The Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation) are budget-friendly buds with a different design from previous versions. Unlike the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2021 (2nd generation), they don't have noise cancelling (ANC). Their fit is also quite dependent on the shape of your ears. However, unlike somewhat similar buds like the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, they come with a few differently-sized silicone covers for the buds to help with the fit. They offer a graphic EQ to adjust the sound, multi-device pairing, and some customization for the mic and controls. Unfortunately, we experienced repeated issues getting the buds to enter pairing mode.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are adequate for neutral sound. Their bass response is underemphasized, so your mixes miss the thump and rumble of low-bass. However, some over-emphasis in the high-bass range lends audio some punch, and voices and instruments sound clear. However, these elements lack articulation and detail, making sibilants dull. On the plus side, their soundstage sounds more open than many closed-back earbuds, and the app includes a graphic EQ that you can use to tweak the sound.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are mediocre for commuting. They don't have ANC and don't passively isolate you from much noise, so they aren't ideal if you want to listen to your music peacefully on the bus. However, they have a comfortable fit for most people and a very small, portable design. While their roughly 4.5 hours of continuous battery life isn't enough for long trips, the case holds three additional charges for extra power when you're on the go.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are very good for sports and fitness. If you can get a good fit, they feel comfortable and won't slip out of place during workouts. They feel sturdy enough to survive a few bumps and drops without breaking. Their portable, wireless design makes them easy to toss in a bag and means they won't snag on anything while you're moving around. They barely block out ambient sound, which you might like for outdoor workouts when you want to stay aware of your surroundings. However, their fit depends on the shape of your ears, and they won't be stable for everyone.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are passable for office use. They support multi-device pairing, which is nice if you need to answer your phone and participate in video calls throughout the day. The mic makes your voice sound clear and quite natural. Their battery life is a little short, but their case holds three additional charges for top-ups. However, they're best for quiet workspaces because they hardly block out noise. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from the background sound, so people talking nearby might make it hard to hear you over the phone.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 aren't suitable for wireless gaming. As Bluetooth-only earbuds, they can't connect with PlayStation or Xbox consoles. They work with Bluetooth-enabled PCs but have high latency, so your game audio and video will be out of sync. However, they have low latency with iOS and Android devices, so you can use them for mobile gaming without experiencing audio lag.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 don't support a wired connection, so you can't use them for wired gaming.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are mediocre for phone calls. Like many Bluetooth earbuds, their mic doesn't have the best performance. Your voice is clear and understandable over the phone, but it won't have a lot of body. It also struggles to separate your voice from the background sound; loud sounds like traffic on a busy street can drown you out. They have a weak noise isolation performance, so you might have trouble hearing a call that you take in a busy office or subway station.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 come in 'Black' or 'Glacier White'. Both variants come with a white case. We tested them in 'Black', but our results are valid for the Glacier White version as well. You can see the label for the unit we tested here.
If you come across another variant, let us know in the forums and we'll update our review.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are a departure from the previous Echo Buds. Compared to the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2021 (2nd generation), their fit is more dependent on the shape of your ear. They also lack an ANC feature and block out very little noise passively. Their stem design and bass-light sound profile make them similar to Apple products like the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless and Apple AirPods (3rd generation) Truly Wireless. Their app includes a graphic EQ and other customization options like button remapping, which is rare for budget-friendly buds. However, for the same price, you can find earbuds that offer a more balanced sound, longer battery life, and better noise isolation, like the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless.
Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2021 (2nd generation) are better than the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation) for most uses. The 2021 buds block out more noise and have a better mic performance. Their fit is more stable, which is nice for workouts. You might prefer the 2023 if you don't like a deep in-ear fit or want earbuds that let you hear your surroundings. The 2023 version also offers low latency with iOS and Android devices, which helps avoid audio lag while watching videos.
The JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are better than the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation). The JBL offer a more neutral, versatile sound profile, more robust sound customization options, and a longer continuous battery life. Their mic has a better performance. However, for most people, the Amazon buds are more comfortable. They also support multi-device pairing.
The Nothing Ear (1) Truly Wireless are better than the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation) for most purposes. Both earbuds' fit depends on the shape of your ears, but the Nothing are more comfortable if you can get a good fit. Neither option reproduces a lot of low-bass, but the Nothing's sound has more thump and rumble in the bass range. They're also rated IP54 for dust and water resistance, while the Amazon are only rated IPX2 for water resistance. However, the Amazon buds support multi-device pairing.
