Amazon's Echo Buds can now do something Apple's AirPods and Samsung's Galaxy Buds cannot

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Amazon's Echo Buds can now do something Apple's AirPods and Samsung's Galaxy Buds cannot
Although Amazon managed to both beat the AirPods Pro to the market and substantially undercut Apple's high-end true wireless earbuds with the $130 noise-cancelling Echo Buds a little over a year ago, these bad boys didn't exactly prove incredibly successful.

The e-commerce giant was not ranked among the world's top five TWS (true wireless stereo) vendors of Q2 2020, for instance, as the Echo Buds earned mixed reviews from both tech blogs and early adopters. The diminutive headphones still sit at a mediocre 3.9-star average score based on more than 13,000 Amazon customer ratings, which is a far cry from other Echo-branded devices new and old.

On the bright side, Amazon has both routinely discounted and repeatedly updated the Echo Buds in the last 12 months to try to improve their mass appeal, and the latest features added to the increasingly attractive Alexa-enabled earbuds are actually pretty much unrivaled in this product category.

After around a year of internal testing, Amazon is publicly expanding the capabilities of the Echo Buds at last with a so-called "Workout Profile." You can create that right now by heading into the "Settings" menu of your Alexa mobile app and start tracking everything from the distance you cover to an estimated number of calories burned while running or power walking.

That's right, you will no longer have to wear a smartwatch or a dedicated activity tracker from Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin or, well, Amazon to monitor those things. All you need is an affordable pair of Echo Buds and an intuitive Alexa voice command (like "start my run") to get started. 

At the end of a running session, you can check your stats in the "Workouts" section of the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android device, with things like an always handy step count as well as your average pace and overall time spent doing physical activity available right there.

In case this type of functionality sounds vaguely familiar, we should point out Samsung did it first a long time ago on the Gear IconX precursors to the far more popular Galaxy Buds lineup. Apple's AirPods and the aforementioned Galaxy Buds families currently lack any sort of technology similar to this, although the noise-cancelling Buds Live were rumored at one point to bring back the fitness tracking capabilities of the IconX headphones. Oh, well, maybe next year...

Until then, wireless audio and fitness enthusiasts on a tight budget might want to consider buying the Amazon Echo Buds at $50 off their list price this Black Friday either by themselves or alongside a complimentary 6-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription (for new members only).

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