Amazon has been betting on its range of entirely wireless headphones for a few years now. It launched its first Echo Buds, and a few weeks ago, the Echo Buds (2nd Generation) were brought to Spain, which we will refer to as Amazon Echo Buds 2 from now on.
We have been testing them for some time to bring you their analysis. They are headphones that aspire to compete in the range of 100 euros, a fairly saturated content, and are full of exciting options. The weapon of these headphones? The power of Alexa is built in by default. How do they behave on a day-to-day basis? Let’s see it.
Experience: Alexa, are you there?
Seen from the outside, let’s see what the experience with the Amazon Echo Buds 2 is like. The first thing to address compatibility is that these headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 and can be connected to iOS and Android (really to any device with Bluetooth, but they are designed to be used with the mobile). To do this, we will use the Alexa app. Yes, the Alexa app is the same one we use to control home automation. It’s free and available on Google Play and the App Store.
The application is highly complete in general, but we will stick to what refers to the headphones. When we connect them, a module appears at the top of the app (in the “Home” section) that allows us to quickly check the battery status of the headphones (and the case, although for that, we have to have them inside it), sound quality, turn off the microphone and start a workout.
Pressing the ANC button will toggle between active noise cancellation and ambient mode. By clicking on the microphone icon, we will activate or deactivate this component, an option that Amazon has included to “protect your privacy.” If we click on the settings wheel, we will access the rest of the functions, such as the hands-free with Alexa, the sidetone (to listen to our voice on calls), the touch controls, the equalizer (simple but functional and sufficient) and the option to find the headphones with Alexa.
The headphones respond well to gestures, although the execution of the action is not entirely immediate. There is a slight delay, nothing serious, but it never hurts to comment on it.
This way, we can do absolutely anything we agree on, from asking for information to making a call, turning on a light bulb, adding something to the shopping list, or setting a reminder. Just say “Alexa,” wait for the signal, and give the command. It works like hell, and if you have the house automated with Alexa, surely it won’t be long before you get the most out of these headphones.
Don’t you like Alexa? No problem; in the app settings, you can configure the long press to invoke the native assistant, which can be Siri or Google Assistant, depending on the mobile to which you connect the headphones. I used an iPhone during the review and could use Siri without a problem, although I prefer Alexa. Walking down the street and telling Alexa to tell you a joke is priceless.
These headphones do not have a multi-device connection, so we can only use them with one device at a time. But in any case, the experience with the headphones is generally very positive, and the powerful integration of Alexa is already more than a reason to have them on the radar.
Sound quality: good job
But let’s get to the point: how do these headphones sound? Well, the truth is that I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, it should be noted that we have used the Echo Buds 2 connected to an iPhone 13 mini to listen to the usual battery of songs and our library. All the pieces have been reproduced at 320 kbps, which is the maximum that Spotify dispatches (for now), and it is not that we will need more.
Why? The Amazon Echo Buds 2 supports AAC and SBC, but not more powerful codecs or spatial sound. In other words, they are not prepared to take advantage of the benefits of high-definition sound offered by platforms such as Tidal, Apple Music, or Qobuz. This, however, should not worry you in the least if you are going to use the headphones to listen to music on Spotify, or YouTube Music, or watch videos on YouTube.
That said, we can say that the Amazon Echo Buds 2 sound pretty good for a hundred-odd euro headphones. The frequency spectrum is well represented, with accurate bass. The headphones have punch, but without becoming strident or more exaggerated than necessary.
A good job has also been done with the highs and mids, which are usually somewhat problematic in headphones of this type. They are friendly and allow us to enjoy the guitars and drums of ‘Paint it black’ (Rolling Stones) or ‘Bloody Valentine’ (Machine Gun Kelly), easily differentiating both instruments.
Is it the best sound we’ve ever had to hear? No, not. But for devices around 100 euros, and considering the audience these headphones are aimed at, I don’t think a user with untrained ears will object. The experience is quite positive and has left us with a good taste in our mouths.