Amazon's Alexa-Enabled Answer to AirPods

Mark Gurman:

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is readying earbuds with built-in Alexa access for as early as the second half of this year, according to people with knowledge of the plans. The headphones will look and act similar to AirPods, but people working on the product inside Amazon are striving for better audio quality, the people said. Like the AirPods, the Amazon earbuds are designed to sit inside users’ ears without clips around the ear.

Is there any chance the hardware here is any good? Amazon does well in gadgets when they can make cheap, almost disposable hardware. They don't do as well with high-priced marquee products (see again: Fire Phone). It's hard to see how cheap AirPods-like headphones are any good, at least right now. Maybe in a few years, but Apple still seems far ahead in this space.

Then again, Alexa remains far superior to Siri, so if Amazon can play to that strength, maybe there is something here. A more Her-like device. I basically never use Siri on my AirPods, even the new ones with "hands-free" Siri. They're just great wireless headphones. Amazon has a small window to crack the other half here...


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