Amazon’s Echo Buds got a little bit better this week

The Amazon Echo Buds 2023 in hand.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

We’re big fans of high-end earbuds around here, but we’re also big fans of buds that don’t cost much at all. Both have their place. One of the more interesting sets of the past year are the 2023 Amazon Echo Buds, which just got a few new features this past week.

First up are tap controls. You can now set a tap gesture to run a full Alexa action, or multiple actions in a routine. Other long-press options include play/pause, next/previous track, volume, voice assistant, and mute — or you can just disable the long-press altogether.

And maybe bigger is that you can change the wake word you use for hands-free commands. So if saying “Alexa” just isn’t your thing, you can change it to “Echo” instead.

Buy at AmazonTo get the new features, just make sure your earbuds have the latest firmware. To make sure your buds are up to date, you’ll first want to give them a good charge (at least 30%), and make sure your Alexa app is up to date. Then the update should run on its own, so long as the buds are in the case. Amazon says to give things 30 minutes to run. (No peeking!)

The Amazon Echo Buds cost just $50 and are available in white or black. The case charges via USB-C, which is nice, and is easily pocketable. (You’ll need to supply your own cable, though.) Expect these to get some interesting competition over the summer as Beats releases the Solo Buds. Those will cost 60% more, though, but that might not matter to someone looking for fairly affordable earbuds outside the Amazon ecosystem.

All in all, the Echo Buds are a great option if you’re looking to not spend too much on a basic pair of earbuds that just got a wee bit better thanks to some new features.