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Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jun 02, 2021 at 10:04 am
Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
6.7
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
5.5
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless are the next generation of the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. They have a more comfortable fit and a smaller carrying case than their predecessor. They also use Amazon's active noise cancelling (ANC) technology instead of Bose's active noise reduction (ANR) technology. Unfortunately, their noise isolation performance is worse overall, although they're still fairly effective at blocking office-type noise like background conversations. Their case also holds fewer extra charges than the previous generation. The manufacturer says these headphones need to be registered in the Amazon Echo app before they can pair with a device. On the upside, they're well-built and have a customizable sound profile, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are decent for mixed usage. They're well-built, comfortable, and should be stable enough for workouts. Their default sound profile lacks bass, but fortunately, you can customize it with a graphic EQ in the companion app. The ANC feature has an okay overall performance, but it struggles with bass-range sounds like rumbling bus and plane engines. Their continuous battery life of just under five hours may not last through a long flight or typical 9-5 workday, but they come with a case that holds a couple of extra charges if you need it. The mic has a good recording quality, so they aren't a bad choice for phone calls as long as you call from a relatively quiet place.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ in app.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Somewhat short continuous battery life.
  • Mediocre controls.
6.7 Neutral Sound

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are okay for neutral sound. Out-of-the-box, their mid and treble response is reasonably well-balanced, so instruments and vocals are present and clear, although a little veiled. However, their default sound profile lacks bass, so mixes lack thump, punch, and warmth. They deliver sound consistently, but like most closed-back, in-ear headphones, they have a bad passive soundstage. Fortunately, you can customize their sound with a graphic EQ in the companion app.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ in app.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.4 Commute/Travel

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are satisfactory for commute and travel. They're lightweight, comfortable, and come with a compact hard plastic case that can protect them when you're on the go. Unfortunately, their ANC can't completely block out the sound of rumbling bus and plane engines. Their continuous battery life of just under five hours isn't the best either, but the case holds a couple of extra charges, so you can top up the battery during long flights.

Pros
  • Case holds two extra charges.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Somewhat short continuous battery life.
  • ANC struggles with noises like bus and plane engines.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are great for sports and fitness. They come with several differently sized silicone tips and stability fins, and once you achieve a good fit, they should be comfortable and stable enough to stay in place during workouts. They're very breathable and compact, like most in-ear headphones. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't test for it currently. However, their controls are just okay. The touch-sensitive surfaces are easy to activate accidentally, and by default, they don't include volume control.

Pros
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Mediocre controls.
6.7 Office

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are alright for office use. They're quite comfortable and do a decent job of isolating you from office-type noise like background conversations. Their continuous battery life of just under five hours isn't long enough to last through a typical 9-5 workday, but they come with a case that holds two extra charges. You can also use one earbud while the other one charges. Unfortunately, they don't support multi-device pairing, so they aren't ideal if you're always switching between your phone and your computer at work.

Pros
  • Good mic recording quality.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Somewhat short continuous battery life.
  • Mediocre controls.
5.6 Wireless Gaming

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones, so they aren't compatible with PlayStation or Xbox consoles. They work with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is too high to be suitable for gaming.

5.5 Wired Gaming

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.

6.8 Phone Calls

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are okay for phone calls. Their mic has a good recording quality, so your voice sounds clear over the phone. However, it doesn't have a very good noise handling performance, so whoever you're talking to may not be able to hear you if you're calling from a noisy place like a subway station. The headphones don't do a great job of isolating you from background noise like rumbling bus and plane engines either, so you may have issues hearing a phone call if you call from a loud place.

Pros
  • Good mic recording quality.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Mediocre controls.
  • ANC struggles with noises like bus and plane engines.
  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 02, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated May 27, 2021: Early access published.

Check Price

Black Echo Buds Gen 2
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Amazon.com
Glacier White Echo Buds Gen 2
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Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are small, roundish truly wireless earbuds with small silicone tips. They look fairly nondescript and don't protrude much from your ears. They have an all-black, all-matte design without the glossy accents from the previous generation. There's a faint Amazon smile logo on the outside of each earbud, and the headphones come in 'Black' or 'Glacier White'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are comfortable headphones. They're lightweight and come with tips and stability fins in a few different sizes. The tips are color-coded with a different color for each size, so it's easy to see which is which. The earbuds enter pretty far into your ear canal, which some people may find uncomfortable, but they don't go as deep into your ear as the previous generation Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless.

6.0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have mediocre controls. The touch-sensitive surfaces on each earbud are very responsive, which makes registering commands easy. However, it can also be a little inconvenient because you can accidentally activate a command. However, you can turn off the touch controls in the app if you wish.

