(Pocket-lint) - Amazon is reportedly working on a pair of Alexa-powered wireless earbuds. They're being described as Amazon's own version of Apple AirPods.
The online retailer has a solid record when it comes to hardware, with the exception of the Fire Phone from five years back. Aside from that device, it has Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and streaming media devices, and, of course, the Echo line, among many other things. Essentially, since the launch of Alexa, Amazon has been trying to squeeze its assistant into a range of form factors.
But there’s one area where Amazon’s digital assistant isn't yet fully ubiquitous: headphones. There are third-party headphones with Alexa, such as the Sony WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones, but Amazon itself doesn't yet offer anything. Google, on the other hand, has the Google Assistant-powered Pixel Buds, and Apple has AirPods. So, naturally, Amazon wants Alexa earbuds.
Bloomberg said Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division is currently in charge of making look-a-like AirPods that comes with Alexa. The headphones will be cordless and sit in users' ears similarly to the AirPods. Amazon has been testing versions in both black and grey. Its earbuds will also come in a storage case that doubles as charger. (The case must be plugged in through a standard USB port.)
Amazon's earbuds will let people use their voice to order goods, access music, weather, and other information, by starting with the "Alexa" voice command. There will be also be physical gesture controls, like tapping to pick up a call or switch between songs. Unfortunately, they won’t have built-in cellular connectivity and will require pairing with a phone. And that's about all we know.
Bloomberg didn't mention a price, release date, or what the earbuds will be called. However, it did note Amazon tends to undercut the competition. It also randomly mentioned again that Amazon is still working on an Alexa home robot for consumers, code-named Vesta.