For most uses, the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2019 (1st generation) are better than the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2023 (3rd generation). They have an ANC feature with excellent performance and a more neutral, versatile sound profile. The 2023 buds are more comfortable for most, especially if you don't like a deep in-ear fit. They don't block out noise but support multi-device pairing and have much lower latency with iOS and Android devices.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 have a rounded shape and a long stem. This design is quite distinct from previous Echo Buds like the 2021 version, which don't have stems and have smaller tips that stick out from the buds and fit into your ear canal. Like the previous generation, they come in either 'Black' or 'Glacier White'.
They have a comfortable fit for most. They're very light and don't enter your ear canal, unlike previous gens, which are in-ears instead of earbuds and have a fairly deep fit. The stems don't cause discomfort in general, although they might press against your ears if you're lying down wearing the buds or get in the way of big earrings. However, unlike the Gen 2 buds, which have silicone tips smaller than the buds that fit into your ear canal, these have a more rounded shape overall. Their comfort level depends on how well the shape fits your ears, similar to the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless or the Nothing Ear (stick) Truly Wireless. However, in the same way that many in-ear headphones come with a selection of ear tips in different sizes, they come with a few silicone covers that fit over the buds to help adjust the fit, so they aren't exactly one-size-fits-all.
They have limited controls by default. Out of the box, their control scheme doesn't include volume or mic control. You can swap out any control for another option: volume up, volume down, mic mute/unmute, or activate a voice assistant besides Alexa. However, you'll lose the existing function if you do that. It's also easy to accidentally register a tap command when readjusting the buds or taking them out of your ears. Fortunately, you'll hear audio feedback for each registered tap, so it's easy to tell if you've double or triple-tapped successfully. You can also disable the touch controls if you prefer only using your device or voice-activated Alexa.
On either earbud:
They're very portable. They're more compact than previous versions of these buds and easily fit into pockets and purses.
The case is small but feels cheaply made. The lid's hinge is flimsy. It's hard to open because the lid doesn't have a lip or indent to grab onto. You need to hold onto it from the sides or front and pull up, which can be frustrating and isn't an issue with the previous gen's case.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 have good build quality. The buds are made of plastic and feel sturdy, and can withstand a few drops and bumps without damage. However, the case's plastic feels brittle and fragile. The silicone-like earbud covers could easily tear if you put them on and remove them frequently. They have an IPX2 rating for resistance against minor water exposure, like a few rain drops, but the previous generations had a higher IPX4 rating.
They have decent stability. If you can get a good fit, they won't fall out during workouts like a run in the park. However, if the buds aren't the right shape for your ears, they can be much less stable.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 have a somewhat warm sound profile. They don't reproduce very much low-bass, and while instruments and voices are clear, they sound somewhat veiled and dull. If you want to adjust the sound profile, the app features a 3-band graphic EQ.
Note: Our unit's drivers have frequency mismatch, so they reproduce sound differently in each earbud. This results in some sounds seeming distant or misplaced in the soundstage and is noticeable with regular content. You can read more about the issue in the imaging results. However, imaging varies between units. If you experience the same issue with your pair, let us know in the forums.
They have adequate frequency response consistency. Their bass and treble response can vary depending on how they fit and how you position them in your ears. You may notice a difference in sound from use to use if you can't get a good, consistent fit.
They have okay bass accuracy. They have a very underemphasized low-bass response, so you won't get the low thump and rumble common in genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also lack a bit of mid-bass, which makes mixes less full-sounding. However, a little extra high-bass adds some punch and boom back into your audio.
They have excellent mid accuracy. The response is mostly flat across the range, so vocals and instruments sound are present and clear. Our unit's left and right drivers are mismatched, so elements like voices are nudged to the back of the mix in the right earbud compared to the left. However, this issue may not affect all units.
They have great treble accuracy. The range is somewhat underemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments sound somewhat veiled, while sibilant sounds are a bit dull. The underemphasis is more present in the left driver, but it may be unique to our unit.
They have a very good peaks and dips performance. Some peaks and dips are more present in one earbud than the other. There's a peak in the mid to high-bass for both drivers that adds boom. A dip in the right driver's mid-mid nudges instruments and vocals to the back of the mix, while in the left driver, a peak in the same range pushes those elements forward. In the treble range, there's a peak in the right driver that adds sharpness to vocals and instruments but a dip in the left that veils the same sounds. In both drivers, a peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants, like cymbals, sound piercing.