You can tap either earbud once to play and pause music, tap twice to skip forward a track, and three times to skip backward. By default, pressing and holding either earbud for two seconds cycles between the ANC and 'Pass-through' modes. However, if you want to turn off ANC and 'Pass-through', you need to do it in the app. There are no onboard volume controls by default, but you can remap the press-and-hold command for volume, voice assistant, or Spotify. You hear different beeps for different commands, but there are no spoken audio cues.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are extremely breathable, like most in-ear headphones. They're small and trap almost no heat against your ears, so you shouldn't sweat more when you're wearing them.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.4"
W 1.1"
H 0.9"
Volume 1.4 inยณ
Transmitter Required No

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are very small earbuds. They're slightly more compact than the first generation of Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless and should easily fit into most pockets and bags. Their hard plastic case is also compact enough to slip into most purses and pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.6"
W 1.1"
H 1.6"
Volume 4.6 inยณ

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen come with a good hard plastic case. It's small and light and feels of good quality. However, the lid seems a bit flimsy.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are well-built headphones. Like the previous generation Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless, they're made of dense plastic and feel like they can withstand some accidental drops and bumps without breaking. The silicone tips may be a weak point, though, since they feel like they could rip fairly easily. The lid of the case feels flimsy too. They have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for it.

8.0
Design
Stability

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have great stability. They come with several differently-sized tips and stability fins so you can find the best fit for you. Once you achieve a good fit, they're very stable and should stay in place during workouts, even if you move your head around a lot. They're quite stable without any stability fins as well.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen headphones
  • 4x earbud tips
  • 3x stability fins
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.52 dB
Treble Amount
0.07 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen's default sound profile is reasonably well-balanced, but it lacks thump, rumble, and punch, so it's less suitable for bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. Also, vocals and lead instruments are present and clear but sound a bit veiled. Fortunately, you can customize it with a graphic EQ in the companion app.

8.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.31 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have great frequency response consistency. While their treble delivery varies a bit depending on fit and positioning, once you achieve a good fit with the included tips, you should experience consistent audio delivery every time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.67 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
34.13 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.51 dB
Mid-Bass
-3.08 dB
High-Bass
-5.2 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have decent bass accuracy. The entire range is underemphasized, so mixes lack thump, punch, and warmth.

7.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.98 dB
Low-Mid
-4.78 dB
Mid-Mid
0.07 dB
High-Mid
0.14 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have very good mid accuracy. The low-mid is underemphasized, which thins out the fundamentals of vocals and lead instruments. However, the mid-mids and high-mids are very neutral and well-balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are still present and clear.

7.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.52 dB
Low-Treble
-1.52 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.3 dB
High-Treble
-5.18 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have decent treble accuracy. Both the low and mid-treble ranges are underemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments are somewhat veiled, and sibilants, like cymbals or S and T sounds, may seem dull.

7.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.55 dB
Dips
1.39 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have very good peaks and dips performance. There's a peak in the low-bass range that adds thump and rumble, followed by a dip from the high-bass to low-mid that thins out vocals and lead instruments. Peaks in the mid-mid and high-mid can make vocals and lead instruments sound a bit forward or harsh. The mid-treble range is also uneven, so sibilants like cymbals are alternately dull and piercing.

9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.35
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.07
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.56
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.31

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have fantastic imaging. The group delay falls slightly above the audibility threshold in the low-bass range, but it may not be noticeable for most people, resulting in a mostly tight bass response and transparent treble reproduction. Our unit's L/R drivers are also extremely well-matched amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so objects like voices and footsteps are accurately placed in the stereo image. Note that these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

1.3
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.1

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have a bad passive soundstage, typical of closed-back, in-ear headphones. Because they don't interact with your outer ear, their soundstage is perceived as small, and sound seems to come from inside your head rather than from speakers set in the room around you. Also, because of their closed-back design, the soundstage seems less open and spacious compared to most open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.281
WHD @ 100
0.113

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have a very good weighted harmonic distortion performance. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
564205146
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Amazon Echo 2nd Gen. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
6.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-16.16 dB
Bass
-8 dB
Mid
-14.88 dB
Treble
-26.21 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have an okay noise isolation performance. Unlike the original Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless, they use Amazon's active noise cancelling (ANC) technology rather than Boses' active noise reduction (ANR) system. Unfortunately, they block out much less noise compared to the previous generation.

While the ANC offers an improvement over the passive noise isolation performance when it comes to blocking out bass-range noises like rumbling bus and plane engines, it's still not very good for this purpose. However, whether or not you have ANC turned on, these headphones are decently effective at blocking out sounds like background conversations. They also reduce higher-pitched noises like the hum of an A/C unit.

8.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
32.35 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have a great leakage performance. The audio that escapes sounds thin and tinny, but they leak much more sound than the previous generation. If you listen to your music at high volumes at the office, it may be audible to people nearby.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
7.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
204.52 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.78 dB
HFE
6,088.74 Hz
Weighted THD
0.077
Gain
-1.27 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have a good recording quality. Their integrated mic offers a big improvement over the original Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless' microphone, and it captures your voice clearly, although it lacks a bit of fullness and openness.

6.1
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
13.59 dB

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen's mic has a mediocre noise handling performance. It has difficulty separating your voice from loud background noise, so these headphones aren't ideal for making phone calls from noisy environments, like a busy street or subway station.

