Amazon’s Echo Buds Are Back — And They Look Like A Big Upgrade

Amazon’s Echo Buds Are Back — And They Look Like A Big Upgrade

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(CNN) —  

Amazon announced an update of its true wireless earbuds, the all-new Echo Buds. Up for preorder now, these succeed the original earbuds that featured Alexa, active noise reduction and solid sound quality.

The new Echo Buds will also feature Alexa, but the rest of the experience got a tune-up — full active noise cancellation, a custom driver and a redesign that makes them 20% smaller. The Buds come in two variants: one with a USB-C charging case for $119.99 and one with wireless charging for $139.99, a two-model strategy we’ve previously seen with Apple’s AirPods.

By preordering, you can score yourself a bit of a deal: While they won’t ship until May 2021, you can get the USB-C charging Echo Buds for just $99.99 or the wireless charging variant for $119.99.

Echo Buds With USB-C Charging Case ($99.99, originally $119.99; amazon.com) Echo Buds With Wireless Charging Case ($119.99, originally $139.99; amazon.com) But before you hit “add to cart,” let’s break down what’s new here.

AMAZON

Echo Buds are available in black or glacier white.

Amazon has shrunk the earbuds and the charging case for the latest Echo Buds, so they’re 20% smaller than their predecessor, meaning they won’t protrude as far from your ear. Amazon has also shortened the nozzle that sticks into your ear. This, combined with a vent, is meant to alleviate any extra pressure — changes we hope will reduce the boxed-in feeling we felt a bit with the original. This new generation of Echo Buds retains the IPX4 rating, though, which should let them stand up to sweat and water with ease.

You also get two color choices for the all-new Echo Buds: black or Glacier White. The Echo Buds, much like the Galaxy Buds Pro or Jabra Elite 75T, sport a circular design. And like the original, you’ll be able to control playback and modes by tapping the buds. The charging case is also smaller than the original and set in a vertical orientation, which should make it more pocketable.

Achieving a comfortable fit with Echo Buds shouldn’t be too hard, as Amazon will include four ear tips (small, medium, large and extra large) and two wings in the box. This way you can try out each size to find the best fit for your specific ears. And similar to AirPods Pro, the Alexa app for Android or iOS (which you’ll use for setup) features an “Ear Tip Fit Test” to aid in you finding the best fit.

AMAZON

Amazon will include four eartips and two wings in the box.

The latest Echo Buds feature an improved dynamic driver that aims to make music sound more detailed and lively. There’s an Amazon-designed 5.7-millimeter dynamic driver in each bud, which Amazon says will deliver clearer tones across low, mid and high.

Amazon has developed full active noise cancellation (ANC) for the Echo Buds, having ceased its partnership with Bose that led to the active noise reduction on the original model. Amazon is promising a 2X improvement on noise cancellation over the original. The noise cancellation is powered by three microphones on each bud: two facing the outside and one facing t

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