Amazon hosted its annual fall event at its headquarters in Seattle on September 25. As goes the tradition, the tech giant had a lot to say at its fall event. To give you some idea, Amazon announced over a dozen Alexa skills and features and launched a total of 15 new devices at the event. At The Sphere, which many of you know is Amazon’s dome shaped headquarters in Seattle, the company announced the Amazon Echo Buds, proving a number of reports rights.
The Amazon Echo Buds have been in news for quite sometime now. We heard the earliest report of Amazon working on what are now being called the Echo Buds in December last year. At the time, noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo said that both Amazon and Google might launch earbuds powered by their respective virtual assistants, the Google Assistant and Alexa. We heard whispers about the Alexa-enabled earbuds again earlier this year. The report at the time suggested that users will be able to answer calls, order goods and listen to voice updates using Amazon’s Alexa enabled earbuds.
Now Echo Earbuds have debuted with not only those qualities but much more. Something that wasn’t expected out of them. But then that is the case with most Amazon products. They hit you like a bolt from blue and when they do, you cannot help and marvel at the simplicity of the design, ingenuity of the idea, quality and of course the afforadability of the product.
To give you a fair idea of the features that the newly launched Amazon Echo Buds come with: The Amazon Echo Buds are powered by Alexa and each earbud has two premium, balanced armature drivers, which the company says helps it to crisp, clear vocals and dynamic bass. It comes with Bose active noise cancellation technology that allows users to block all noise. Users can switch between the ANC and Passthrough modes to hear what is around them without removing the earbuds. Echo Buds use the Alexa app to stream Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Sirius XM and the best part about them is that they are also compatible with the Google Assistant and Siri.
In terms of the battery life, the Echo Buds offer you a 5 hour battery life on full charge and up to 20 hours with the charging case. Now, that might seem a little less to a lot of users but Echo Buds are a work in progress and Amazon has a habit of making major improvements in its devices quickly. So should you expect a better battery life in the second generation Echo Buds? Probably. But we will have to wait for another year to find that out.
Echo Buds have everything — Bose ANC (which did I mention is so cool!), Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant support, multiple music streaming options, all of Alexa’s super powers (you can ask Alexa to do anything, like you do in case of Echo smart speakers) and a decent (if not good) battery life. What else do you need? A pocket friendly price perhaps? Amazon nails it in this department as well. The Amazon Echo Buds are priced at $ 129.99 (Rs 9,200 approx). Contrary to that, the Apple AirPods 2 are priced at $159 (Rs 11,200 approx) and the Samsung Galaxy Buds are available for $129.99 (Rs 9,200 approx).
While Amazon’s Echo Buds with their competitive pricing and features make a compelling case for mass adoption they are yet to stand the test of time (or the users). AirPods on the other hand are in its second generation now and captur nearly 53 per cent market space as per counterpoint report for second quarter of 2019. Galaxy Buds, that were launched earlier this year stand second with eight per cent market share. The market is rough and with Apple enjoying the bigger piece of the pie, it won’t be easy. But like I said, Echo Buds do make a compelling case and with the features that it has, it won’t be suprising if Amazon soon enjoys a piece of the same pie.