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With a set of Alexa-enabled earbuds or headphones, Amazon’s voice assistant is with you wherever you go. In our testing, wearing a pair of cans with Alexa built-in proved to be really helpful for things like completing instant tasks and scheduling meetings ahead of time. Simply say “Alexa,” along with your command, and it’s done, whether you want to change the song or check the weather. Along with their voice control tech, the best Alexa headphones and buds are excellent for listening to music, streaming movies, and gaming too. Below, we picked the best Alexa-friendly pairs to buy right now, from wireless headsets to noise-cancelling headphones.
Alexa Headphones and Earbuds Buying Guide
Here’s what to know when searching for your new Alexa-controllable headset:
Mics: A microphone should now be a crucial part of your headset, not just for Alexa commands, but for phone and video calls, and gaming as well. Most new headphones and earbuds include built-in mics, but they’re not all created with the same attributes. For example, a superior microphone system inside will significantly reduce background noise, allowing your voice to come through loud and clear without getting jumbled and garbled. These don’t just pick up your voice through the clutter, they’ll actually isolate it too.
Noise-Cancelling Tech: This goes hand-in-hand with the mics, blocking out a noisy environment around you so you can hear your music – and so Alexa can hear you. Most sets have started including the three basic modes of noise-cancelling tech at the very least: active noise cancellation or some equivalent and hear-through modes. But now there are some added features on top of those too, like a one-touch mute or pause when you want to talk, and scanning the noisy surroundings you’re in automatically to adjust for the most efficient settings.
Control: Other than Alexa, touch control has become the go-to for most models. It’s sleek and can deliver what you need (though it may take some getting used to for different brands). If you’ve really got your eyes (and ears) set on a physical button, be sure to specifically seek that out, as they’re disappearing fast.
Charging: This gets better and faster with each generation, with some headsets now only needing 10 minutes for hours of playtime. Plus, they can last even longer in standby mode, often multiple days.
What Are the Best Headphones With Alexa?
From Sony to Sennheiser, here are the top headphones (and earbuds) with built-in Alexa assistance.
1. WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones
The noise cancellation is superb on these Sonys, with Alexa built-in and eight microphones (fueled by two processors) to pick up every nuance of your voice while blocking out distracting backgrounds. And the Auto NC Optimizer does it automatically based on the environment you’re in, with two mics on the cups to pick up your voice and only your voice. These can pair with two Bluetooth devices at once, and are cushiony and comfortable to wear for long stretches. They’re also lightweight, at just 8.8 ounces.
2. Jabra Elite 7 Pro Earbuds
These Elite 7s not only sound excellent for music and all audio, but allow your voice to come through loud and clear whether for phone calls or Alexa. Jabra’s MultiSensor Voice technology combines four sensitive mics with a sensor in each bud, utilizing bone conduction to “hear” your voice through vibrations in your jawbone. They also cancel out wind and outside noise when you’re using them. These little buds adjust to your personal hearing profile, and like all Jabras, the ANC and HearThrough is among the best out there.
3. Poly Voyager 5200 Wireless Headset
This single-ear Bluetooth headset features a comfortable, ergonomic design that’s super lightweight to wear. It’s ideal for walking and talking in a busy, windy city, as the mic is loaded with Windsmart tech and features six layers of protection, along with four noise-cancelling omnidirectional mics. Mobile devices connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and can still hold a solid connection up to almost 100 feet away, and Alexa, along with a few of Poly’s own voice prompts, are always there when you need them.
4. Sennheiser HD 450SE Headphones With Alexa
Perfect for a home studio, Sennheiser’s 450SE headphones deliver powerful, deep sound, low wireless latency through Bluetooth 5.0, and a battery life that stretches up to 30 hours. There’s a designated virtual assistant button for Alexa, which can be customized the way you want it, and their ANC blocks out distracting noise all around.
5. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones
Bose’s stylish over-the-ear headphones feature easy access to Alexa for music, audiobooks, podcasts, and your personal settings instantly. These feature three different levels of noise cancellation, along with a noise-rejecting mic system so Alexa (and anyone you’re talking to) can hear you clearly. The headset is enabled with Bose’s unique Audio AR, battery life is about 20 hours, and thanks to the premium materials, they’re super comfortable to wear.
6. Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
Not surprisingly, the company that created Alexa also has earbuds that pair well with the voice assistant. The Echo Buds work seamlessly with the Alexa app when you want to give commands, stream music, or listen to a new audiobook on Audible, all hands-free with no buttons or tapping. A 15-minute charge gets you two hours of playtime, and the buds are sweat-resistant too, perfect for a workout or a hot summer day.