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  • 12.14.16

These voice-controlled headphones are Alexa’s first integration with the human head

The first-ever Alexa-enabled headphones are here. OV, made by Boston-based ONVOCAL, have Alexa voice control built right into them, allowing you to control services like Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible. But the functionality goes well beyond that: OV supports any of the 5,000 features (or “skills” in Amazon’s parlance) that Alexa boasts, so you can control other audio services, ask it all kinds of questions, and even control your smart home devices without an Echo speaker in sight. 

Unlike the Echo itself, OV’s headphones don’t require you to say “Alexa” to activate the voice control—you just tap a button on the headphones. The device also has an external and a smartly designed button that allows you to tune into the outside world without removing the somewhat cyborgesque-looking headset. 

OV headphones also let you tap into your own phone’s native voice assistant, so if Alexa doesn’t have what you need, you can always see what Siri or Google Now has to say about it. JPT