Reviewed on Nov 27, 2019

Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.3
Mixed Usage
6.9
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
7.1
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Call
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Echo Buds are decent truly wireless in-ear headphones. Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced and should be suitable for most genres of music. They're one of the cheapest pairs of truly wireless in-ears with active noise cancellation (ANC) that are available, and do a very good job at blocking out engine rumbles and background chatter, though most of this is done passively and the ANC only helps marginally. Their case is a bit on the bulkier side, but it provides a total of 32 hours of battery life, which is excellent.

Test Results
Design 7.8
Isolation 9.0
Microphone 5.7
Active Features 6.9
Connectivity 2.9
Pros
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Great noise isolation performance.
  • Stable fit is good for sports.
Cons
  • Very high latency.
  • Relies strongly on Echo app, including for pairing.
  • Fairly bulky case.

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7.8

Design

The Echo Buds are well-built truly wireless in-ears that don't protrude much from the ear and are even rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't test this. Unfortunately, their case is fairly large, though it feels solid and should stay shut in a bag. They're quite comfortable but enter the ear canal fairly deep, which may be uncomfortable to some. While the touch controls are customizable, which is nice, they only have a double-tap or long-press on each ear, meaning you can only set four button options.

Style

The Echo Buds are very small truly wireless in-ear headphones that don't protrude much out of the ear. They look sleek with an all-black design that's a mix of matte and glossy plastic. The back of each earbud is glossy and houses their touch-sensitive controls.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.0 lbs

The Echo Buds are decently comfortable for truly wireless in-ear headphones. They're lightweight and aren't too bulky, so they don't put too much pressure on the inside of your ear. Unfortunately, they enter the ear canal pretty deep, and those who don't like the fit of in-ears likely will find these uncomfortable. On the upside, they come with three different tip sizes, as well as three sizes of stability fins to help you get a comfortable and secure fit.

6.1 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Echo Buds' touch-sensitive controls are mediocre. The controls are all customizable through the Amazon Alexa app, which is nice, but they only allow for a double-tap and a long press on each ear, so you can't set many commands. Unfortunately, there's no option for volume control; you can set the four touch controls to play/pause, skip track forward or back, ANC or passthrough control, microphone mute, and your choice of Alexa or Google Assistant. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

Like most in-ear headphones, the Echo Buds are small and don't trap much heat inside the ears, making them a good option for sports as you shouldn't sweat more than usual while wearing them.

9.3 Portability
L : 1.5 "
W : 1.7 "
H : .8 "
Volume : 2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These truly wireless in-ear headphones are very small and can easily be tossed into a pocket or bag. Unfortunately, their case is a bit on the larger side and may be too large to fit in some pockets, especially if you wear tighter pants.

8.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 3.0 "
W : 2.2 "
H : 1.1 "
Volume : 7 Cu. Inches

The Echo Buds' charging case is larger than a lot of other truly wireless headphones. While it should fit in most pant pockets, those who wear tighter pants may have a tougher time. Luckily, the larger case size is likely since it holds five additional charges, which is very good.

Note: Some people have mentioned having issues charging the earbuds in the case when the stability fins are attached, though we didn't notice this while testing our unit.

7.5 Build Quality

The Echo Buds are made out of dense plastic and feel quite well-built and solid. They should be able to withstand a few accidental drops or bumps without sustaining too much damage and are even rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. The case feels decently well-made as well, with a solid-feeling hinge that shouldn't cause any problems. Since it's a charging case, you shouldn't get it wet, but it should be able to handle a few drops without getting damaged.

8.0 Stability

The Echo Buds are stable in-ear headphones that are a good option for most sports. They don't move much in the ear and even come with optional stability fins which makes them feel even more stable. These headphones should have no problem keeping up with you during even fairly strenuous workouts.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

The Echo Buds' sound profile is fairly well-balanced. While they may provide a bit of extra thump in the low and mid-bass frequencies, bass guitar and kick-drum sounds may be lacking a bit of punch. They also may sound a bit harsh and piercing on cymbal and sibilants (S and T sounds). Amazon does have a 3-band EQ through their app, which allows you to slightly customize their sound, as well. Overall, these headphones are fairly well-suited for most genres of music and will give a bit of extra thump for fans of EDM and dubstep.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-0.55 db
Treble Amount
:
-0.73 db

The Echo Buds have a decently well-balanced sound profile that should lend itself to a wide variety of music genres. It's worth noting that the IR sensor on these headphones didn't recognize our dummy head properly, which may explain the slight variation in low-bass from the right earbud. Overall, these headphones will sound fairly neutral, though they may lack a bit of kick from bass guitar and drums.

10 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.0 dB

Due to the IR sensor not recognizing our test rig, we were only able to test these headphones once, and therefore were unable to test their frequency response consistency.

8.1 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.71 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.05 dB
Mid-Bass
:
0.08 dB
High-Bass
:
-3.81 dB

The Echo Buds' bass accuracy is great. While they're slightly overemphasized in the low and mid-bass ranges, they're flat with no peaks or dips. There's a dip in high-bass, however, which may make the bass sound thin. The uneven result from the right earbud in low-bass is likely due to testing difficulties.

