Amazon has added a host of new features to its Echo Buds, which will help users track their workouts and receive some basic associated metrics.
The new feature, which can be enabled via enable voice commands, will log the step count, distance, average pace, and overall workout time.
Nothing ground breaking here, but it’s a bonus addition for existing owners and those considering a purchase of the AirPods Pro rivals. The new features work via the accelerometers within the earbuds, while the wearer’s height and weight is used to help calculate the number of calories burned during the run.
However, unlike some true wireless buds, the Echo Buds don’t have a built-in heart rate sensor built in, so there’s no data on your bpm, top and average heart rate, for example. At present it’s not possible to link an external sensor to the Alexa app to encapsulate that data, so there are limits here.
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Where this really comes into its own though is the support for the Alexa voice assistant. All wearers will need to do is say “Alexa, start my workout” to commence the activity, while it can also be paused or ceased in a similar fashion.
Interestingly, you can also use commands like “Alexa, how far have I run?” for a real time readout, or “Alexa, how was my workout?” for a post-exercise run down of your stats. Workout data will be synced back to the Amazon Alexa app where it’ll be stored for future perusal. The IPX4 sweat and water resistance will protect the buds from damage during workouts too.
The new feature boosts a rather lacklustre start for Amazon’s earphone range. Our reviewer scored them at a decidedly average 3.5/5 stars. We praised the Alexa voice commands and presence of Bose noise reduction tech, but felt the sound was disappointing, offering “turgid bass performance and a lack of detail.”
The update is rolling out to Echo Buds users in the UK and the US in the coming days, Amazon says.