Amazon's AirPod rivals, the Echo Buds, finally available to buy in the UK

echo buds
(Image credit: Amazon)

The Amazon Echo Buds are now available to buy in the UK, over a month after the AirPod rivals were released in the US – and just in time for Christmas. 

We've already tested the true wireless earbuds in our Amazon Echo Buds review – and we awarded them four our of five stars for their excellent noise reduction and good wireless connectivity, although we weren't blown away by their sound quality. 

The Echo Buds will set you back £119.99, and can be ordered now from Amazon

How does that price stack up against the competition? Well, the Apple AirPods start at £159, climbing up to £249 for the newer AirPods Pro, which come with noise cancellation – so the Echo Buds could represent a cheaper AirPods alternative. 

(Image credit: Lewis Leong)

How do the Echo Buds perform?

Amazon's first true wireless earbuds boast Bose's Active Noise Reduction technology – that's different from active noise cancellation (ANC), so these buds won't totally silence the outside world, but they'll reduce it enough to let you enjoy your music in peace.

Inside, the buds are packing two balanced armature drivers, which Amazon claims will deliver "crisp, dynamic audio". In our tests, we weren't totally dazzled by the sound quality on offer, so audiophiles may be better off with models like the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Battery life is about average at five hours, while the charging case provides an additional 20 hours of playback.

As an Amazon Echo product, these true wireless earbuds come with Alexa built-in – that means you can access the super-smart voice assistant on the go. The Echo Buds' inbuilt microphones are always listening for Alexa's wake word, so you need only say 'Alexa' to interact with the the voice assistant.

Not an Alexa user? The Echo Buds are also compatible with Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, but you'll need to to press the touch sensitive housing on one of the earbuds to wake them.

Based on our tests, we think that the Amazon Echo Buds are a good choice for those getting their first pair of truly wireless headphones – the battery life and sound are good enough to please most and the addition of Bose’s ANR is something you don’t often see in this price range. 

Whether that low price is truly enough to worry the likes of Apple is uncertain – Apple's iconic AirPods still dominate the idea of true wireless listening in a way that'll be hard to beat. 

Via What Hi-Fi?

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.