Amazon’s working on an Alexa-powered rival to the Apple AirPods 2, according to a fresh report from Bloomberg.
The report broke on 4 April and suggested “people with knowledge of the plans” confirmed the company is set to release a pair of true-wireless earphones in the near future.
Technical details were few and far between. The only further information offered is that the Amazon earbuds will support the company’s Alexa digital assistant, feature a similar charge case to the one seen on most true-wireless sets and that they will not feature mobile connectivity.
The Alexa functionality will reportedly work the same way it does on Amazon Echo speakers and let users do things like skip song, book calendar appointments and search the Amazon using voice commands. The lack of mobile data connectivity means they will need to be connected to a smartphone for Alexa to work, however.
Related: Best true wireless earphones
The sources suggested the Amazon is working to beat the AirPods in one crucial way: audio quality. The AirPods have always offered at best middling audio quality and terrible noise isolation, making them a poor choice for serious music listeners. In the past we’ve recommended audio-fans look at competing sets such as the Beoplay E8 2.0 or Sony WF-1000X as a result.
Pricing could be another key differentiator, based of Amazon’s past device strategy. Amazon has traditionally worked to undercut competitors pricing when releasing new hardware, like its Fire TV and Fire Tablet lines.
The move would also make sense in the current market. The “hearables” market is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. Analysts at CCS Insights predicted over 23 million smart hearables will be sold in 2023 in its Optimistic Outlook for Wearables report on 20 March.
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