come with four different ear tips and two sizes of wingtips, as well as a smaller nozzle for the tips to attach to, all of which should equal more comfort and a better, closer fit. We find that the first-generation Echo Buds have a tendency to sit a little further down the ear than what is comfortable. Amazon said it also added a vent to stop pressure from being sealed into the ear canal.
The new Echo Buds also now sport a matte black finish, as opposed to the high gloss one the first generation. Amazon has introduced a white version of the earbuds, as well. One thing we could do without, though, is the Amazon smile logo, which is now emblazoned on the side of them. No thank you.
The second-generation Echo Buds will be available to buy from 13 May 2021. They are priced at $119.99 for the earbuds and a USB-C charging case or $139.99 for an upgraded wireless charging chase. For a limited time, both are on sale. The regular pair is $99.99, while the wireless charging pair are $119.99.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.