(Pocket-lint) - Google enables many third-party headphones to use Google Assistant, with more hitting the market all the time. With this integration, you can access Google Assistant without touching your iPhone or Android phone.
But you will need to touch a button on the side of your headphones before you can speak directly to Google Assistant. Using voice commands, you can cue music, create calendar events, make calls, and receive audible notifications. Google Assistant will even let you listen to and reply to incoming messages from SMS and chat apps.
Originally, the only stand-out headphones optimised for Google Assistant were the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Google's own Pixel Buds. But Google Assistant has slowly made its way to more headphones and earbuds, including units from brands like Harman/JBL, Sony, and others.
Best Google Assistant headphones
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose's QuietComfort 35 II wireless over-ear noise-cancelling headphones come with built-in Google Assistant. They were the first headphones with Google's voice-controlled Assistant accessible at the touch of a button. This Action Button can be found on the left ear cup. You need to press and hold it to active Assistant. Then, you can carry out all the same commands as you would on a Google Home.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
For those wondering what Bose was going to do next to step up a gear in the headphones world, the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the perfect answer. These over-ear headphones bring a much higher degree of build quality, comfort, and ANC adjustment compared to the QC35. These new cans also come with the addition of voice assistants, including Google Assistant, naturally.
Sony's WH-1000X M4 cans are for those of you who value noise-cancelling technology. We have no hesitation in recommending these headphones as among the very best money can buy. They're perfect for when mowing lawns or traveling on noisy trains or planes. To enable Assistant, however, you'll have to change the function of the noise-cancellation button so that it triggers Assistant instead.
JBL Live 650BTNC
The JBL Live 650BTNC over-ears are another premium choice if your primary concern with headphones is having active noise cancelling and being able to listen to quality audio. It delivers JBL Signature Sound through 40mm drivers, while also on top of that, offering up Google Assistant. Again, like many of the other headphones we've mentioned, it's as simple as a tap on the headphones' ear cup.
Marshall Monitor II ANC
Marshall's latest flagship headphones are comfortable to wear and pack in nice, balanced sound - as well as Google Assistant functionality. That makes them a handy set of over-ear cans, and we're also fond of their design aesthetic. That leathery look is fairly timeless, we think, while subtle and useful buttons mean that you can get fine control even when you're not using the voice assistant.
So, if you're feeling particularly loaded and are looking for long-lasting, comfortable-to-wear, and good-looking over-ear headphones, then few can reach the same level of mastery as the BeoPlay H9. These will be our go-to cans for a long time coming. They are top of the line, thanks to advance active noise cancellation, 25 hour battery life, and touch-activated Google Assistant control.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are wireless, noise-cancelling, splash-proof in-ear headphones. That means you can wear them in a loud city environment and still get crisp sound or safely use them for an extra sweaty workout. Google Assistant is quickly activated by a long tap on the headset — these are arguably the best wireless earbuds about, even before throwing the Assistant into the mix.
Google Pixel Buds 2
If you want the truest expression of Google Assistant out there, arguably, the Pixel Buds 2 offer it, with the smart assistant always listening in for your "Okay Google" prompt.
It works superbly, and the buds themselves are a marked improvement on the first-generation versions, with improved comfort and sound quality.
Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds
Now, if you’re looking for headphones with a Google Assistant activation button for the cheapest possible price, then look no further than the headphones that Google released alongside the Pixel 3. They’re not flashy and need to be plugged into your phone, but are nice and cheap.