8.8 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
1.56 dB
Low-Mid
:
-0.75 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.03 dB
High-Mid
:
2.14 dB

The Echo Buds' mid accuracy is excellent. They remain mostly flat throughout almost the entire range, meaning that leads and vocals should sound present and well-balanced.

6.8 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
4.48 dB
Low-Treble
:
2.45 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-1.8 dB
High-Treble
:
-0.62 dB

The Echo Buds' treble accuracy is alright. They have a slight overemphasis in low-treble and some noticeable peaks and dips in the mid-treble and high-treble ranges. This means that cymbals and sibilants (S and T sounds) may sound harsh and piercing.

6.5 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.38 db
Dips
:
1.65 db

The Echo Buds' peaks and dips performance is okay. While they're fairly well-balanced overall, the large peak in mid-treble makes some higher frequency sounds like cymbals and sibilants (S and T sounds) harsh and piercing. The small dip in high-bass may also dampen the bass sounds produced by instruments.

8.5 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.37
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.74
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.77
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
3.88

The Echo Buds' imaging is great. The group delay is below the audibility threshold, and the slight variance in low-bass is likely due to our testing difficulties and won't be audible to most people. The L/R drivers of our unit were also well-matched and didn't produce any gaps in the stereo image. Note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.3 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
1.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0

Like most in-ear headphones, the Echo Buds' soundstage is terrible. This is because activating the resonances of the pinna (outer-ear) is one of the key factors in creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage, and the design of in-ears bypasses the pinna completely. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage will be less open than that of open-back headphones.

7.1 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.432
WHD @ 100
:
0.266

The Echo Buds' weight harmonic distortion is decent. While most frequencies fall just within acceptable limits, the peak in mid-treble may cause those frequencies to sound harsh and impure. There's also no big jump under heavier loads, which is great.

9.0

Isolation

The Echo Buds are active noise cancelling (ANC) in-ear headphones. However, even with ANC turned off, these headphones do a good job at passively blocking out noise, and the ANC only helps a marginal amount in the bass range, where the rumble of engines sits. They also leak almost no audio, meaning you can blast your music to help block out ambient noises without bothering those around you.

8.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-23.86 dB
Bass
:
-17.56 dB
Mid
:
-19.84 dB
Treble
:
-34.21 dB

The Echo Buds' noise isolation is great. These headphones have active noise cancellation (ANC), and while this helped block out a bit of extra noise in the bass range (where engine rumbles sit), it's worth noting that these headphones block most ambient noise passively, even without ANC turned on. Overall, however, they block a good amount in all frequency ranges, making them a good choice for commuting or using at the office.

10 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
5.18 dB

The Echo Buds' leakage performance is outstanding. They leak almost no sound, so you don't have to worry about bothering other people with what you're listening to. However, blasting your music in very quiet environments like a library still isn't recommended.

5.7

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Echo Buds' microphone is disappointing. Speech recorded or transmitted sounds muffled and lacking detail. It also performs poorly in noisy environments and is much better suited for making phone calls in quiet situations.

4.9 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
604.08 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
5.84 dB
HFE
:
22988.02 Hz
Weighted THD
:
14927621.44
Gain
:
0.26 dB

The Echo Buds' microphone's recording quality is disappointing. Speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound muffled and lacking in detail.

6.4 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
16.44 dB

Like most Bluetooth headphones, the Echo Buds' microphone's noise handling is mediocre. While the person on the other end of the line will hear you clearly in quiet environments, they'll likely have a harder time in loud environments, like a busy street or subway station.

6.9

Active Features

The Echo Buds get 5 hours battery life from a single charge, which is average for truly wireless headphones. Their case also holds an additional 5 charges, totaling an overall battery life of almost 32 hours, which is exceptional. The Echo Buds are compatible with the Amazon Alexa app, which provides a fair amount of customization, including a 3-band graphic EQ. It's worth noting that it's recommended to use the app to pair the headphones with your phone, as it can be difficult otherwise.

6.9 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
5.3 hrs
Additional Charges
:
5
Total Battery Life
:
31.8 hrs
Charge Time
:
0.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

The Echo Buds' battery is decent. They get just over 5 hours of battery life off a single charge, which is decent for truly wireless headphones, but means they won't last a full work day without needing a recharge. Luckily, their case provides 5 additional charges, which is very good. They advertise being able to get 2 hours of playtime from a 15-minute charge, meaning if you take a small break, they should last you the rest of the day. They also auto-pause when removed from your ears, which should help conserve battery life, though unfortunately this cannot be turned off.

7.5 App Support
App Name : Amazon Alexa
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
macOS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
:
Graphic
ANC control
:
Yes
Mic Control : Yes
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : No

The Echo Buds' dedicated app is good. It allows you to customize the headphones' control scheme, adjust the amount of passthrough, and even gives you access to a basic 3-band graphic EQ. The app works for both Android and iOS and also has a tip fit test to help you find the right size silicone tip.

