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Best headphones with Google Assistant support 2022

Holding the Google Pixel Buds Pro.
(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

Smartphones are laden with smarter features every year, and one of the constants is Google Assistant, which you can find on several different devices. Some of those include headphones, where the trusty Assistant can pipe in on-demand, either by voice or a simple button press. 

Google's own Pixel Buds A-Series are the leading example for making that access easy, functional, and consistent. But there are plenty of other options to choose from, so we gathered the best Google Assistant headphones for you to consider.

These will get Google talking

Side view of Google Pixel Buds Pro in ear.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
Clearer audio quality
+
Solid ANC performance
+
Comfortable fit
+
Reliable touch controls
+
Multipoint connections
+
Hands-free Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
These need a custom EQ
-
More ear tip sizes would be nice
-
No spatial audio — yet

By going "Pro," Google took its earbuds further, expanding on what it had already experimented with before. It also added new features that helped a great deal, even if it was late to the party in bringing them in. Our review found the combination worked well to make them worth considering. Reliable touch controls always help when talking out loud isn't an option. 

Wearing these is a gateway to Google Assistant in ways other earbuds don't usually offer. Hands-free access by simply saying "Hey Google" or "OK Google" is all you need to wake it up and do what you need to do. Reliable touch controls always help when talking out loud isn't an option. Plus, translating languages is pretty cool via Google Translate when you need to do it. No different from other Pixel Buds, mind you, though you get overall better performance here. 

Google gave these buds a clearer sound by tuning them in a way that gives real life to the mids and highs. You will hear bass, but if you're looking for a serious rumble in your ears, this probably isn't it. The good news is you get very good active noise cancelation (ANC) that blocks out a good amount of background noise. 

As comfortable as they are to wear, you should try the sound test in the Pixel Buds settings on Android (separate app on non-Pixel devices) to see which ear tips are the best for you. You may find that the three included pairs aren't enough, but you can always try an extra-large or extra-small size from another brand. Worked for us.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series in ear.

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)
Runner up

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent Assistant integration
+
Wireless charging case & USB-C wired charging
+
Comfortable fit for most
+
Good sound
+
Fantastic media controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks active noise cancelation
-
Earbud battery life could be longer
-
No swipe gestures
-
No wireless charging case

When Google remade its Pixel Buds, the 2020 iteration was a huge departure from the original model in that they were true wireless earbuds. When we tested them, we noticed just how much the Pixel Buds A-Series took from the 2020 iteration, coming out with an essentially cheaper variant that performs more consistently.

The tight integration with Google Assistant is easily one of the biggest reasons to want these earbuds above all others, especially when said integration feels so natural. Just activate it via a touch gesture on the earbud, or wake it up by voice, hands-free. The voice features play a prominent role in what you can do with them. 

The translation features alone are pretty good, and they go an extra mile through the Transcribe mode that helps Spanish, French, Italian, and German speakers to translate into English. It also works both ways, since English speakers can get translations from those languages, too. Google even added the ability to turn off touch controls entirely by voice.

The integration story applies in other ways, like how they pair so seamlessly with Android phones out of the case from the first time out. Sharing Detection lets you share one of your earbuds with someone, with individual volume control for each one. Handy for those times where you might want to be in on the same phone call or podcast.

Sound quality is solid, but getting the right fit is crucial. The Bass Boost mode in the app adds some much-needed thump to what amounts to a great mid-range and recessed highs. 

Unfortunately, there's still no proper equalizer to customize the sound further, but the default sound, especially with Bass Boost, is really solid, as is. Nor are there the swipe gestures to control volume from the Pixel Buds (2020), but that's not a huge loss. The A-Series sound exactly the same, otherwise.

The Pixel Buds were made to last up to five hours per charge, with an additional 19 hours of battery life coming from the case. It's smaller than most others and is compatible with wireless chargers for added convenience. Instead of that, you always have USB-C to charge up fast.

Sony WF-1000XM4 True Wireless Earbuds

(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)
Upgrade pick

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Excellent ANC support
+
Great app integration
+
USB-C for charging
+
Decent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Earbuds are bigger than usual
-
Case is a bit large

In our review, we felt the Sony WF-1000XM4 were the company's premier true wireless earbuds, featuring active noise cancelation (ANC) and pretty seamless access to Google Assistant. While you won't be able to wake it purely by saying "OK, Google," you will be able to get to it by way of the controls on the earbuds themselves.

