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Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen.) Tested- Seamless Hands-Free Voice Commands Experience
Amazon recently announced its first pair of truly wireless earbuds in India. The Echo Buds 2nd generation launched at a steep price of Rs. 11,999, but are currently being sold at a much more affordable price of Rs. 5,999 on Amazon.in. At this price point, the Echo Buds compete with some popular TWS earbuds such as Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Rs. 6,899), Jabra Elite Active 75t (Rs. 7,999) and Nothing ear (1) TWS earbuds selling at Rs. 5,000 on Flipkart.in.
While competitors' earbuds offer larger drivers and fancy designs, the Alexa Buds are smarter and more intuitive. The IPX4-rated TWS earbuds support hands-free access to Alexa through voice for calling, music and other device-centric features. Let's find out how the voice commands feature performs on the Echo Buds 2nd generation, but before than let's check out key specifications of the Amazon TWS earbuds.
Echo Buds 2nd Gen. Key Specifications
- Speakers & Microphone- 5.7mm dynamic driver, 3 per earbud
- Battery and Power- Up to 6 hrs music playback (Without ANC), 4.5 hrs with ANC & Hands-Free Alexa
- Durability- IPX-4 rated Earbuds
- Sensors- Accelerometer, proximity, touch
- Modes- Active Noise cancellation + Passthrough mode
- Connectivity- Bluetooth 5.0 Hands-Free Profile (HFP) support for calling, A2DP & AVRCP
- Alexa Support- Supported on Android 6.0 and iOS 12 or greater
- Weight- Earbud- 5.7g, case- 44.4g
How To Setup Alexa Hands-Free Voice Commands
- Install the Alexa app on your handset and sign in with your Amazon account.
- Enable Bluetooth and add the new Echo Buds to the list of your connected devices. The process is similar to adding any Alexa-powered smart speaker to the app.
- Make sure you give Echo buds permissions to access your phone's microphone and contact list for voice calling functionality.
- The Echo buds connect to Alexa through the Alexa app on your mobile device and use Wi-Fi or mobile data to access voice-based features such as music, calling, and modes.
Voice Commands Usability & Response
Of all the TWS earbuds I have tested in this price category, none matches the voice-commands performance of the Echo Buds. In contrast to most TWS earbuds that support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri, the Echo Buds take advantage of Amazon's seamless hardware and software tuning that enables hassle-free voice commands. These buds are super sensitive to your voice commands and their response accuracy is excellent.
In order to make this possible, each earbud has been fitted with three microphones, two external beamforming microphones and one internal microphone. The trio detects your voice and securely process it for cloud storage. Simple voice commands allow you to perform most headphones-related functions.
Let's have a look at what all you can do with Alexa-voice commands on the Echo Buds 2nd gen.
Alexa-Based Voice Commands Features On Echo Buds 2nd gen.
- Voice-Based Calls- You can simply ask Alexa to make a call from the paired handset. Just say, 'Alexa, call home.
- Voice-Based SMS- You can also ask Alexa to send SMS messages to your phone contacts. Just say, "Alexa, send an SMS to Jeff Bezos".
- Voice-Based Entertainment Features- You can ask Alexa to play a song on Spotify, Amazon Music, Gaana, Apple Music, etc. The voice-based commands also make it possible to listen to books on Audible or Audible Suno. Some useful commands- 'Alexa, play my podcast, play my favourite track on Spotify' etc.
- Voice-Based Productivity Features- Since Alexa is more than just a music streaming AI bot, you can ask it to set an alarm, remind you to go on a walk, etc. You can even ask it to inform you about the battery status, turn on ANC or pass-through mode while listening to music.
- You can also ask Alexa to find your misplaced Echo Buds by saying "Alexa, find my buds" to an Alexa-enabled device. Lastly, you can also ask Alexa to stream time-bounded music. For instance, simple commands, "Alexa, play soulful music for 15 min" will set a timer on the music streaming.
Besides the aforementioned commands, numerous skills can be enabled to perform specific functions.
Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen. Performance As A Pair Of TWS Earbuds
The Echo Buds 2nd Gen. are also a decent pair of TWS earbuds. Despite the buds' relatively small 5.7mm dynamic drivers, the audio output is surprisingly better than that of some of its rivals, such as the Nothing Ear 1. These earbuds sound crisp and offer a balanced sound signature. The vocals sound clear and do not distort at high volumes. Bass is delivered naturally without leaking into other frequencies.
Rather than producing thumping bass, the earbuds offer a more natural music-listening experience. I prefer such a sound signature but since audio listening is very subjective, your experience may vary. These earbuds also provide an effective active noise cancellation and a pass-through mode that makes it easy to hear the ambient noise around you.
Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen. Battery Life & ANC
The battery life could have been better though. The Echo Buds 2nd Gen. lasts for about 6-hours without ANC and offers an audio playback of 4.5 hours with ANC and hands-free voice commands. The charging case offers two additional full-charge cycles taking the total battery life to up to 18-hours on one full-charge cycle.
Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen. Price & Availability
Overall, if you are looking for a pair of TWS earbuds that offer a decent music listening experience with the best-in-class voice-commands functionality, the Echo Buds could be your best bet. The Echo Buds 2nd Gen. are currently available for Rs. 5,999 on Amazon.in.