New Amazon Patent: Noise-Canceling Headphones That Listen for Your Name

Learn more about the Most Important Features when buying headphones. If you’ve been paying attention to Amazon’s work for the past several years, you know they have been pushing hard into tech innovation with Kindle Fire, Echo, Alexa, and more. Well, another upcoming Amazon innovation has been uncovered, and this time it looks like one of the best noise-canceling headphones we’ve seen, particularly for Amazon fans.

Of course, noise-canceling headphones are exactly unique: They use a receive device to monitor consistent external noise, then create a frequency designed to neutralize that noise, leading to a clearer sound experience. Pricey, but effective for long commutes on public transit, study sessions, and so on.

One of the problems with noise-canceling technology is the safety concern. If the feature is on, you may not be able to hear important audio clues around, like a car horn honking or someone shouting at you to move. Here’s where Amazon’s headphone patent gets interesting. The patent includes a feature that allows the noise-canceling microphone to also listen for important audio cues, such as a car horn honking or someone shouting out your specific name. This way, the noise cancellation interrupts if the microphone senses a problem – it also allows your friends to get your attention by calling out your name (quite a few parents probably like the sound of that, too).

Amazon Headphones
Amazon does have a few headphones under its own brands, but nothing like this so far.

There are signs that the recognition feature could be tailored to other types of specific noise or perhaps even speech patterns and voices, allowing you to customize just what interrupts your music and what stays shut out.

This looks exciting, and we’re happy to wait and see what comes of it – if anything. Music fans may not appreciate their song being interrupted every time a sibling or friend decides to shout their name (it probably isn’t too great for guys called “Al” either). But if nothing else, Amazon may be able to use this feature as a cool new trick for Alexa and the Echo devices, so it’s really a win-win.

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Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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