Sony didn't change how it works with these earbuds. By default, the right earbud is designated for media controls, with the left controlling ambient sound mode. You can reverse it, but not in such a way to map all the features onto one earbud. Either way, Google Assistant works regardless of which earbud you've assigned to it. Just tap and hold and the familiar chime should sound off. The relatively larger surfaces on each of the earbuds should make touch controls easier to manage.

Being that it works so well when you use the Assistant, it also helps that the WF-1000XM4 are such good audio performers. They feature a balanced sound, which you can always adjust through Sony's Headphones Connect companion app. ANC is among the best you'll find on any pair of true wireless earbuds, so that's a bonus.

Battery life is also pretty solid at up to six hours per charge, plus an extra 18 hours coming from the case. With fast charging via USB-C, a quick 10-minute charge is enough to get 90 minutes of listening time. 

Lifestyle shot with the Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds.

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds

Best value

Reasons to buy

+
Easy Google Assistant access
+
Wired, so no batteries
+
Inline controls
+
Low price

Reasons to avoid

-
Average sound quality
-
Assistant isn't truly hands-free

Where the Pixel Buds remove all wires, the Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds retain them, though do it with a USB-C port rather than the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. If you want something wired to not worry about battery life — and want quick access to Google Assistant — you will find some convenience with these earbuds. It also doesn't hurt that they're so affordable.

The earbuds themselves were designed to look more like the original Pixel Buds, not the latest pair, but that doesn't mean you won't be comfortable. They should feel pretty stable, and the cable itself isn't all that weighted. As Google no longer offers these in the box with its Pixel phones, you can still get them separately.

Don't expect outstanding sound quality because these headphones don't have that. The bass is subdued in favor of more mids and highs unless you're able to get a tight enough seal to bring out more of the low-end. Unless you use a third-party equalizer to playback audio files, you won't get as far with streaming services.

When it comes to invoking Google Assistant, you can't do it the same way as you would with the Pixel Buds, where just talking is enough. Here, you'll have to press the button on the inline remote to bring it up. But once you do, all the same features apply, including translation.

JBL Live 460NC lifestyle.

(Image credit: JBL)

JBL Live 460NC

Best on-ear assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Ambient sound mode
+
Google Assistant with just one button
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Thicker headband makes them bulky

JBL didn't enable Google Assistant by default on the Live 460NC because you have to go into the JBL app first. The reason why is because these on-ear headphones also support Amazon Alexa, so you have to choose Google's voice assistant as your primary choice. 

Once you do, it's easy enough to get the assistant talking by just holding down the left ear cup for two seconds. Those onboard controls also handle features like Adaptive Noise Canceling, Ambient Aware, and TalkThru, the latter two of which are JBL's terminology for an ambient sound mode, so you can hear your surroundings without having to remove your headphones. ANC will be decent for on-ear headphones, whereas ambient mode benefits from the passive leakage that can happen when wearing these.

They do sound good, especially for what you're paying, courtesy of a relatively balanced sound that gets a slight bass boost. Battery life holds up well, at up to 50 hours per charge (up to 40 hours with ANC on). Charge them up via USB-C, or get a fast charge plugging in for 10 minutes to get up to four hours of playback. 

Lifestyle shot of Bose Noise Canceling Headphones.

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones

Best over-ear assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Superb ANC performance
+
Excellent sound quality
+
Very comfortable
+
Decent battery life
+
Fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-foldable, bulky design
-
Competitors beat battery life
-
No simultaneous charging and listening

Bose carries on its reputation for making good headphones with the NCH 700, thanks to a boost in sound quality that is subtle, yet enough of a difference to stand out from the company's other comparable over-ears. They're also known for their excellent ANC performance, which are among the best in the business for any over-ear pair. There are up to 11 steps of ANC, so you even get to customize that a bit.

The dedicated voice assistant button on the headphones is your ticket into waking Google Assistant at a moment's notice. From there, it's easy to make your request or command. While the NCH 700 are a little bigger than other Bose headphones, they are comfortable to wear over long periods. It's just unfortunate they don't fold to reduce their footprint when you travel anywhere with them.

Battery life isn't amazing but is above-average at up to 20 hours per charge. Plug them in for a quick 15-minute spurt through USB-C and you can play audio for up to two hours. Sadly, you won't be able to charge and listen at the same time.

Woman on street wearing the Sony WH-1000XM5.

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony WH-1000XM5

Best noise-canceling assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Class-leading ANC performance
+
Long battery life
+
Customizable sound
+
Fast charging capable
+
Great call quality
+
Pair with two devices at once

Reasons to avoid

-
No simultaneous charging and listening
-
Minor upgrade in audio quality
-
Limited folding ability

Sony took what worked so fabulously well with the WH-1000XM4 and made a number of tweaks to maintain its pole position with the WH-1000XM5. Sony's QN1 processor and dual noise sensor do a better job of blocking ambient sound to deliver outstanding ANC performance. 

