Apple recently launched the second-generation of its AirPods with hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality and apparently, Amazon is working on a quite similar project with Alexa. According to a Bloomberg report, the e-commerce website is working on its own true wireless earbuds that will mark the first wearable with Alexa integration. Details are slim on the upcoming Amazon earbuds as of now, however, Bloomberg’s sources report that Amazon’s version will be similar to AirPods in terms of general design and features but will ship with better sound quality than Apple. Both the variant of AirPods have been subjected to sound quality criticism.
In addition to saying Alexa in order to trigger the voice assistant, Amazon earbuds have been reported to offer gesture controls for taking calls and skipping tracks. Not unlike many true wireless earbuds in the market, Amazon earbuds are said to be shipped with charging case. According to the Bloomberg report, Amazon’s hardware division, Lab126, is working on the project. Lab126 made it to the news last year about an Alexa enabled home robot–a device codenamed Vesta.
Amazon has faced numerous delays in the development of the earbuds and has been looking for parts suppliers and manufacturers over the last couple of months, reports Bloomberg.
With the launch of AirPods, the true wireless earbuds segment has seen rapid growth with various major brands launching their own version of the earbuds. According to reports, Apple AirPods are the most popular wireless earbuds in the segment, which is what Amazon would be looking forward to tapping in with its own version of Alexa-enabled earbuds. Since Amazon usually hosts big hardware showcase in the month of September, it could be expected that the company would launch the earbuds around then.
Meanwhile, Apple released its Beats Powerbeats Pro True Wireless earbuds at the price of $250 (₹17,000 roughly). The earbuds come in Black, Ivory, Navy, and Moss color options and will be available for purchase starting from May 2019. The design of the new earbuds is quite similar to the original Powerbeats Pro, with an exception of the connecting cord.
The new earbuds, however, are smaller and lighter in weight. It comes with Apple’s H1 chip–which has also been implemented in AirPods 2, which allows for hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality. The charging case for the Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds is quite big and features a lightning port for charging. There is no Qi wireless charging support. Just like the AirPods, one of the two earbuds can be used for listening to music or taking calls.