Echo Buds vs AirPods Pro Review: Which Should You Pick?
Wireless earbuds still have the aura of luxury to them. Once you’re ready to cut the cord and commit to listening wirelessly, you’ll naturally want to find the best possible option for you. In the realm of wireless earbuds, two powerful rulers exist – Echo Buds and AirPods Pro.
They don’t look the same, and AirPods Pros are significantly more expensive. But what about the performance? Does spending more means that you will get more? This article will try to determine what makes each of these earbuds stand out. And, of course, if there’s a clear winner.
Sure enough, most people are going to check the price first. And then see if there is any point going into a more in-depth analysis. Spending around $130 for the Echo Buds is a lot of money, but spending almost twice as much for a pair of AirPods Pros may seem incomprehensible to some.
Even the cheaper 2nd-gen AirPods are significantly more expensive than the Echo Buds. But there are so many iPhone and Mac users out there, and they will go for the AirPods, nonetheless. But in the price round, the Echo Buds are a clear winner.
Once you get past the price, sound quality is the most important category. You may expect a massive difference in sound quality, but it is not that significant. Although, the AirPods Pros do have a softer and a bit cleaner sound compared to the Echo Buds.
They are an improvement to the AirPods as well, so it’s no wonder that the sound quality is excellent. So, even though it’s not by a lot, the AirPods Pros win this round.
At this price point, you want earbuds that will cancel external noise. The Echo Buds noise cancellation comes courtesy of Bose’s Active Noise Reduction technology. And Bose has done a great job of integrating this feature. However, Apple has done a fantastic job on this front as well.
Probably even better. Apple uses proprietary technology for its noise cancelation feature. The transparency feature works incredibly well when you need to hear what’s going on around you. So, despite the Bose technology, the AirPods Pros have a better noise cancellation feature.
Arguably, the least important category, but is it? How many people will take a look at the Echo Buds and the AirPods Pros next to each other and know what they want? Advanced specs and features are all fine, but the design is essential in terms of market value. The first difference, the AirPods Pros are white, and the Echo Buds are black.
You have to consider the fit and comfort, as well. The Echo buds have three interchangeable silicone adapters of different sizes, but the AirPods Pros also have three sizes available. Also, the AirPods Pros are leaner and more sleek-looking compared to the Echo Buds. The potential downside to the AirPods Pro design is that they are somewhat strangely shaped. The Echo Buds perhaps aren’t noticeable right away, but that discreet feature might work to their advantage.
If you look at them closely, they look like little buttons that you place in your ears, and you don’t feel like they will fall out. It’s hard to pick the winner here since this is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. But the AirPods Pros have a slight advantage here too.
Alexa vs Siri
When it comes to voice assistants, this is where the Echo Buds have the upper hand. Alexa works much better with the Echo Buds than Siri does with AirPods Pros. The microphone on the Echo Buds picks up the commands well, and the only potential issue is that sometimes they might disconnect from the smart device.
Siri works well with iPhones and iPads but does have a limited range when working with Android phones. Overall, Alexa is a slightly superior voice assistant and has more features.
As far as connectivity goes, the AirPods Pros are easy to connect to your iPhone. You can also pair them with any Bluetooth-enabled device. Setting up the Echo Buds with the Alexa app is seamless too. It does take a bit more time, but you also get more customization features that you don’t have with the AirPods Pros.
Let’s not forget about battery life. Once you leave the house, how long will the Echo Buds and AirPods Pros work? In a nutshell, both models have pretty much the same battery capacity.
The AirPods Pro buds will give you 4.5 hours on a single charge if you’re listening to music and only 3.5 hours of talk time. The Echo buds come in at 5 hours, but you can extend that two additional hours with a fifteen minute charge.
The Echo Buds’ charging case will give you up to 20 hours of charging capabilities while the Airpods Pro case rates 24 hours of charging. Also, the Airpods Pro case claims to give your buds one hour of life for every 5 minutes of charging.
So, what does all of this mean? You can leave your Echo Buds in for longer periods of time without charging, but you will need to charge the case more frequently. The Airpods Pro buds are extremely close in battery life but have a better charging case life.
Most people would prefer to charge their buds less and their case more, so Echo Buds take the Battery category. But only by a very slim margin.
If you’re spending money on technology, you’ll want to check the warranty options. Although both are pretty solid devices, consider what you would do if one failed. Would you have to pay to replace it? Or, are malfunctions covered?
Both devices offer a standard one year warranty for the hardware. Apple on the other hand offers Apple Care for an extension on this coverage. If your case stops charging or your buds stop producing sound you would be covered. However, neither (including the extended Apple Care) cover loss or theft. In that case you’d have to order a new component.
Fortunately, both manufacturers offer replacement buds and cases at a lower cost than a full set too.
While there isn’t much risk of drop damage (it could happen, but it’s not prevalent), which one will hold up with your adventurous life? It isn’t likely that your buds would shatter and there isn’t much information available for let’s say, which one would hold up better if run over by an 18 wheeler, but we can review moisture resistance based on the manufacturer’s specs.
What’s more dangerous to an electronic than an end user? Probably liquid. So, Amazon tested its buds and they’re ‘Splash Resistant’ with an IPX4 rating. Basically, don’t use them while swimming, or showering. But they should survive some moisture contact.
Apple’s Airpods Pro has the same moisture rating as the Echo Buds. But, there are several forums about ‘Apple’s secret waterproof buds’ online today. Why you may ask? Users of older models (your dear author included) have washed and dried a single bud and the entire case without any damage. We don’t recommend this (seriously, check your pockets before washing clothes), but several users have been pleasantly surprised to find their buds are relatively durable.
In this category, it’s a tie based on the manufacturers’ specs, but feel free to search some forums from other users to see how theirs held up and make your own decision.
Now, features are another important matter to discuss. Earbuds are more than just listening devices these days so you may be shocked to know that there are some really neat features.
For starters, let’s get back to battery life. With the Echo Buds, you can simply ask Alexa how much battery is left, and she will respond to you while wearing your buds. With Airpods Pro, you have to check the battery life on your phone or wait for the tone to tell you the battery is low.
Next, Echo Buds will track your workout. Apple users need their phone or a smart watch to do this. All you need to do is tell Alexa what workout you’re doing and when you’re starting it. She will track everything for you and you never have to touch a screen.
Lastly, both respond to touch. With a tap of the bud you can stop music, play music, and more.
Overall, in features, thanks to Alexa the Echo Buds have more functionality than the Airpods. Sure, you can still use Siri for certain things, but Alexa can do just a little bit more. Try asking Siri to add tomatoes quite a bit more.
Is There a Clear Winner?
All things compared – this contest is a tie. The Pro version of the AirPods does have a tad better sound quality and noise cancellation, but the Echo Buds offer more versatility, a slightly better smart assistant, and a far lower price tag. In the ergonomics category, the situation is pretty much a tie, and battery life is so close it’s better to make your decision on one of the other categories.
Our final verdict: Echo Buds are a solid option for wireless listening, but Airpods Pro are extremely popular for a reason. So, if you’re looking for a budget friendly option the Echo Buds will work just find. But, if you’re looking for top quality regardless of price then the Airpods Pro is the better option.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.