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New firmware lets Jabra Elite 85t talk to Amazon Alexa

The Jabra Elite 85t are a fantastic set of true wireless earbuds — in fact, they top our list of the best true wireless earbuds you can buy — but now, thanks to a firmware update, they’re just a little bit better. That’s because you can now choose between the built-in voice assistant on your phone (likely Siri or Google Assistant) and Amazon’s Alexa.

The update makes the Elite 85t one of the few models of wireless headphones or true wireless earbuds that lets people talk directly to Alexa, the voice assistant that Amazon includes in its line of Echo smart speakers and Fire TV streaming media devices.

Mobile access to Alexa has always been something of a weak spot for Amazon. You can install the Alexa app on both iOS and Android devices, but neither of these operating systems will let you switch the default voice assistant to Alexa.

This means that unless your earbuds or headphones are specifically equipped to do so (like the Jabra Elite 85t or Amazon’s Echo Buds), triggering the voice assistant pretty much always means Siri or Google Assistant.

And that’s kind of a drag if you’re all cozy with Alexa while at home. Asking Alexa to add items to your shopping list when standing in the kitchen is great, but if you have no easy way of amending that list once you set out for the store, it’s less than ideal.

Jabra Elite 85t Amazon Alexa firmware update
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

There’s also a lot to be said for being able to trigger Alexa’s many smart home routines when you’re not actually at home.

With this firmware update, the Jabra Elite 85t become the latest earbuds or headphones to offer built-in access to Alexa. Here are some of the other models that already have this feature:

  • Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
  • Jabra Elite 85H
  • Amazon Echo Buds
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  • Sony WF-1000XM3
  • Sony WF-SP800N
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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