You won't hear any dramatic change in the audio quality, though some improved tuning does help with clarity. You can customize how you want them to sound using the equalizer in the Sony Connect app. Sony's Precise Voice Pickup and Speak to Chat features also play a leading role in improving call quality. This way, you can ask Google Assistant to call someone and not worry about clarity during the call.

Doesn't hurt that the microphones continue to get better. Phone calls are clearer, and with the excellent ANC and ambient modes at work, you can block out or hear your surroundings how you want. Pair with two devices simultaneously to listen to music on one device and take calls on another. 

These are comfortable headphones to wear, which is great since they can play for up to 30 hours per charge, give or take a little depending on volume and ANC. With fast charging, just a 10-minute charge can get up to five hours of playback. The only problem is you can't charge and listen at the same time.

Closer view of Jabra Elite 7 Pro.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best in-ear assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Easy Google Assistant access
+
Excellent audio quality, including ANC
+
Great fit and comfort
+
Outstanding call quality
+
Reliable button controls
+
Great value for the price

Reasons to avoid

-
ANC shouldn't be mandatory
-
More codecs would've been nice
-
No multipoint right now

It's hard not to like the Jabra Elite 7 Pro when looking at the totality of their design and functionality. We found them very comfortable to wear in our review, where the fit truly benefits the overall sound. The solid ANC only works after you go through a forced sound customization in the Sound+ app to personalize the feature for your ears, but the results are at least noteworthy.

They sound nice and balanced, and you can easily adjust that in the excellent Sound+ app available for Android and iOS. The app is where you also set up Google Assistant (you can also choose Alexa instead) for easy access through a dedicated control scheme in the earbuds themselves. Doesn't hurt that they are physical buttons rather than touch-sensitive ones, so you shouldn't get any false positives.

That's great when you want to issue commands or make calls, buoyed further by Jabra's MultiSensor Voice Technology to clear things up even further. Just a bummer that while you can use a single earbud in mono mode, you can't do multipoint to connect to two devices at once until Jabra releases a firmware update to enable that early in 2022.

On the bright side, the IP57 rating makes the Elite 7 Pro pretty durable, and you can count on reliable battery life. Expect up to eight hours per charge with ANC on, and maybe even 10 hours if you always leave it off. The case gives you three additional charges for a total of about 30 hours. Charge it up via USB-C or Qi wireless charging, plus fast charging option where a quick five-minute charge can get you up to 60 minutes of playback.

Lifestyle shot of LG Tone Flex HBS-XL7.

(Image credit: LG)

LG Tone Flex XL7

Best neckbuds assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Easy Google Assistant access
+
Built-in DAC
+
Great sound
+
Decent battery life
+
Fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as bold with bass

Neckband earbuds aren't for everyone, but when they're done right, it's easier to appreciate them. LG has been making them for years, and the Tone Flex XL7 have a few things going for them. Starting with the dedicated Google Assistant button on the neckband itself, you have quick access to the voice assistant with a simple press and hold.

Sound quality is solid, thanks in part to the AAC codec support LG ensured. At this price, you should get higher fidelity anyway, but nice to see that it's there. The only thing is they're not made for the bass-loving crowd, as the sound profile is skewed a little more toward the mids and highs. For certain genres, that works, but you won't get the thump you want for hip hop and EDM. It's a shame because the built-in DAC actually helps music sound better.

Battery life is reasonably good at about eight hours — maybe more — of playback per charge. There is a fast charging option, where plugging in for just 10 minutes can get you about three hours. They're also pretty loud by default, so you won't have to raise the volume as much, which ultimately conserves some of the battery.

Listen up!

It may not matter how you want your Assistant to chime in, whether it's wearing true wireless earbuds, wired earbuds, or noise-canceling headphones. Not all of them, even some on this list, necessarily support hands-free Assistant, where you don't have to press a button because just saying "Hey Google," isn't enough.

Those supporting Assistant via a button or gesture are usually using the universal "activate my digital assistant" standard. It makes more sense in most scenarios, particularly out in public, where speaking out loud may not be appropriate or comfortable. 

But if you like the idea of having both, then the Google Pixel Buds A-Series will fit the bill just fine. They're a versatile set of earbuds that cover many of the right bases, starting with comfort, access, and usability. They also do sound good and may get even better through future firmware updates.