Amazon gets into the smart earphone game with its new Echo Buds

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Amazon is trying to add Alexa functionality to a number of different devices. The firm revealed a bunch of new hardware at an Echo-focused event earlier this week, having already showcased some wearables in the form of the Echo Frames smart glasses. Now Amazon is heading to smart earphones, having revealed its new Echo Buds this week.

To help design these new offerings, Amazon tapped up audio equipment specialists Bose to assist with the active noise reduction feature that the Echo Buds tout.

These aren’t quite active or passive noise cancellation, but should help you enjoy whatever you’re listening to when in a noisy environment, or interact with Alexa when asking the digital assistant questions.

This noise reduction feature is toggled on and off by double tapping the buds. That said Amazon is aiming for the Echo Buds to be as hands-free an experience as possible, with voice prompts taking care of things like choosing specific playlists to listen to on runs, or making calls via your smartphone to one of your contacts. There is of course the ability to pause, skip, adjust volume and play music too.

In terms of battery life the Echo Buds yields five hours of music playback per full charge, with a charging case sold with the earphones that holds up to 20 hours of charge, as well as a quick charge function that delivers two hours of battery life in 15 minutes.

The Echo Buds are currently listed on Amazon’s US site for $129.99 (~R1 954) with them being officially launched on 30th October. Before you rush off to buy a pair though, be aware that Amazon Alexa is not supported in SA, so all the smart functionality won’t work once you start using them here.

Hopefully though Alexa’s status will change as AWS in particular begins to grow its presence in the region.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.