Amazon.com has reportedly plans to release in the second half of this year wireless earbuds to compete with Apple's popular Airpods.
The e-commerce giant's earbuds will come with Alexa access built-in, according to Bloomberg. The headphones will look and act similar to AirPods, but Amazom aims at delivering better audio quality, the report said.
The headphones will let people use their voice to order goods, access music and other information on the go. The Amazon digital assistant will be summoned by saying "Alexa." There will be also physical gesture controls, such as tapping to pick up and end calls and switch between songs. The earbuds will also come in a storage case that doubles as a charger. Users will be able to plug it in over a standard USB cable.
Amazon declined to comment.
Apple charges $159 to $199 for AirPods. Amazon hardware typically undercuts the competition.
Amazon's Echo smart speakers were the hit that brought Alexa into millions of homes. Amazon has also opened Alexa up to other headphone makers.
On the other hand, Amazon has failed to bring Alexa to smartphones and leading mobile operating system. Digital assistants from Apple and Google have huge ready-made user bases because the technology is embedded in hundreds of millions of iPhones, iPads, Watches and Android mobile devices.
According to Bloomberg's sources, the Amazon earbuds won’t have built-in cellular connectivity and will require pairing with a phone. This means working through Apple and Google, which Amazon already does with its Alexa apps.
Meanwhile, Apple is already working on a third-generation, higher-end pair of Airods, featuring noise-cancellation and water resistance.