How good are Amazon’s headphones that have Alexa built in?

Miss more than that. Amazon throw on his headphones true wireless, the Echo buttons. With them, the web giant also continues its personal assistant Alexa in our daily lives. So with the Echo Buds they can recall it at any time, which makes them unique. Can we trust Amazon instead of Sony, JBL, Jabra, Bose or other major mobile audio brands to set our releases to music? 20 minutes tested these headphones sold 119 euros

Amazon's Echo Buds, sold from 119 euros.
Amazon’s Echo Buds, sold from 119 euros. – AMAZON

The Alexa ecosystem is getting stronger

In fact, the Echo Buds are nothing new. A first generation of these True Wireless in-ear headphones was launched in the United States in 2021. So here we are confronted with a “V2”. Available in black or white, Amazon headphones don’t necessarily shine with the originality of their design. Supplied in a classic storage/charging case, they assert themselves with a certain opulence and roundness of great classicism. Pairing them in Bluetooth 5.0 will go through the Alexa app and add them as the first or new product in your “Echo” system of Amazon devices.

Touch and Voice Commands

Through the application it is possible to test the different tips that come with the headphones (four sizes offered), to change the assignment of the touch controls, to take advantage of a fairly minimalist equalizer (bass, medium, treble) or starting noise reduce or switch to Surround mode. These last two functions can also be activated by a long press on the touch surface of the headphones. Alternative (Now’s your chance to try it!): Ask Alexa to take care of it. And it works quite well! “Alexa, turn on noise cancellation!” †

Anyone accustomed to living together with Amazon’s assistant will find a real optimization of the functions of their favorite roommate through the Echo Buds. This makes playing music, creating a reminder, accessing your calendar (Android or iOS), controlling connected objects, calling other people equipped with an Echo device child’s play. Without forgetting the eternal questions we can ask her… and to which she doesn’t always have the answers. Like, “Alexa, who’s going to be the next president of the republic?” Pronouncing “Alexa…” in the middle of the street seemed a bit illogical to us at first, before eventually becoming almost natural, with spontaneous interactions.

Minimal Noise Canceling Service

For its part, the listening offered by the Echo Buds is quite unique. Amazon headphones can be criticized for having a predominance of highs and high mids. However, their amplified presence doesn’t obscure quite solid bass. In general, therefore, the sound is clear, equally airy, but structured and well-structured. Lovers of ringing and stumbling bass will have their way, however.

Amazon's Echo Buds deliver 5-6 hours of battery life per charge.
Amazon’s Echo Buds deliver 5-6 hours of battery life per charge. – AMAZON

On the other hand, the quality of the noise reduction remains very relative here. For example, the Echo Buds just manage to muzzle some ambient noises. A minimal service, in a sense… Naturally high, the sound of our fingers hammering on the keyboard of our computer has not even diminished… For its part, the Surrounding mode that allows us to remain aware of the sounds that surround us while listening to music (practice in the middle of the street!) is quite effective. Be careful though: in windy weather the effects are terrible. The sound of the wind is amplified, any attempt to listen becomes disastrous.

Sport and health aligned

Note that Amazon offers a “Workout” feature with its Echo Buds. If you make sure to enter your age and weight in the settings of the Alexa application, the headphones will count steps, calories, average pace, distance traveled… with a rather disturbing reliability compared to that of our Apple Watch activated in parallel: the observed results were similar. Because they are waterproof (IPX4 standard), the Echo Buds therefore seem quite suitable for sports use, but with an ultimately tight autonomy: 5 hours with noise cancellation activated, 6 hours without.

Sold for 119 euros (with a wired charging box) and 139 euros (wired and induction), Amazon’s Echo Buds offer a fair service, but with some necessary improvements. A better tonal balance, but especially a noise suppression that needs to be reworked remain debatable points. The assistant Alexa finds here a real raison d’être, a new chance for her parents to get even closer to us.

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