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Qualcomm wants to help create more Alexa-powered wireless headphones

Amazon’s Alexa voice control has spread to third-party wireless speakers like wildfire in the past year, and it's now starting to trickle into Bluetooth headphones - as it has done with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (pictured top).

Qualcomm wants more Alexa-powered headphones to hit the market, and it’s come up with a hardware and software package to sell to manufacturers to help them produce them ‘more efficiently and cost-effectively’.

The chipset manufacturer has today announced a new Bluetooth Smart Headset reference design featuring push-button activation support for Alexa, for Android smartphone owners with the Alexa app. 

The customisable design is based on its ‘most advanced family of Bluetooth audio chips’, the QCC5100-series (which Qualcomm designed to help facilitate true wireless earbuds), and in addition to support for Alexa also gives device makers options to add ultra-low power consumption for extended battery life, active noise cancellation and aptX HD Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth Smart Headset reference design is available now, so are more – and perhaps more affordable – Alexa headphones for Android smartphones on the horizon? Qualcomm for one, and smart supporters for two, will sure hope so.

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.