A review by Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at UK tech charity AbilityNet.
What’s even better than having a generous smattering of those ever-obliging Amazon Echo devices scattered around your house? Why, having Alexa in your ears everywhere you go, of course!
This is a quick review of the (newish) Amazon Echo Buds; truly wireless earbuds that offer just that.
At a glance
The Echo Buds are Amazon’s answer to Apple’s astronomically popular AirPods. This picture, showing them nestling in their charging case, shows us just how much bigger (and weirder-looking?) they are when compared to those lighter, sleeker offerings from Apple.
Looking like large, circular, shiny metallic black blobs (that’s a technical term) in your ears at around 2cm in circumference, I’m told by my 18-year-old son that they “…don’t look terrible” which is probably as close to an endorsement as you’ll get from a teenager. He has, in fact, stolen them to use as his preferred pair of wireless earbuds – which must mean that they pass a pretty stiff style and utility test for someone for whom style is paramount and sound pretty important too.
An audio review
Here’s my audio overview of the Amazon Echo Buds. It’s short and sweet (at around eight minutes) and I describe their appearance, features, audio quality and any other pros and cons you’ll want to consider before plunking down a not-inconsiderable amount to buy a pair of your own.
To buy or not to buy
Price: £119.99 in the UK Amazon store. Check your local site – it’ll be there or thereabouts and, like many Amazon products, often on special offer.
So you’ve listened to the review? Good. You’ll know my verdict. Do you agree?
Not listened yet? Well, spoilers, I think they’re pretty great. Apart from their general bulbousness and some hissiness when ambient ‘pass-through’ mode is active, I think they’re well worth the price tag to get a truly wireless experience with great sound, battery-life, features and always-on Alexa in one pocket-able package.
If the v2.0 product is a bit smaller, a bit cheaper and has a little less hiss when hearing the world, why that would be even better – but still a buy from me for now.
Robin Christopherson is Head of Digital Inclusion at UK tech and disability charity AbilityNet, which he co-founded over two decades ago and since has been tireless in championing digital accessibility across all platforms and sectors – as well as through a busy blogging and public speaking schedule around the world.
Recognised with an MBE for his services to digital inclusion in the 2017 Queen’s new year’s honours list, Robin was most recently named in the top 100 most influential people in digital government in October 2019.
He hosts a daily podcast on Alexa, as well as co-hosting the weekly Tech Talk podcast with Steven Scott and the fortnightly Maccessibility Round Table podcast. You can follow him on Twitter here: @USA2DAY.