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The latest Amazon Echo Buds are back on sale for $35

One of the bigger selling points of Apple's AirPods for some people is their unsealed design, which means they rest just outside of your ear canal instead of inserting all the way in. Open-style earbuds like these aren't good at blocking out ambient noise as a result, but they tend to be more comfortable to wear for those with sensitive ears.

AirPods aren't exactly cheap, though. If this idea sounds appealing but you're on a tighter budget, the latest Amazon Echo Buds are a similar alternative that we recommend in our guide to the best budget earbuds. They normally cost $50, but a new deal at Amazon has dropped them back down to $35. That matches the lowest price we've tracked.

We gave the Echo Buds a score of 77 in our review last year. So long as you're OK with earbuds that don't totally close off your ear canal, they're a good value when they're discounted to this extent. We found they needed a slight bit of EQ tweaking to sound their best — the treble range was a little too hot out of the box — but Amazon's Alexa app makes that simple enough. Once you dial them in, they sound perfectly decent for a sub-$50 pair of unsealed earbuds. You won't get much in the way of deep bass, as usual with open-style headphones, but there's at least some rumble and enough separation to keep tracks from sounding overly congested. 

The earbuds themselves are lightweight and comfortable in the ear, and their included charging case is easy to slip into a pocket. Unlike many cheap earbuds, they support wear detection — so they'll automatically pause when you remove an earbud — and the ability to connect to two devices at once. Call quality is passable, if unremarkable, while the customizable touch controls are generally reliable. Naturally, you can also access Alexa hands-free, though it's possible to mute the built-in mics if you want nothing to do with that voice assistant.

These are still cheap earbuds, to be clear, so they come with their share of trade-offs. Battery life is mediocre, for one, usually tapping out around five hours. The pair only has an IPX2 water- and dust-resistance rating, so they're not well-suited for sweaty workouts. There's no charging cable in the box, and the Alexa app, while fairly well-featured, is more bloated than other companion apps we've tested. Annoyingly, you also need to register with the Alexa app just to set the Echo Buds up. And again, don't get an open-style pair like this if you're looking for noise cancellation. Still, while there's a chance we see a lower price during Amazon's Prime Day sale next month, this is a solid deal for the right person right now.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-latest-amazon-echo-buds-are-back-on-sale-for-35-142612419.html?src=rss

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