Today at an event in Seattle, Amazon announced an avalanche of new products, including new Echo devices and a Smart Oven, but one of the most exciting reveals were the company’s upcoming Echo Buds, a pair of true wireless headphones with noise-reducing technology from Bose that come in at the extremely low price of $130.
Working with Bose to include the company’s Active Noise Reduction, the Echo Buds will be the first true wireless headphones with Bose’s noise-canceling tech (beating out the company’s own buds coming in 2020), and one of just a few pairs that offer the feature at all. Previously, Sony’s WF-1000XM3 buds have been the king of the category as the first to build active noise cancellation in such a small body. But now the Echo Buds are coming to compete and,at an astonishingly low price of $130, are undercutting their main competitor by $100.
The Echo Buds will also, of course, support Alexa and can she can be activated by using a wakeword, but they can also give you access to the native voice assistant on your phone if you tap and hold their built-in control button. It’s yet to be seen how many game-changing uses Amazon can cook up for this, an example it gave on stage was a Whole Foods integration where Alexa will apparently be able to guide you to products on the store’s shelves.
But ultimately, the buds’ Alexa capabilities are just gravy on what is otherwise an wildly cheap pair of true wireless earbuds with noise cancelation tech. Until we get our ears on a pair, we can’t be sure exactly how they’ll sound, and how effective the noise reducting tech really is. Amazon and Bose have both been cagey about describing its capacity in detail. But at a $130 price point, these buds would have to be downright terrible to be anything other than a no-brainer buy for someone who wants noise reduction on a budget.
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