Apple’s AirPods vs Amazon’s Echo Buds – Which is Best For 2021?
Welcome to our Echo Buds vs AirPods! When you think of wireless earbuds you almost certainly think of Apple’s sleek AirPods. But since their introduction years ago, the wireless earbud market has exploded with competitors.
Amazon is the latest tech giant to enter the sector, with the release of the upcoming Amazon Echo Earbuds at the end of October. But just how do the Echo Buds match up with Apple’s second-generation AirPods? Let’s find out.
Apple’s AirPods 2 vs Amazon’s Echo Buds in 2021
Before we delve into the AirPods vs Echo Buds comparison, it’s important to note that this original VS was written back in 2019. Since then, Apple has introduced the AirPods Pro, which add advanced features like noise cancelation to the little buds.
However, even in 2021, Apple still sells the original AirPods (2nd generation). Those are the AirPods we talk about in this comparison. And they’re still fantastic AirPods even in 2021. Of course, the AirPods Pro are better–but we aren’t comparing them here. If you want to see how Apple AirPods Pro stacks up to the AirPods (2nd generation) that we talk about here, check out our VS on Apple’s AirPods Pro vs AirPods here.
Apple’s AirPods 2 vs Amazon’s Echo Buds
When it comes to design, the AirPods are the iconic ones. That flower “stem” design is a thing of beauty. Amazon’s Echo Buds, on the other hand, are kind of shaped like bolts you push into your ears.
- AirPods 2 – Apple’s AirPods are made to be as tiny and fashion-conscious as possible. It’s a minimalist device that doesn’t even have any physical buttons. And their white body is virtually iconic by now
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds, on the other hand, features a less sleek design. They come in black and they also include a selection of three differently-sized ear tips so you can choose the right fit for your ear.
Winner? AirPods – Their design still outshines the newer Echo Buds. They’re tiny works of art.
Audio & Connectivity
The AirPods, without a doubt, have the better connectivity. That’s because they use traditional Bluetooth, but also have the H1 chipset which makes your iPhone pick them up instantly. The Echo Buds only rely on Bluetooth.
However, the Echo Buds do have something the AirPods do not: noise reduction technology. This uses software to eliminate background noise. It’s important to note, however, that it is not true noise cancellation technology. Neith the AirPods or the Echo Buds have that.
- AirPods 2 – The AirPods include dual beam-forming microphones, dual optical sensors, a motion-detecting accelerometer, and a speech-detecting accelerometer. They also connect over both Bluetooth and Apple’s H1 chip, which makes connecting them to an iPhone effortless.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds also feature dual beam-forming microphones and an accelerometer, as well as connecting over Bluetooth too. But where they have a leg up on the AirPods is in their Bose Active Noise Reduction technology. To be clear, this is noise-isolating tech, not noise-canceling tech.
Winner? Echo Buds – The AirPods have better mics, but the noise isolating tech of the Echo Buds means you’ll be able to block out more external sounds with them than you can with the AirPods.
Battery & Charging
Both the Echo Bud and the AirPods will get you about five hours of use on a single charge and their charging case will get you about 4-5 charges each. However, the AirPods offer a wireless charging case option, which means you can charge up the pods just by placing them on a Qi-compatible charging mat.
- AirPods 2 – The AirPods come in a wired charging case and wireless charging case option. One charge gets you five hours of use and a full case charge gets you over 24 hours of use.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds also get you 5 hours of use and their case gets you 20 hours in total. However, the Echo Buds do not have a wireless charging case option.
Winner? AirPods – They have better battery life and the optional wireless charging case.
It’s the eternal battle: which is the better voice assistant? Siri or Alexa. If you are tied into the Apple ecosystem, Siri is generally the one to use. However, if you use a lot of Amazon services, Alexa is going to be the better all-around choice.
- AirPods 2 – The AirPods support hands-free “Hey Siri” commands as well as giving you full access to all of Siri’s capabilities.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds support hands-free Alexa commands. However, they also support Siri and Google Assistant via tap controls. These voice assistants aren’t built into the Buds, but if you have an iPhone or Pixel phone, you can use the Buds to interact with those assistants.
Winner? Echo Buds – Alexa is generally a better assistant than Siri anyway, but the Buds also support two more voice assistants too.
The Echo Buds are a very attractive product considering their lower price point. The fact they also support third-party voice assistants and offer noise isolation is a nice touch too. Given their lower price, better sound quality, excellent built-in voice assistant, and the fact that they use Bose’s noise-canceling technology, I’d be inclined to go with a pair of these over Apple’s AirPods.
That makes them perfect for most people with Android phones. However, if you use an iPhone, Apple’s AirPods are going to be the earbuds you want thanks to their deep integration into Apple’s ecosystem.
Apple’s AirPods 2 vs Amazon’s Echo Buds: Specs
Here are the specs for the new AirPods:
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, H1 chip
- Wireless charging: Yes
- Battery Life: 5 hours AirPod use, 24+ hours with charging case
- Sensors: Dual beam-forming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion-detecting accelerometer, Speech-detecting accelerometer
- Voice assistant support: Siri
- Noise Isolation: No
- Sweat-resistant: No
And here are the specs for the Echo Buds:
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Wireless charging: No
- Battery Life: 5 hours Echo Buds use, 20+ hours with charging case
- Sensors: Dual beam-forming microphones, Accelerometer, proximity, touch
- Voice assistant support: Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant
- Noise Isolation: Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology
- Sweat-resistant: Yes