Google, Amazon take aim at AirPods with their own upcoming true wireless options

Google Pixel Buds Review
Google’s banded wireless Pixel Buds Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The world of true wireless headphones has seen major growth in the past few years, with companies like Apple and Jabra raking in money from sales of industry-leading products like the AirPods and Elite Active 65t, respectively.

Even for those with the most basic knowledge of the audio industry, it’s easy to see why Apple would be the industry leader in the true wireless headphone space. The company was among the first to remove the headphone jacks from its cell phones, resulting in a whole lot of Apple users in search of a more convenient wireless listening option.

As more cell phone makers have followed suit, it appears fellow tech giants Amazon and Google want a piece of the true wireless pie.

According to well-regarded Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, supply chain data indicates that both companies will begin selling house-made AirPod competitors in 2019, in an attempt to grab a piece of Apple’s dominant true wireless market share.

Kuo claims that Goertek and Unitech will be in charge of the assembly and rigid-flex PCB boards, respectively, for both companies’ new headphones.

As far as how successful the headphones will be, the analyst claims that Google and Amazon are poised to be the biggest players in the market besides Apple.

“We think that Google and Amazon are Apple’s main competitors because Google is the most influential brand in the Android ecosystem and Amazon has the best voice assistant service,” the report says.

As reviewers who have spent countless hours with virtually every reputable modern pair of true wireless headphones — from affordable options to those from Bose, Master and Dynamic, and other established audio brands — we’re not as confident as the analysts.

After all, Google seemed to rush its Pixel Buds, a middling, not-quite true wireless pair of Bluetooth headphones with onboard Google Assistant, to market following Apple’s AirPods, and we’ve never seen a set of house-made headphones from Amazon.

Still, the fact that two major tech companies are looking to make their own true wireless headphones should be exciting for those who may be in the market for a pair next year. Such high-level competition almost always means that the overall quality of the products on the market will improve.

As Apple looks to release its second-generation AirPods next year, it will be interesting to see how the more crowded market responds.

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