Amazon today introduced the second-generation of its Echo Buds while the Apple community awaits the introduction of AirPods 3. For the first-gen buds, Amazon only offered them in black, but this year they have added a white color… and the white case design very much borders on AirPods Pro/AirPods 3 territory.

Also just like AirPods, the new wireless charging case is an optional extra, priced $20 above the normal $119 price point. However, to be fair, that is where the similarities end, as the Echo Buds lack the stems that are currently AirPods’ trademark …

The Echo Buds case in white can easily be confused for the AirPods Pro case, although Amazon manages to also release its truly-wireless earbuds in black — a feat that Apple has yet to achieve.

With the charging case, Amazon promises up to 15 hours of battery life for music playback. This is a little below Apple’s estimated 24-hour runtime. In addition to an AirPods Pro-esque case, the Echo Buds use a new vented design like the AirPod Pros as well to help with comfort.

Apple is expected to catch up to the Echo Buds form factor with the next-generation of AirPods Pro. A report from Bloomberg said Apple would drop the stems in AirPods Pro 2, and feature a rounded shape casing. The new AirPods Pro are expected later this year or early in 2022.

Alleged photos of the as-yet-unannounced AirPods 3

What is more imminent is AirPods 3, the entry-level of the AirPods line. AirPods 3 will largely resemble the design of AirPods Pro — except they will lack the in-ear tips and are unlikely to feature active noise cancellation.

The AirPods 3 have been leaked and photographed all over the place, which is usually a good indicator that they are close to launch. However, Ming-Chi Kuo recently said they are not expected to enter mass production until the third quarter. It remains unclear if Apple will keep selling second-generation AirPods — perhaps at a discount — when the new models eventually do come out.

That being said, Apple’s “Spring Loaded” product event is coming up next week, and there’s a chance AirPods 3 could make an appearance. More likely, we expect the April event to feature the unveiling of the 2021 iPad Pro lineup.

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.