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Amazon is developing a set of Alexa-enabled wireless earbuds that will compete with Apple's AirPods, reports Bloomberg.

The earbuds will "look and act" similar to Apple's AirPods, but will offer built-in Alexa voice support. Alexa is Amazon's Siri rival, built into the Amazon Echo line of products and many other third-party devices.

airpods2-800x688.jpg

Amazon is aiming to offer better audio quality than the AirPods, and its earbuds have been designed to sit inside the ears without clips to hold them in place. The Alexa wake word will allow Amazon earbuds users to access music, order goods, make search queries, and more, though physical gesture controls will also be available.

Built-in cellular connectivity will not be included, and the earbuds will need to connect to a user's smartphone. A storage case that also serves as a charging device will be included, and it will charge using a standard USB cable. Amazon is testing earbuds in black and gray.

There's no word on pricing for the earbuds, but Amazon often prices its products lower than Apple's, so Amazon earbuds could be available for $159 or less, the base price of the AirPods.

Bloomberg says that the new earbuds are considered one of the most important projects at Amazon's Lab126 hardware division, and while there have been delays, Amazon is now seeking suppliers and manufacturing partners.

Multiple companies have already come out with wire-free earbuds in an effort to compete with the AirPods. Google, for example, has the Pixel Buds while Samsung has the Galaxy Buds. There are also many other less impressive third-party wireless earbud options on the market, but so far, none have been able to match the popularity of Apple's AirPods.

Apple recently debuted second-generation AirPods with an H1 chip for faster connectivity to devices, Hey Siri support, and wireless charging.

airpodspowerbeatspro-800x457.jpg

The company's Beats brand also just yesterday announced Powerbeats Pro, a fitness-oriented AirPods alternative with more standard ear tips, an ear hook for keeping them in place, physical buttons and a longer battery life. The Powerbeats Pro also have many AirPods features including a charging case, H1 chip, and all of the same sensors and capabilities.

Article Link: Amazon Working on Alexa-Enabled Wireless Earbuds to Rival AirPods
 

Ankaa

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2008
737
610
Why does not a single company make them waterproof and only a very few include internal storage? ESPECIALLY if they're aimed for fitness. These are just another of the same.

I'm gonna miss Bragi.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,525
6,768
Toronto, ON
AirPods are the new iPod. Give them internal storage and the ability to work with Siri for playback controls offline, and they're a full on iPod replacement.

Beyond the functionality, AirPods are the 2019 status symbol as iPod's white earbuds were in the early 2000's.

I'm not surprised to see other big names coming in to compete with arguably Apple's most popular product right now.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,570
38,687
"Amazon is aiming to offer better audio quality than the AirPods"

This wont be very hard to do I guess

You know though, the AirPods actually sound really good for what they offer. They have decent bass and the sound is crisp, and they are just loud enough. I doubt for the majority they complain about the audio with the AirPods, when there could be improvements in other areas. (I.e Water resistance, noise isolation, etc.)
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
27,895
34,548
In the middle of several books.
Jeff Bezos couldn’t even protect his phone from Saudi hackers yet millions of fools would trust him with the data collected by Alexa devices.
And that is one of the big reasons I don't buy Alexa type products from Amazon. I don't want my information sold to advertisers or some other hack company looking to make a dollar off me, by mini every thing that is said etc.

Cheaper is not always better.

Edited to add: I have AirPods 2 arriving Saturday. Never used them before. Hope they work out for me.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,570
38,687
All of this time, effort and expense wasted on these stupid earbuds when you could have just left the headphone jack in your phones.

If your argument is that they should’ve left the headphone jack in the phones, then why has Bluetooth grown exponentially where all these manufacturers are creating their own wireless Bluetooth earbuds? Seems that the headphone jack is fading where Bluetooth has become more predominate in improving with sound and battery life. Not everyone cares about the 3.5 mm Jack.
 
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redman042

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2008
2,954
1,413
Will they call them FirePods?

They'll go great with my cutting-edge Fire Phone. And it will sure be nice to just muse out loud "gosh, I could really go for a case of Doritos" and have one unexpectedly show up at my front door an hour later.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,578
15,901
Central U.S.
Here, I managed to throw together a quick mockup of one potential design.

View attachment 830413
Probably that but black with a blue ring light around the part where it opens and chunkier. Make it so—dance monkey dance! Gotta hustle to get those likes! :D
Jeff Bezos couldn’t even protect his phone from Saudi hackers yet millions of fools would trust him with the data collected by Alexa devices.
I mean, I'm no fan of Amazon's Alexa and their privacy issues, but name one person who could fend off a state sponsored hacking team with billions of dollars at their disposal? I guess Bezos also has billions but it's not some simple thing. I think it was a network based attack and wasn't he also using an iPhone? At that point you're pretty screwed. If they want your data they will find a way. I also think it was a secret secondary device that he used for cheating on his wife, so it probably didn't have the same security protections in place that Amazon probably has on his main device. Also I just heard someone briefly mention it on a podcast the other day while I was driving so I might not have all the details straight.
 

futurist101

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2016
112
86
Los Angeles
Competition is always good but I do wonder if their resources could be deployed in a more judicious manner. As a consumer, I would rather they build on the good products/services they have instead of entering a very competitive market that would provide little to their bottom line.
 
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