As Amazon continues to push Alexa, and Apple’s Siri keeps chugging along, the race for the best virtual assistant rages on. Google, of course, is no stranger to this and has teamed up with a handful of brands for direct Google Assistant integration. If you want to receive notifications and take full control of your music by the power of your voice, this list is for you.
Editor’s note: this list was updated on March 28, 2019, to include the JBL Live 650BTNC.
The best headphones with Google Assistant support are the Sony WH-1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM3 have garnered plenty of deserved attention from media outlets and consumers alike: these are truly the cream of the crop when it comes to noise cancelling headphones. Not only do these effectively attenuate external noise, but the plush padding and spacious earcups are conducive to long listening sessions, too.
Sony WH-1000XM3Full Review
In order to assign a button to activate Google Assistant access, listeners must use the Sony | Headphones Connect app. From there, users can designate the NC/Ambient button to Google Assistant. From the same app, listeners can also make granular EQ adjustments; although, be aware that doing so bumps the audio quality back to SBC rather than LDAC.
While the Sony WH-1000XM2 is still a great pair of headphones, this iteration benefits from an increase in bass reproduction and improved noise cancellation. If money isn’t an object, we highly recommend the WH-1000XM3.
What you should know about headphones with Google Assistant
- Headphones with Google Assistant integration go a step further than cans that simply support Google’s AI by letting users take full control of their listening experience. Listeners can use their voices to receive notifications along with other comprehensive controls without ever having to reach for their phones.
- It’s no secret that wireless cans can’t compete with wired contenders, which is fine for most people because we either 1) can’t tell the difference between streaming quality or 2) go wireless for the convenience of it.
- If you’re an iPhone user, it’s worth looking out for headphones that support AAC for improved, lag-free playback. On the other hand, Android fans should stick to aptX.
- Isolation is a necessity if you want accurate sound reproduction that isn’t masked external noises. When it comes to headphones, over-ear options do a better job at insulating listeners since the earcups encompass the ears—as opposed to on-ears. As far as earbuds are concerned, invest in third-party ear tips; it makes a world of difference.
Stay comfortable with the Bose QC 35 II
If you keep pace with the competitive noise cancelling headphone sphere, then you know that many pit Sony against Bose and are curious as to which company’s product is better. Well, our objective testing revealed the 1000XM2 outperforms the Bose QuietComfort II, but these cans remain as one of the best options available.
Bose QC 35 IIFull Review
What’s more, the Bose brand is a household name and is recognized for its comfortable products. The QC 35 II is no different, and the headband evenly distributes pressure across the head instead of placing all of it atop the crown of the head.
These headphones are optimized for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant which can be accessed via the action button on the left earcup. Listeners who don’t subscribe to either virtual assistant can still use said button to adjust noise cancelling.
Additionally, although the Bose lags ever so slightly behind Sony’s noise cancelling technology, the QuietComfort 35 II allows consumers to customize their headsets—much like the V-Moda process.
The Sony WF-SP700N is great for true wireless fans
These kidney bean-shaped true wireless earbuds are one of few that provide noise cancellation. Assigning Google Assistant is a matter of opening up Android settings and clicking through a few steps.
Sony WF-SP700NFull Review
Google Assistant integration isn’t the only trick up these earbuds’ sleeves; they also feature a wide range of EQ options, like the WH-1000XM3, and let users prioritize sound quality or connection stability.
The sound signature vaguely resembles that of the over-ear headphones but with more oomph in the low-end for an even more consumer-friendly sound. While these earbuds support the coveted LDAC codec, it’s really only impressive when using the 660kbps or 990kbps modes. If you want a compact pair of earbuds with Google Assistant integration, this is a reliable pair to a href=”https://www.soundguys.com/best-running-earbuds-19704/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>run with.
The Earin M-2 has the best design
Much like the recently released Master & Dynamic MW07, the Earin M-2 is a work of art. Even though each earbud houses its own antennae system, Earin engineers have managed to retain a small form factor while adorning each ‘bud with touch-capacitive panels.
Earin M-2Full Review
Connectivity is reliable and effective with the M-2 due to the separate antennae systems which transmit a signal through the head, rather than around it. It’s not as scary as it sounds; hearing aid technology has been doing this for years.
Sound quality is good and resembles that of the Sony WF-SP700N, with a bass-heavy reproduction and some midrange emphasis. One of the biggest benefits of the Earin M-2 is that users can update firmware over the app, which means that purchasing a pair is an investment in longevity.
On the whole, it’s hard to find a more gorgeous set of truly wireless earbuds and we believe that listeners who opt for the M-2 will be happy for years to come.
The JBL Live 650BTNC has the best bass response
Many of us immediately recognize JBL for its speakers, not necessarily its headphones, but the JBL Live 650BTNC integrates Google Assistant and features a consumer-friendly design that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Beats style.
JBL Live 650BTNCFull Review
These over-ear headphones are equipped with ample padding that works in tandem with the around-ear design for solid passive noise isolation. Accessing Google Assistant is a matter of touching the earcup to control music or receive notifications. The headphones support multipoint connectivity, which allows you to connect to two devices simultaneously and alternate between them.
Bass is significantly emphasized and does tend to mask other frequencies, vocals in particular. That said, if you just want your cans to add that extra oomph to your music and aren’t concerned with studio-grade sound, these are a smart pick.
How we chose the best Google Assistant-supported headphones
We did our research to ensure that each product integrates Google Assistant, which is not to be confused with simply supporting it. Surprisingly, there aren’t nearly as many offerings as one might expect, hence why we see Sony popping up on this list twice.
Of course, while we are focusing on Google Assistant integration, the headphones have to be comfortable, easy to use, and sound good too. Extra marks, of course, if a pair of headphones or earbuds also received some sort of water-resistance certification or supports passthrough technology, which allows users to become temporarily aware of their surroundings.
- JBL Everest 710GA: These are a meatier version of the Live 650BTNC sans-noise cancelling capabilities. One of the more unique non-Google Assistant related features is the ability to transfer data between wireless headsets, just pair the Everest 710GA to another headphone.
- Sony WF-SP700N: These kidney bean-shaped true wireless earbuds are one of few that provide noise cancellation. While these earbuds support the coveted LDAC codec, it’s really only impressive when using the 660kbps or 990kbps modes.
- Sony WH-CH700N: This lower-tier over-ear, noise cancelling headphone model is great for frequent travels as the headphones are lightweight and rotate for easy storage.
Why you should trust us
Adam, Chris, and Lily dedicate their time to deepening their audio knowledge. Individually, each team member brings multiple years of keeping tabs on audio industry happenings and brings diversified skills to the table. Collectively, we believe audio to be a subjective and objective experience and our work speaks to that.
Ultimately, your happiness is our top priority. We want you to enjoy your investment and, at the very least, to click out of this article feeling more interested in the inner workings of audio. Although this site uses referral links, we make sure to be transparent about our ethics policy If you’re still on the hunt for the best headphones, speakers, or the like, check out the lists below.
- Best headphones
- Best noise cancelling headphones
- Best Beats alternatives
- Best headphones from Best Buy
Disclosure: We may receive affiliate compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. Even though we may receive compensation, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on each product. See our ethics policy for more details.