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Amazon's AirPods Rival Is Reportedly Planning to Outshine Apple

Apple AirPods
Apple AirPods
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

The ongoing, tiresome feud between Apple and Amazon continues.

According to a Thursday report from Bloomberg, Amazon is looking to kick this competition into high gear with Alexa-linked earbuds it hopes will rival AirPods. Not only will these earbuds aim for higher quality audio than AirPods, according to Bloomberg’s sources familiar with the matter, they will also reportedly have similar functionality. Per Bloomberg:

The headphones will let people use their voice to order goods, access music, weather and other information on the go. The Amazon digital assistant will be summoned by saying “Alexa.” There will be physical gesture controls, such as tapping to pick up and end calls and switch between songs, the people said.

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According to Bloomberg, the earbuds would have some key differences from AirPods. For one, they’ll need to be paired with a device instead of connecting immediately. Bloomberg also cited sources as saying Amazon has been toying with black and gray color themes.

Bloomberg said that AmazonPods or whatever we’re calling them could debut during the second half of 2019, but also cited sources as saying the company has hit a few development snags. Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment about the report.

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Apple recently dropped its second generation AirPods, which for the established AirPods enthusiast might be worth the nearly $200 price tag. For one, they connect you with Siri instantly with just your voice. They also boast better connectivity and battery life. But 200 bones is a good amount of money to shell out for earbuds, and it’s likely Amazon’s buds will come in at a much lower price point.

There are, however, some big remaining questions about exactly how Amazon’s earbuds will work. Even if it managed to pull off a cheaper alternative to one of Apple’s most popular products, it’s hard to imagine they’ll come with the same bells and whistles that make AirPods worthwhile.

Here’s the other thing: Knock ’em all you like, but people love their AirPods. They are the best-selling wireless earbuds on the planet. If Amazon thinks it’s going to take on Apple in this arena, it certainly has its work cut out for it.

[Bloomberg]

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DISCUSSION

Realnoize42
Realnoize42

Here’s the other thing: Knock ’em all you like, but people love their AirPods. They are the best-selling wireless earbuds on the planet.

Which simply highlight the fact that people love their apple devices more than they actually love their music.

Now, I know this may sound condescending, but if sound quality is your main concern, it’s well known that Apple earphones aren’t known for their quality sound, especially when considering their price. They’re not “bad”. They’re just usually much overpriced for what they are. Like Beats. Like Bose, and other manufacturers that rely on their brand name to sell at a higher price.

Also, most people don’t actully listen to music as much as they simply want to hear some while theyre doing something else. And on that aspect, buds like these may fit the bill perfectly.

Now, I agree that other factors should be taken into consideration, and I agree that for some people, this may be a good choice, especially if you’re plenty satisfied with a “good enough” sound. If you usually listen to music while doing other things, or in crowded, noisy environments, I admit that a pristine sound quality may not be as important as other factors, as long as it sounds “good enough”. Also, to some, this simply being made by Apple is a plus in itself (it isn’t for me).

But 200 bones is a good amount of money to shell out for earbuds

While I don’t have a problem with paying 200 or more for quality headphones/earbuds (and these will probably be priced over $250 in Canada), I expect more than “good enough” sound for that price, and something that I wouldn’t get a heart attack from if I would lose one outside. I’d prefer something with better sound and not as easy to lose.

But if these fits your bill, and you think the price fits into your budget, good for you. It all depends on what we look for in a set of headphones/earbuds.