Did Amazon Just Announce Apple AirPods and HomePod Killers?

Echo Buds2 Credit: The Verge
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Amazon unveiled a slew of new devices at its event in Seattle Wednesday, ranging from smart speakers to Alexa-enabled lamps. But it also debuted a couple of products that are obvious Apple competitors.

Enter the Echo Buds and the Echo Studio. You probably already know which Apple products these devices are meant to compete with -– AirPods and HomePod. But how do they stack up against their Apple rivals?

Amazon Echo Buds

AirPods are one of Apple’s most successful products in recent years, which explains why everyone from Samsung to Amazon is trying to compete with them.

The Echo Buds are a $129 pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones that come with baked-in Amazon Alexa support. Notably, they’re technically Amazon’s first wearable and they come with hands-free support for the company’s ubiquitous voice assistant.

Amazon says they’ll deliver crisp, clear audio with dynamic bass. They’ll last for five hours on a charge, and with the included carrying case, may offer up to 20 hours. At launch, they’ll only be available in black.

Looking at them, they look like they’ll deliver sound quality and fit more akin to Galaxy Buds or Beats than AirPods. But they also offer something that AirPods don’t: nose cancelation via Bose Active Noise Reduction technology.

Amazon Echo Studio

Amazon currently dominates the low- and mid-range of the smart speaker market, but not necessarily the high-end. So it makes sense that it would eventually debut something aimed at the premium space. On Wednesday, it did.

It’s called the Echo Studio and it’s designed to be a high-end version of the Alexa-equipped Echo platform. Priced at $199, Amazon has obviously taken some cues from Apple in the premium speaker sphere.

It features three mid-range speakers, a directional tweeter and a 5.25-inch subwoofer. It also offers 3D Dolby sound, and Amazon says it’s working with record labels that support Sony 360 audio. Users can also connect it to Amazon’s other devices, such as a 4K Fire TV.

Interestingly, the Echo Studio is also designed to optimize its audio output based on the room that it’s in. Sound familiar?

Amazon’s Other Devices

While the Echo Studio and Echo Buds are obvious Apple competitors, Amazon also debuted several other interesting products.

That includes a pair of Alexa-enabled prescription glasses called Echo Frames, an Alexa-sporting Smart Oven, and a smart lamp called the Alexa Glow. You can learn more about Amazon’s new products here.

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