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Amazon fits Alexa into your ear

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Now, Alexa fits in your ear. Amazon this week announced the next-generation of Echo Buds, with a new design, Active Noise Cancellation technology, improved microphones for better call quality, and hands-free access to Alexa. The new Echo Buds, available in Black or Glacier White, will sell online at $120 after an initial promotional price of  $100, at amazon.com/echobuds. Some buyers will also receive six months of Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible Plus for free.

“The new Echo Buds feature a smaller design, a more comfortable fit, Active Noise Cancellation technology, a new colour and wireless charging option, and high-performance drivers for dynamic audio,” says Tom Taylor, senior vice president of Amazon Alexa.

Customisable fit for all-day wearing

The new hearables are 20% smaller than the previous generation; are IPX4-rated to withstand splashes, sweat, or light rain; and designed to be comfortable enough for all-day wear. A shortened nozzle improves comfort and new built-in vents reduce ear pressure during use, making Echo Buds feel natural in users ear. With four ear tip sizes and two wingtip sizes, users can tailor the fit to what’s most comfortable for them, and during set-up, the easy Ear Tip Fit Test will confirm if they have a proper seal.

Dynamic audio experience featuring new Active Noise Cancellation

Built with a high-performance driver in each earbud, Amazon says the earphones deliver crisp, balanced sound with extended dynamic range. The premium speakers are optimised for increased fidelity in bass and treble, which reduces distortion during media playback.

Featuring Amazon’s new Active Noise Cancellation technology, the earphones cancel twice as much noise compared to the first generation. The technology uses the inner and outer microphones to estimate sound pressure in one’s eardrum—which directly correlates to how users hear sound—to generate the inverse of that signal and cancel out unwanted noise.

To turn on Active Noise Cancellation, press and hold either earbud or say, “Alexa, turn on noise cancellation.” When you want to hear what’s going on around you, enable Passthrough Mode with a press and hold on either earbud or by saying, “Alexa, turn on Passthrough.”

Access to entertainment options

The new Echo Buds offer access to content like Audible audiobook, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, among many others. Plus, users can ask Alexa for podcast recommendations. Users can also ask Alexa to play music for a set amount of time. When users want to take a short walk to soak in the sun, they can say, “Alexa, play relaxing music for 15 minutes.” When the tunes stop, it’s a cue to head home.

An in-ear personal assistant

Alexa helps users with reminders to stretch for a few minutes every hour, check calendars, find out when the nearest coffee shop opens, add laundry detergent to a shopping list, or catch up with a friend by saying, “Alexa, call Sara.” The onboard microphones in each earbud are optimised to capture lower frequencies compared to the prior generation. And if users misplace their Echo Buds, they can say, “Alexa, find my buds” to another Alexa-enabled device and, if they are nearby, you’ll hear an audible chime.

Later this year, you’ll be able to use VIP Filter on the all-new Echo Buds. Introduced on Echo Frames, VIP Filter lets users select the phone notifications that they want to hear, and filters out the rest.

Power up for work or play

The earphones offer up to five hours of music playback on a single charge with Active Noise Cancellation and hands-free access to Alexa, and the case provides two additional charges for a total of up to 15 hours of music playback. According to Amazon, a 15-minute quick charge will give up to two hours of music playback. To check battery status while wearing them, users can say, “Alexa, what’s my battery life?”.

Pricing and Availability

The new Echo Buds come in Black and Glacier White. They are available for pre-order today and will begin shipping to customers in the U.S. in May, starting at $120 for the USB-C wired charging option, and $140 for wireless charging.

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