Active Features
6.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.9 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
14.7 hrs
Charge Time
0.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have an okay battery performance. Like the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless, they're advertised to provide five hours of continuous playback time, and we measured a similar result. The manufacturer has reduced the number of additional charges in the case from five to two. On the plus side, they completely recharge in less than an hour, and Amazon advertises that you can get two hours of continuous playback from five minutes of charging, although we haven't tested it. Also, battery performance depends on real-life usage, and your experience may vary.

These headphones also have a standby feature that auto-pauses your audio when you take the earbuds out of your ears, but there's no option to turn it off, which is a bit annoying.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Amazon Alexa
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have a good app. It's easy to navigate and has quite a few functions. There's a graphic EQ and a battery indicator for the earbuds and case. You can toggle sidetone on and off, which allows you to hear your voice during calls. You can also choose between ANC and 'Pass-through' mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings while listening to audio. You can also choose to disable both modes. Like the previous generation, the app has a fit tip test to help you pick the best silicone tip size for you. Unfortunately, Amazon says you need to register your earbuds in the Alexa app before they can be paired with a device, which may be inconvenient for some.

Note: There are some reports from users who say they hear a hissing sound when using pass-through mode. We haven't tested that mode with our unit, but on their website, Amazon recommends turning down the pass-through volume in the app or switching it off completely if you experience buzzing or feedback noise.

Connectivity
7.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
262 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
345 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
118 ms
Android Latency
156 ms

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support NFC pairing, and you can't connect them with more than one device at once. Their latency with PCs is likely too high to be suitable for watching videos on your computer. While their latency on iOS is much lower and falls within good levels, it's somewhat high on Android, so you may also experience slight delays between your audio and visuals. That said, their latency performance is a big improvement over the original Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. Note that some devices and apps seem to compensate differently for latency, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen Bluetooth-only and can't be used wired. They come with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable for their case.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are Bluetooth-only headphones, so they aren't compatible with PS4 or PS5 consoles. They can connect with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is likely too high for gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are Bluetooth-only, so they aren't compatible with Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen come with a charging case that stores two additional charges. It charges via USB-C cable.

Note: You can choose to purchase these headphones with a case that supports wireless charging. However, we haven't tested the wireless case.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are the next generation of the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. They come in two different colors: 'Black' and 'Glacier White'. You can see the label for the unit we tested here; we tested them in 'Black' but expect the other color variant to perform similarly. They come with either a wired or a wireless charging case. We tested the wired charging case. The wireless case has a similar design, but we haven't tested it and don't know if it performs differently.

If you come across another variant or your headphones are different, please let us know in the discussions below, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are the next generation of the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. Unlike the original Echo Buds, which used Bose's active noise reduction (ANR) system, these headphones use Amazon's own ANC technology. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer a huge improvement over their passive noise isolation performance, and overall they don't block out as much noise as the previous generation or other truly wireless earbuds with ANC like the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless or the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. Their default sound profile also lacks bass, but you can customize it with a graphic EQ in the companion app.

If you're looking for other options, check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, the best earbuds and in-ears, and the best Bluetooth earbuds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless. The Samsung have much longer continuous battery life and a slightly better noise isolation performance, even though they don't have ANC. They also have a more neutral default sound profile, which some listeners may prefer. However, the Amazon work with a companion app with a graphic EQ, so you can customize their sound profile. Their integrated mic also has a significantly better recording quality. 

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless. The Apple have a better build quality and come with a more compact case that holds a greater number of extra charges. They also have a significantly better noise isolation performance. The Amazon are more customizable since they have a graphic EQ in their companion app. Their integrated mic also has a much better recording quality.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless. They have a much more neutral default sound profile, which some listeners may prefer, and their ANC feature does a much better job of blocking out bass range noises like bus and plane engines. Their case is also more compact and feels sturdier. On the other hand, the Amazon's integrated mic has a much better recording quality. They also come with stability fins and have a much more stable fit, so they may be better suited for use during workouts.

EarFun Air Pro True Wireless

The EarFun Air Pro True Wireless are better for most purposes than the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless. The EarFun have a much better noise isolation performance. Their continuous battery life is longer, and they have a bass-rich default sound profile that some listeners may prefer. The Amazon's sound profile lacks bass out-of-the-box, but you can customize it with a graphic EQ in their companion app. They also come with stability fins, which can help with achieving a more stable fit.

Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless

The Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless and the Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless have different strengths, so you may prefer either, depending on your needs. The first generation Echo Buds have a significantly better noise isolation performance. Their case also holds roughly five extra charges, while the Gen 2's case only holds two. On the other hand, the Gen 2's case is more compact and charges with a USB-C connection instead of micro-USB. The earbuds are also smaller and more comfortable. The Gen 2's integrated mic has a much better recording quality as well.

Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless

The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Google Pixel Buds 2020 Truly Wireless. The Amazon have an ANC feature and isolate you from much more ambient noise. Their integrated mic has a significantly better recording quality, and you can customize their sound profile with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. However, the Google come with a case that holds a greater number of additional charges, and their touch-sensitive controls are easier to use.

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