At today’s hardware event, Amazon announced proudly that its brand new $129.99 Echo Buds incorporate Bose technology which offers active noise reduction and cut down on surrounding noise. This is the first time its NR technology has been built into the headphones of another company, said a Bose spokesperson. “Bose ANR” is specifically mentioned in several places in Amazon’s companion app for the earbuds.
The same spokesperson added that Bose is developing something even better. The forthcoming Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, planned for release in 2020, is going to offer proper noise cancellation, like the name suggests, and not simply reduction.
Bose’s spokesperson told The Verge, “Amazon is using Bose Active Noise Reduction in the Echo Buds, which is different than Bose Active Noise-Cancellation. The performance target for Echo Buds was set by Amazon, and the Bose active noise-reduction system used to achieve that target minimizes background noise as you move throughout your day.”
“Bose’s noise cancelling headphones, like the QC35IIs and the Bose Noise-Cancelling [Headphones] 700, use proprietary active noise-cancellation technology — exclusive to Bose — to dramatically decrease the full-spectrum of noise in everyday places, as well as much harsher, challenging environments, like planes or city subways. Bose’s active noise-cancellation technology is only available in Bose headphones. It uses a combination of Bose active and passive noise-cancelling technologies, microphones, digital signal processing, and an acoustic design and electronics package to deliver unrivaled performance.”
That’s a lot of detail but the main idea is this: Boss wants to help Amazon make some high-quality earbuds. There may be a lot of positive first impressions for the Echo Buds but it’s saving the best for its own products. The Bose’s spokesperson said, “The Bose Earbuds 700 are still on track for launch next year, will use proprietary Bose active noise-cancellation, and will have better performance than the Echo Buds.”
A few months ago, the company showed a showed a non-working sample of its also-forthcoming Earbuds 500 to journalists when introducing the Noise Canceling Headphones 700, but confirmed the higher-end NC pair wouldn’t arrive until next year.
The Bose spokesperson added, “Their launch timing has nothing to do with Echo Buds, because they are truly two different products, with two different targets for performance, and as a result, two very different levels of effectiveness.”