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Qualcomm wants to help build more Alexa-powered Bluetooth earbuds

The chip maker has come up with a smart headset reference design for this mission.
Richard Lai, @richardlai
October 22, 2018
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Qualcomm

When it comes to adding a voice assistant to a speaker or a pair of headphones, Amazon's Alexa has become the default choice for many OEMs, likely due to the openness and high adoption rate of the platform. Never one to miss a money-making opportunity, Qualcomm has decided to lend these manufacturers a hand by building a smart headset reference design, which features its very own QCC5100-series Bluetooth audio chip. With the Alexa app installed on your Android phone, once it's paired with these earbuds, you can toggle Alexa with a simple push of a button on one of the buds.

Thanks to Qualcomm's radio know-how, this reference design apparently boasts a long battery life (as do many Bluetooth headphones these days, anyway) along with active noise cancellation, aptX HD audio and TrueWireless Stereo. Since this development kit supports Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit protocol out of the box, manufacturers can focus more on the design and other features, thus saving time and cost in the long run. And this, of course, means consumers will have even more choices in the near future.

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