They have mediocre imaging. The group delay falls below the audibility threshold across the range, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. However, there's a noticeable difference in frequency and phase response between our unit's left and right earbuds. This causes elements like higher-pitched voices to sound distant and too quiet in the left earbud. Mid-range sounds like lead guitars are also incorrectly placed in the soundstage on the left side, so they sound centered instead of coming from the left, resulting in a soundstage that seems to have no depth on that side. However, imaging can vary between units and indicates a brand's quality control and ergonomics. The few previous Amazon headphones we've tested did not have the same issue, though.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 have bad passive soundstage performance. While it sounds more open compared to other closed-back earbuds, like the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2021 (2nd generation), their design means the sound doesn't interact with your outer ear, which is required for it to seem like it's coming from speakers around you. As a result, sound seems to come from inside your head.
They have decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's some distortion present in the mid-treble range at normal listening volumes. However, the peak is fairly narrow, and the rest of the range falls within good limits, so it can be hard to hear with real-life content.
These are the settings used to test the Amazon Echo Buds 2023. Our results are only valid when using these settings.
They have bad noise isolation. They don't have ANC, and because they don't have a deep in-ear fit, they don't block out much noise passively, either. They won't cut out bass-range noise like rumbling engines or mid-range noise like background chit-chat. They do better with high-pitched sounds like humming A/C units, but in-ears like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless offer better passive noise isolation. However, you might prefer that these let you hear more of your surroundings.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023's leakage performance is good. While they leak some audio that will be audible to people nearby in moderately noisy areas, like an office, it's mostly concentrated in the treble range, so it sounds thin and tinny.
The mic has a decent recording quality. Your voice sounds clear and quite natural but lacks some brightness and body. The frequency response of recorded speech is also inconsistent, so your voice may not always sound the same.
The mic's noise handling performance is sub-par. It can block out moderate background noise but doesn't clearly separate your voice from the noise, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Louder noise, like a train passing or a truck going by, can drown out your voice completely.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 have an adequate battery performance. The manufacturer advertises a five-hour continuous battery life, and we measured a similar 4.5 hours, which isn't very long. However, their case holds around three additional charges, so you can always pop one or both earbuds in the case for a top-up. The manufacturer also advertises them to provide two hours of playback off a 15-minute charge, and the earbuds charge fully in one hour. Keep in mind that battery performance can vary with real-life use.
The app is good. There's a 3-band graphic EQ for sound customization, and you can remap some of the onboard controls. It also allows you to manage devices that you pair with the earbuds, adjust sidetone (how much of your own voice you hear during calls), and set up a 'Find My Device' feature that can play a sound or show the location of the earbuds if you misplace them. Like the Amazon Echo Buds True Wireless 2021 (2nd generation), it's easy to navigate. You can see how it looks in use in a video here.
During testing, we ran into many issues getting the earbuds to enter Bluetooth pairing mode. They sometimes reconnect after being placed into the case and removed a few times. In one instance, we still couldn't resolve the issue after waiting, putting the earbuds in the case, powering them on and off, and completing a factory reset. Eventually, the earbuds entered pairing mode after being placed into the case and removed individually several times. It's not clear exactly what caused the issue or the exact steps to solve it. Unfortunately, many users have reported having the same problem with the 2019 or 2021 Echo Buds, so it appears to be an ongoing issue that the manufacturer hasn't resolved with the latest model. If you have the same trouble with your earbuds, let us know in the forums.
That issue aside, they support multi-device pairing, unlike the previous generation, so you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously. While they have high latency with PCs, they have low latency with Android and iOS devices, especially for Bluetooth earbuds, so you can watch videos on your phone without experiencing audio lag. Some apps compensate for latency, though.
The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 are Bluetooth-only earbuds you can't use wired. Unlike most truly wireless earbuds, they don't even come with the USB-C cable you need to charge up the case.
These headphones are fully compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. However, they can't connect any other way and have high latency, so you'll notice audio lag when watching videos or gaming on your computer.
They come with a charging case that holds about three additional charges. The case charges with a USB-C cable, but it doesn't come in the box, which is unusual.