The Bragi Dash wireless earbuds are getting a new feature later this year: the ability to talk to Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. The headphone maker announced at the IFA trade show today that a software update coming in October will allow access to Alexa, and will be available in English (US and UK) and German.
It’s not the first pair of headphones to receive Alexa support, but this is definitely the first pair of truly wireless earbuds to offer access to the digital assistant. Alexa won’t be triggered by a wake word, though — users will have to either tap or use the Dash’s “4D menu,” in which the earbud uses motion sensing to allow users to turn their head left or right and select from a virtual menu.
Dash (and Dash Pro) users can already use the earbuds to talk to to Siri and Google Assistant, so Alexa availability will expand the choice available to the user. Alexa can do many of the same things that Siri and Google Assistant are capable of, too, like start a mobile order at Starbucks, or order a ride from Uber or Lyft. But the connection to Amazon’s shopping infrastructure is one obvious reason to pick it over the others. And Alexa’s skills integration means there’s lots of potential for new abilities that weren’t previously possible, like being able to ask for a particular airport’s security line wait-times.
In my time reviewing both products, I’ve found that activating Siri with the Dash and the Dash Pro isn’t the quickest process in the world, so I’m hoping Alexa’s integration on the earbuds will be smoother. If not, Alexa will join the others in the Dash’s digital assistant limbo.