Wireless earbuds are the hottest wearable tech right now (sorry, smartwatches). And it shows. Virtually every major tech player has their own version of truly wireless earbuds. Google and Amazon are no exception.
Last year Amazon dropped their Echo Buds, and more recently, this year Google debuted its updated Pixel Buds. Ut how do the two compare and which are better? Let’s take a look.
Google’s Pixel Buds 2 vs Amazon’s Echo Buds
- Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds probably feature the less-sleek design, but it’s not a bad one. They’re a little more cartoonish looking, but feature a cool stabilizer arch to help keep them in your ears.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds look more “techie” thanks to their shiny 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? Draw – They both look like little bulbous Jelly Bellies you put in your ear.
Audio & Connectivity
- Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds feature beam-forming microphones and a voice accelerometer, as well as connecting over Bluetooth, too. The Buds also have “Adaptive Sound” that automatically raises or lowers the volume based on your surroundings.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds also feature dual beam-forming microphones and an accelerometer, as well as connecting over Bluetooth too. But when it comes to audio quality they offer Bose Active Noise Reduction technology. To be clear, this is noise isolating tech, not noise-canceling tech.
Winner? Echo Buds – The Echo Buds have noise isolating tech. While that’s not the same as active noise cancelation, it is better than the Pixel Buds’ Adaptive Sound.
Battery & Charging
- Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds get you 5 hours of use and their case gets you 24 hours in total. The Pixel Buds ship with a wireless charging case.
- Echo Buds – The Echo Buds 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? Pixel Buds – They include a wireless charging case that holds four additional hours of charge over the Echo Buds case.
- Pixel Buds – The Pixel Buds support hands-free Google Assistant.
- 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 – The Echo Buds support all the voice assistants out there.
- Pixel Buds – $179.99
- Echo Buds – $129.99
From an audio perspective, the Echo Buds sound better thanks to their noise isolating tech. They also offer support for three digital assistants out of the box, meaning it’s easy to use them with no matter what phone you own. And at $50 cheaper than the Pixel Buds, they’re an attractive option. However, the Pixel Buds do outshine the Echo Buds when it comes to wireless charging tech. They’re also a natural choice if you already own a Pixel smartphone.
Google’s Pixel Buds 2 vs Amazon’s Echo Buds: Full Specs
Here are the specs for the Pixel Buds:
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Wireless charging: Yes
- Battery Life: 5 hours Pixel Buds use, 24 hours with charging case
- Sensors: Beam-forming microphones, Voice accelerometers, Touch
- Voice assistant support: Google Assistant + Translation
- Noise Cancellation: No, but Adaptive Sound feature will raise and lower the volume based on outside noise
- Sweat and water resistant: Yes
And here are the specs for the Echo Buds:
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- 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 Cancellation: No, but they have Bose Active Noise “Reduction” Technology
- Sweat resistant: Yes
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.