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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Amazon Echo Buds Gen 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have decent bass accuracy. The entire range is underemphasized, so mixes lack thump, punch, and warmth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These are the settings used to test the Amazon Echo 2nd Gen. Our results are only valid when using these settings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update 12/06/2021: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported 'PC Latency ' at 345 ms, 'iOS Latency' at 118 ms, and 'Android Latency' at 156 ms. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in 348 ms of latency on PC, 155 ms on iOS, and 213 ms on Android. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen have fair 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. Their latency on iOS and Android devices is quite high, so you may also experience slight delays between your audio and visuals. Note that some devices and apps seem to compensate differently for latency, so your experience may vary.
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.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Gen are Bluetooth-only, so they aren't compatible with Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles.
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.