As reported by Bloomberg, the Alexa earbuds would look similar to Apple's AirPods 2, but Amazon is working on delivering better audio quality. And, of course, you'd have instant access to Amzon's assistant. Here's everything you need to know (so far).
Amazon Alexa Earbuds Release Date and Price
The Bloomberg report says that Amazon's new wireless earbuds will be available during the second half of 2019. Last year, the company held its hardware event on September 20, so it's possible the Alexa buds could be launched around the same time this year.
As for pricing, the AirPods 2 start at $159 but go up to $199 if you opt for the wireless charging case. As Bloomberg notes, Amazon is known to undercut its competition on pricing, so it's likely that the Alexa earbuds with wired charging case would be cheaper than AirPods 2.
Alexa Earbuds Features
As you might expect, the Alexa headphones "will let people use their voice to order goods, access music, weather and other information on the go," and you'll summon Amazon's assistant by saying "Alexa."
The Bloomberg report says that there will be gesture controls, such as tapping to pick up and end calls and for switching between tracks.
According to the report, the Amazon earbuds will have to pair via Bluetooth with a phone, but getting Alexa to work will most likely mean that iPhone users will need to have an app running, similar to other Alexa-enabled phone accessories like the Anker Roav Viva Pro and Garmin Speak+.
The earbuds will come in a storage case that doubles as a charger, which will have to be plugged in via USB; by comparison, the AirPods case can be recharged wirelessly.
Another Bloomberg report recently found that thousands of Amazon employees are listening to Alexa recordings from Echo owners. Humans transcribe recordings in order to improve Alexa. In a statement, the company said that it annotates "an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order [to] improve the customer experience."
It stands to reason that Amazon would apply the same practices to its rumored earbuds. The good news is that we have step-by-step instructions for how to stop Amazon from listening to your Alexa recordings.
Alexa Earbuds vs the Competition
Amazon's earbuds would hardly be the first AirPods competitors. Since their release, a number of companies have come out with AirPods alternatives, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds and the Jabra Elite Active 65t ($149). The Jabra is not only less expensive than the AirPods, but can also be used with Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa.