Amazon Working on Alexa-Enabled Wireless Earbuds to Rival AirPods

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.


    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.


    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
  2. WBRacing, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

    WBRacing macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2012
  3. mgollaher92 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2016
    access to what you were saying in your homes at all times wasn’t good enough.
  4. vidjahgamz macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2017
    These sound very promising and I'm hoping they don't screw it up.
  5. Ankaa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    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.
  6. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2015
    I welcome this personally, I use Alexa for everything. IMO Siri was never able to compete with it.
  7. ipedro macrumors 601


    Nov 30, 2004
    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.
  8. ediks macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2015
    "Amazon is aiming to offer better audio quality than the AirPods"

    This wont be very hard to do I guess
  9. AngerDanger, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

    AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Here, I managed to throw together a quick mockup of one potential design.

  10. Pepe4life macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2018
    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.
  11. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    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.)
  12. dugbug macrumors 65816


    Aug 23, 2008
    Somewhere in Florida
    They will come with "audio offers" for a $50 discount
  13. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2015
    All of this time, effort and expense wasted on these stupid earbuds when you could have just left the headphone jack in your phones.
  14. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2015
  15. jaredlipsitz macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Why stop there? Why don’t we just stop innovating altogether?
  16. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
  17. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    Abu Dhabi
    Good, competition is good. Apple needs to feel pressure more than ever. If Apple will feel that (a big IF), those of us who like(d) Apple will benefit in the long term.
  18. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    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.
  19. zombierunner macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2011
    I know exactly where we're headed. I've watched Black Mirror.
  20. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    Good Luck, Amazon. We need more players in the Bluetooth earphone category with chips, improved audio quality, etc.
  21. blancoBronco macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2009
    South Tampa
    they'll probably call them something awful like "echo go" instead of the obvious "echo buds"
  22. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    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.
  23. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    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.
  24. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    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
    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.
  25. futurist101 macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2016
    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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118 April 4, 2019