Apple’s AirPods have effectively dominated the wireless earbud market since their first release in 2016. However, not everyone has an Apple device. Furthermore, not everyone has loyalty to the Apple brand. For this reason, there’s competition among other wireless earbud brands for the runner-up spot. Amazon and Google — known for their Echo and Pixel brands — are neck-and-neck in this regard. But how do the Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds stack up against one another?
After several years and just as many earbuds released under their respective belts, it’s worth looking at the Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds and deciding which wireless earbuds are best. A full comparison of the two earbuds, including specs and pros and cons, will put things in perspective. Which of the two earbuds will come out on top?
Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds: Side-by-Side Comparison
|||Echo Buds||Pixel Buds|
|First Released||October 2019||November 2017|
|Type||Wireless earbuds||Wireless earbuds|
|Current Release||Echo Buds (2nd Generation)||Pixel Buds Pro|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Battery Life||5 hours per charge, 15 hours per case||11 hours per charge, 31 hours per case|
5 Must-Know Facts About Echo and Pixel Buds
- Google’s Pixel Buds offer live, real-time Google Translate for up to 40 languages. This allows Pixel Buds to translate conversations as they happen.
- Because Amazon does not have a smartphone of its own, the Echo Buds are equally useful for Apple and Android users. Pixel Buds, however, show favoritism toward the latter phone brand.
- Echo Buds come equipped with active noise cancellation (ANC), while Pixel Buds merely offer passive isolation.
- The battery life on the Pixel Buds Pro far surpass even the Apple AirPods, delivering 31 hours of charge per case and 11 hours of use per charge.
- No matter how good the audio on a pair of wireless earbuds may sound, they still can’t compare to the quality of wired ones. This is not an opinion — There’s factual evidence to back the significant loss of audio when played over Bluetooth.
Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds: Key Differences
As their opposing brand names suggest, Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds are distinct in some ways. From price to battery life to release date to current models, there are a few things that both earbuds would consider crossover territory.
Echo Buds have made little effort to try and differentiate their design from the AirPods, with its charging case looking almost identical to Apple’s (just in black instead of white). Amazon has never been one to have the most cutting-edge tech, so no wonder they want to try and step into a little bit of Apple’s spotlight with this obvious similarity.
The Pixel Buds have tried and failed a few times to create a distinct but similarly iconic look for their wireless earbuds. With their latest release, they’ve seemingly embraced the look of the AirPods case, as well. It just goes to show that, for all these earbuds attempt to do, neither one seems too determined to try and step away from Apple’s successful offering.
As far as performance is concerned, the Pixel Buds have a far longer battery life than the Echo Buds. Pixel Buds give 11 hours of play per charge, and each case gives 31 hours of charge. The Echo Buds only have 5 hours of play and 15 hours of charge per case.
That Echo Buds have a far superior audio quality to the Pixel Buds isn’t in question. Amazon’s buds active noise cancellation, whereas Google’s relies on passive isolation.
- Dynamic audio and active noise cancellation (ANC) - Premium speakers deliver crisp, balanced sound. Sealed in-ear design and ANC limit background noise.
- Compact and comfortable - Echo Buds are small, light, and sweat-resistant, with a secure, customizable fit that's made to move with you.
- Hands-free entertainment - Echo Buds work with the Alexa app to stream music, play podcasts, and read Audible audiobooks—just ask.
- Long-lasting battery - Get up to 5 hrs music playback per charge and up to 15 hrs with the charging case. A 15-min quick charge provides up to 2 hrs of music.
- Leave your phone in your pocket - Use your voice to make calls, set reminders, add items to your shopping list, or even start a meditation session.
The History of Echo Buds
Amazon first debuted the Echo Buds in October of 2019. An obvious attempt to compete with Apple‘s AirPods and Google‘s Pixel Buds — both of which had already been out for years by 2019 — the Echo Buds arrived quite late to the party. Nevertheless, the Echo Buds rode on the Amazon brand name to success. Despite their late arrival, the Echo Buds managed to deliver a quality competitor to the comparable products from Amazon, Google, and other wireless earbud brands. Originally offered for $129.99, the first-generation product boasted Bose-branded noise reduction capabilities, and unique Alexa features innovative touch controls.
