Skip to main content

Amazon’s Echo Buds might be getting a fitness-tracking feature

Amazon’s Echo Buds, the $130 true wireless earbuds launched in October, have a remarkable set of features considering their affordable price. However, it’s possible a previously unannounced new feature could be coming soon. Signs of a fitness tracking feature have been found in the Alexa app, the mobile app used to configure the Echo Buds’ advanced functions, according to The Verge and CNBC.

From 3D-printed prostheses to burgers grown in science labs to smarter mobility for the elderly or infirm, tech improves our lives every day in a million ways beyond simply making things more convenient. Tech can have a meaningful impact — that’s why we call it Tech for Change. Here are the companies and people fighting to make a difference.
Tech for Change

Screenshots taken of the Alexa app show that within Device Settings for the Echo Buds, a new Fitness section has been added including Fitness Profile and Track Workouts options. Digital Trends has not been able to independently confirm these changes in the app. When we reached out to Amazon’s representatives for clarification on this possible new feature, we were told that Amazon does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The Echo Buds have onboard accelerometers that can be used to detect motion, but they do not have more advanced fitness sensors such as for heart rate monitoring. Plenty of basic fitness stats can be acquired from the motion sensing, such as step counting, and these can be enhanced through other data sets like GPS, but true cardio tracking is likely impossible.

Nonetheless, it’s a clear sign of how Amazon sees the Echo Buds evolving over time. Should the fitness tracking feature prove popular (if it, in fact, launches officially), a future version of the earbuds could include more advanced sensors. Apple recently launched the AirPods Pro, a $250 premium set of its wildly popular true wireless earbuds. The AirPods Pro do not have a fitness tracking feature, but the latest Apple Watch does contain very sophisticated sensors for tracking movement and cardio.

So far, Amazon has not shared any plans to create a wearable like an Echo smartwatch, so an enhanced version of the Echo Buds would be the easiest way for it to gain a foothold in the growing fitness tracking market. With Google’s recent purchase of Fitbit, we may be on the cusp of new fitness free-for-all between Apple, Google, and Amazon as each giant looks for ways to capitalize on the wealth of health data generated by our bodies every day. For the moment, Apple’s HealthKit platform is the clear leader, but clearly Amazon and Google don’t intend to cede the space to Cupertino without a fight.

Updated at 10:00 AM PT with Amazon’s response to inquiries about the fitness feature.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
Kim Kardashian spotted wearing unannounced Beats Fit Pro
Leaked image of Beats Fit Pro.

Earlier in October, a new set of true wireless earbuds from Beats was revealed by 9to5mac. The Beats Fit Pro, as they are reportedly called, could be a replacement for the aging Powerbeats Pro, or an entirely new line of workout-friendly earbuds. And on October 20, reality star Kim Kardashian was photographed wearing the new earbuds as she ran some errands in Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far about these new Beats earbuds.

Read more
You can now buy an Amazon Echo Studio With Billie Eilish’s face on it
Amazon Echo Studio Billie Eilish Special Edition speaker.

Billie Eilish has managed to amass legions of fans during her short career, and now those who love her music can choose to buy a limited-edition Amazon Echo Studio wireless smart speaker with Eilish's face on it. The Billie Eilish Limited Edition Echo Studio costs $230 ($30 more than the regular Studio) and you can pre-order it right now, with deliveries beginning on October 14.

The special version of Amazon's largest Echo smart speaker is decorated with the cover art from Eilish's recently released second studio album, Happier Than Ever. In addition to Eilish's face being on full display, the speaker comes with a six-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. You'll need that if you want to hear the new Eilish tracks in spatial audio via the Studio.

Read more
1More’s ColorBuds 2 boast way more features and a lower price
1More ColorBuds 2 in gold.

We know from experience that 1More has a proven track record for delivering premium audio products at affordable prices, and its latest true wireless earbuds, the $80 ColorBuds 2, appear to be no exception. Packed with active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, and wireless charging, you can buy them today in black, white, and gold. And 1More is offering a $10 discount for orders received before October 5 if you use the code "COLORBUDS2."

They're the most recent set of true wireless earbuds from smaller brands that manage to include a huge array of features for well less than $100, putting pressure on more established brands like Jabra, whose recently released Elite 3 also cost $80.

Read more