Amazon has two generations of Alexa-friendly Echo Buds under its belt, and today it’s introducing a third. The new model has been completely redesigned from the first two with an AirPods-like stickbud aesthetic many companies have adopted over the years. There are other changes too, but perhaps the most interesting one is what Amazon has done with the price. While the first two versions ranged from $100-$130, the third-gen Echo Buds are just $50.
The company describes the new design as “lightweight and compact” but also “semi-in-ear.” However, it didn’t go into much more detail about the updated look in the press release. This likely means a fit akin to the “regular” AirPods: the earbuds stay put in your ears but don’t have a tip to create a tight seal. As you might expect, Amazon is touting the new Echo Buds as a chance to take Alexa with you everywhere with quick hands-free access via voice cues. Inside, 12mm drivers offer “rich sound and balanced bass,” according to the company. For calls there are two microphones and a voice detection accelerometer that work together to pick out your voice.
In terms of battery life, Amazon says you can expect up to five hours of listening time on the buds with three full charges in the case (20 hours total). The company also gives you the ability to customize the onboard tap controls and offers multi-point pairing alongside a VIP Filter. That latter feature has been available on Echo Buds and Echo Frames, allowing you to limit notifications to certain contacts or apps.
The new Echo Buds are available now from Amazon at an introductory price of $40. They will be normally priced at $50.