A second generation of the Echo Buds arrived a couple of years later, in May of 2021. These new and improved Echo Buds came in two options and price points: Echo Buds 2 with a wired charging case for $120 or Echo Buds 2 with a wireless charging case for $140. While the first generation Echo Buds seemed to exist only to pull potential customers away from the competition, the second generation made improvements across the board that better proved their worth. In an increasingly crowded field, these upgrades proved essential to continued success.
Beyond the lower price, Echo Buds 2 came with a fresh new look, much finer audio quality, and proper active noise cancellation (ANC). This second-generation product also made the Buds smaller in size and lighter in weight, which is always a good thing for in-ear electronics of this sort. Better yet, the product comes with several alternate tips and wings to further customize the fit. A corresponding app can also help test the Echo Buds’ fit to ensure proper fit further. Clearly, the second generation Echo Buds took an average offering and made it markedly stronger.
Pixel Buds Product History
Arriving before the Echo Buds but after Apple’s AirPods, Google‘s Pixel Buds arrived early enough in the wireless earbuds boom to score a decent amount of customers. Alas, they also arrived late enough in the game to be subjected to plenty of criticisms in comparison Apple. From the first release of the Pixel Buds in November of 2017, critics and consumers alike took major issue with the look and feel of the Google product. Initially offered for $159, the first-generation Pixel Buds were torn apart for their goofy-looking fabric-covered clamshell case.
Then, of course, there was the issue of the wire. You see, these first-gen Pixel Buds were not truly wireless. A thin, black wire connected the two buds, proving to be a step down in technological capability from much of the competition (namely Apple). All in all, they were a pretty serious disappointment compared to the AirPods. For their second generation, released in 2020, Google returned to the drawing board. This proved to be the best possible move, as the Pixel Buds were able to completely turn things around with a top-to-bottom redesign of the product.
From 2020 on, the Pixel Buds — now truly wireless, sans connector cord and fabric case, albeit a bit more expensive — have seen much more positive reviews. While subsequent releases like the A-Series and Pro models have further increased prices, they’re finally able to stand next to the AirPods and Echo Buds. The noise-canceling Pixel Buds Pro has incredible battery life. Plus, at $200, they aren’t too expensive either. Like the Echo Buds, the Pixel Buds might still pale compared to the AirPods. But, for Android users, they aren’t a bad alternative at all.
Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds: Pros and Cons
|The Echo Buds include several alternate sizes for maximum in-ear comfort||With only 5 hours of play per charge and 15 hours of charge per case, the Echo Buds die quickly|
|At no more than $140, the Echo Buds are pretty affordable||Its IPX4 waterproof rating is concerning|
|Echo Buds work equally well with Apple and Android devices||Audio quality is not the best on the Echo Buds, even with ANC|
|It comes in both black and white colors, giving consumers more choices||Alexa can be overly sensitive, leading to some annoying interruptions|
|The 31-hour case, 11-hour charged battery life on the Pixel Buds Pro is seriously great||At prices as high as $200, the Pixel Buds are some of the priciest AirPods alternatives|
|Offers multipoint Bluetooth connections||A waterproof rating of IPX4 is pretty concerning|
|Great compatibility with Android users||Pixel Buds are not very compatible with Apple devices|
|Offers Google Translate for conversations live and in real-time||Some have complained of loose-fitting earbuds with certain Pixel Buds products|
Echo Buds vs Pixel Buds: Which Wireless Earbuds Are Best?
Echo Buds and Pixel Buds are two solid earbuds with pros and cons. Considering their specs and differences, it seems fair to crown the Echo Buds as the winner. Echo Buds are compatible with Apple and Android devices and more affordable than Pixel Buds. Plus, with active noise cancellation and superior calling functionality, the Echo Buds have even more advantages in their corner. The Pixel Buds will work well for Android Users, especially with their Pro model, but their serious lack of support for Apple users is a problem today.
Check out the Echo Buds on Amazon.
Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API