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Amazon working on Apple AirPods alternative, report suggests

Apple AirPods
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As the popularity of 'true wireless' earphones continues to surge, all the major players in the tech world are scrambling to front their own entry in the race.

Apple recently launched the second generation of its popular AirPods, and companies like Jaybird, Jabra and Sony are producing potent competitors in the field, each with several iterations at this point – and now it looks like Amazon wants to join the party.

Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that “people with knowledge of [Amazon’s] plans” claim that the tech giant is looking to launch Alexa-enabled earbuds as early as the second half of 2019, with similar design and functionality to Apple’s AirPods, but sporting improved audio quality.

According to the same sources, these true wireless earbuds are “one of the most important projects at Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division”, and will feature full integration of Alexa voice support, allowing users to check the weather, order goods from Amazon, give commands and take notes on the go, hands-free.

For people that actually still like to use their hands, these earbuds will also allegedly support physical gestures – likely tapping – to answer or hang up on calls, skip songs and the like.

While Amazon has already entered into the smart home arena with its Echo range of smart speakers, this new product would mark its first foray into the realm of portable, personal audio – but it’s certainly a move that makes sense, given the increasingly global presence of its Amazon Alexa assistant.

Little is known about the finer details of Amazon's new Alexa buds – or indeed if they will even make it to market – but as always, we'll keep our ear to the ground for any further news, rumors or leaks.

Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.