Owners of Amazon Alexa devices can already ask Alexa for podcast recommendations, but Amazon says it is working to fine tune the interaction between smart speaker users and podcast listeners. It said Wednesday that podcast fans will soon be able to listen to podcasts they subscribe to on Amazon Music by just saying, “Alexa, play my followed podcasts.” It will also allow Alexa’s users to ask the device to play music for a set amount of time.
The announcement came as Amazon debuted a new generation of Echo Buds earphones featuring a new design, improved audio architecture for crisp, balanced sound, and noise cancellation technology. Amazon said buyers who qualify will also receive six months of Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible Plus for free.
“It’s never been easier for customers to bring Alexa with them throughout their day—whether at home, walking the neighborhood, or commuting to work,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President of Amazon Alexa. “All they have to do is ask to play music or podcasts, call to check in on a loved one, add an item to their to-do list, and so much more.”
Later this year, Amazon said it will add the VIP Filter feature to the new Echo Buds. Introduced on Echo Frames, VIP Filter lets users select the phone notifications that they want to hear and filters out the rest. When someone receives a notification, they can double tap either of the earbuds to hear it in real-time; to dismiss a notification single tap either earbud.