First things first, the audio quality is impressive on the Echo Buds, which is what truly matters when it comes to earbuds. The sounds of Lana Del Rey or Kendrick Lamar (or perhaps your favorite podcast) are clear and crisp. The ambient noise reduction feature is like a portable bubble of tranquility when stuck in LA traffic or bustling through the crowded Farmers Market on Fairfax.
The design is sleek, subtle, and stylish - important for any Angeleno. They're comfortable to wear even during a long stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or a hike up to the Griffith Observatory. They fit nicely and don't fall out, a huge plus for those workout sessions at Muscle Beach or that sunset yoga class in Runyon Canyon.
Amazon has integrated Alexa into the buds, and as someone who's hands are usually full with a cup of Alfred's coffee, a screenplay, or my dog's leash, being able to control my music or ask for directions to the closest In-N-Out, all with just my voice, is a game changer. Alexa even alerts me when I need to leave for appointments to account for LA's infamous traffic.
That being said, there's a reason for that one star deduction. As an Angeleno, battery life matters because, let's face it, we spend a lot of time away from power outlets, whether it's beach days in Malibu or finding that next Instagram moment around the city. The Echo Buds last around 5 hours with ANC on, which isn't bad, but can't compete with some other premium earbuds on the market. The charging case does offer multiple recharges, which is handy, but I found myself wishing for a little more stamina in the buds themselves.
Overall, the All-New Echo Buds (2023 Release) are a high-quality product. Their sound performance, sleek design, and hands-free Alexa capabilities make them a worthy addition to my LA life. Despite the slightly less-than-ideal battery life, they're an investment worth making for any on-the-go Angeleno.