2.9

Connectivity

The Echo Buds are Bluetooth truly wireless headphones. They have a very high latency of almost half a second, meaning there's a noticeable audio-sync issue when watching videos, though some apps may compensate for this. They have Bluetooth 5.0 as well, which may provide better overall performance if your source supports it, though our testing rig currently doesn't utilize this.

6.9 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
174 ft
Default Latency
:
488 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Like all truly wireless headphones, the Echo Buds are Bluetooth-only. Unfortunately, they don't support NFC or multi-device pairing, so you'll have to reconnect them when you switch between devices. Their latency is also very high at almost half a second, which will likely cause an audio sync issue when watching videos.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

The headphones are Bluetooth-only and can't be used wired. They come with a 3.3-foot micro-USB cable for charging their case.

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

The Echo Buds are Bluetooth-only and aren't compatible with PS4. They will connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs, though we don't recommend them for gaming due to their very high latency.

Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No

The Echo Buds are Bluetooth-only and aren't compatible with Xbox One.

2.2 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

The Echo Buds have a charging case that provides an additional five charges. It charges via micro-USB and, like all truly wireless headphones, has no other inputs.

In the box

  • Amazon Echo Buds headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3 sizes)
  • Stability fin sleeves (x3 sizes)
  • Charging case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Echo Buds are ANC truly wireless headphones with an impressive 32-hour total battery life. While they block background noise fairly well, most of this is done passively and their ANC doesn't work as well as some other options. We suggest taking a look at our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds, and the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless in-ears than the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. They're more comfortable, feel better built, have a much smaller case, and have better ANC. On the other hand, the Echo Buds have access to a 3-band graphic EQ and charge quicker.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless are similar to the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless for mixed usage. They're more comfortable, have a more accurate sound profile, and last longer off a single charge. On the other hand, the Echo Buds have ANC, better controls, and more than double the total battery life, they also charge much quicker.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are similar truly wireless in-ears to the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. The Sony have a better app, feel slightly better built, have a better-balanced sound profile, and last longer off a single charge. The Echo Buds, on the other hand, feel much more stable in the ear, have a longer overall battery life, and isolate ambient sounds much better.

Google Pixel Buds Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless are much better headphones than the Google Pixel Buds Wireless. The Echo Buds are much more portable due to their truly wireless design, isolate ambient noises much better, and have much more accurate bass and mid response. On the other hand, the Pixel Buds have better controls and a slightly better microphone.

7.3 Mixed Usage

The Echo Buds are decent for mixed usage. These truly wireless in-ears should be decently comfortable for most people and have a well-built and portable design that makes them easy to take with you everywhere. While their case is a bit larger than some other truly wireless headphones, it provides a total of 32 hours of battery life, which is impressive. The headphones have a decently well-balanced sound profile suitable for most genres of music and are even stable enough for using while working out.

6.9 Neutral Sound

The Echo Buds are alright for neutral sound listening. While their sound profile is somewhat well-balanced, drums and bass guitars may lack a bit of kick. The treble range is also fairly inaccurate with some peaks and dips which may cause harsh and piercing sibilants (S and T sounds). Like all in-ears, they also don't have an open soundstage due to their design. On the upside, the Echo app has a 3-band graphic EQ to give you a bit of customization over their sound profile.

8.0 Commute/Travel

These headphones are great for commuting or travel. Like all truly wireless headphones, they're very small and portable, though their case is a bit on the bigger side. Their noise isolation performance is very good and is helped out a bit by their ANC (active noise cancellation), so you won't hear the bus engine or background chatter during your daily commutes. They're fairly comfortable for in-ears, and those who don't mind headphones going into their ear canal should have no problem wearing them for extended periods.

8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Echo Buds are great for sports. Even without their included stability fins attached, they stay in the ear well. When you attach the stability fins, however, they're even more stable and should stay in your ear even during fairly strenuous workouts. The earbuds themselves are quite small and portable, and even though their case is a bit bulky, they should still fit in most pockets or bags. The headphones are also rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

7.1 Office

The Echo Buds are decent for office use. Most people should find them decently comfortable, though those who don't like the fit of in-ears may not be able to wear them for longer periods. Their noise isolation performance is great, and they will do an effective job at blocking out noisy coworkers. Unfortunately, a single charge will only get you about 5 hours of battery life, meaning you'll have to take a short break mid-day to charge your headphones.

5.5 Wireless Gaming

These headphones are not recommended for wireless gaming. Since they're Bluetooth-only, they aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, they have extremely high latency, which makes them a bad choice for gaming.

5.4 Wired Gaming

The Echo Buds are Bluetooth-only and cannot be used wired.

6.3 Phone Call

The Echo Buds are mediocre for phone calls. Like most Bluetooth headphones, the microphone produces a muffled-sounding recording which lacks detail. They also have unremarkable noise handling, and the person on the other end won't hear you well in even moderately noisy environments.

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