Best Headphones That Support Google Assistant Android Central 2020
While our smartphones are getting smarter over time with A.I, manufacturers are finding more ways to make every day life more manageable. One of those ways is getting the Google Assistant on as many devices as humanly possible. One product category where the Assistant has become super useful in is headphones. Google's own Pixel Buds are a good example. It gives you easy access to the Assistant while also adding additional functionality.
- Best Overall: Sony WF-1000XM3
- Best Value: Google USB-C Earbuds
- Best On-Ear Assistant: JBL Live 400BT
- Best Over-Ear Assistant: Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
- Best Noise Canceling Assistant: Sony WH-1000XM3
- Best In-Ear Assistant: OnePlus Bullets 2 Wireless
- Best Alternative In-Ear Assistant: Google Pixel Buds
Best Overall: Sony WF-1000XM3
Unlike some other, cheaper genuinely wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM3's buds can be used independently. Unfortunately, the right earbud will be responsible for media controls, and the left is designated to ambient sound mode. This can be reversed, but you can't have all of the features on one earbud. Fortunately, however, the hands-free Google Assistant will work with either bud in.
In terms of sound signature, you get the classic Sony sound profile. Heavy on the bass, a neutral mid-range, and recessed treble. Fortunately, you'll be able to change this with the smartphone companion app, which gives you a five-band equalizer.
Of course, they're equipped with active noise cancelation (ANC), so you'll be able to drown out your environment when needed. As expected, the ANC is excellent and is class-leading for in-ear earbuds, let alone genuinely wireless buds.
In terms of battery life, you get 6 hours of battery life with ANC enabled. You'll get an additional 2 hours if you have ANC disabled. The charging case itself will provide up to 3 extra charges (18 hours with ANC, 24 hours without). While it doesn't have wireless charging, the case does charge over USB-C, which is always welcome.
- Battery life
- True wireless
- USB-C for charging
- Sound quality
- No wireless charging in case
This is probably as hands-free as you can get. Forget needing to worry about a cord, or pressing a button. It just works.
Best Value: Google USB-C Earbuds
With Google now several years into making smartphones without a 3.5mm audio jack, the Google USB-C Earbuds are a solid choice for anyone wanting wired, relatively inexpensive earbuds that support Google Assistant.
These wired USB-C earbuds share a ton with the more expensive, wireless Google Pixel Buds. They both have the hook design to help with better stability and sound nearly identical.
As we mentioned earlier with the Pixel Buds, the Google USB-C Earbuds will offer nearly no low-bass but will boost the mid- and upper-bass for an overall more boomy sound. The mid-range is a bit elevated to let the lead vocals and instruments shine, and the treble is neutral.
And unlike many other options (both wired and wireless) there's no delay when invoking the Google Assistant. Unfortunately, there isn't any hands-free Google Assistant here, but at the very least you do have a swift way of invoking the Assistant.
- Instant Google Assistant
- Wired, so no batteries
- Average sound quality
If you want the fastest way to access the Google Assistant and don't want to worry about latency, look no further than the Google USB-C Earbuds.
Best On-Ear Assistant: JBL Live 400BT
Not every pair of headphones with Google Assistant has it enabled by default. On the JBL Live 400BT, Assistant can be activated with a single tap, but you'll need to go into the JBL app first.
In addition to Google Assistant support, the Live 400BT offers what JBL calls Ambient Aware and TalkThru, which are just fancy terms for ambient sound mode. This lets you hear what's going on around you without ever having to remove your headphones.
In terms of sound quality, the JBL Live 400BT are excellent. The bass is overall smooth and clear with only a slight boost. The mid-range and treble are entirely neutral, so you'll get a relatively great sound overall without bass that's overly boomy or treble that is too sharp and piercing.
Battery life wise, the Live 400BT are great here, too. You'll get up to 24 hours of listening time on a single charge. And after it's completely depleted, you'll need to plug them in using the included Micro-USB cable. It'll take around 2 hours to charge from a dead battery fully.
- Great sound quality
- Ambient sound mode
- Google Assistant with just a tap
- Battery life
- Micro-USB for charging
Best On-Ear Assistant
Budget-friendly Assistant headphones
For the price, the JBL Live 400BT are pretty great. It offers sound quality, one-tap access to the Google Assistant, and excellent battery life.
Best Over-Ear Assistant: Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
When it comes to active noise canceling (ANC) headphones, there are a few headphones people usually mention, and one of them is from Bose. Enter the Noise Canceling Headphones 700.
With their latest pair, the Noise Canceling 700s block out more noise than ever before. These headphones give you the peace and quiet you need after fighting through TSA and waiting hours at the airport. Not only that, but the Noise Canceling 700s also have a few tricks up its sleeve such as having up to 11 different ANC modes that you can toggle through. This allows you to pick the precise amount of ANC you want, depending on your situation.
The sound is excellent as well with a neutral frequency response. The treble has a small boost to give the headphones a slightly brighter sound, but overall, most people will be pleased.
In terms of battery life, the Noise Canceling 700s are excellent. They offer up to 20 hours of battery life and charge over USB-C. Of course, they offer hands-free Google Assistant. You can summon the assistant by saying "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" on supported devices.
A downside to the Noise Canceling 700s is that they're not as compact as its predecessor the QC35 IIs. This size change is mostly because the Noise Canceling 700s don't fold up, so the carrying case and the headphones themselves leave quite a big footprint when stowed away.
- Up to 11 ANC levels
- Sound quality
- Battery life
- Non-foldable design
Best Over-Ear Assistant
Drown out your surroundings
The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700s are the best ANC headphones around. Excellent battery life, sound quality, ANC, and support for hands-free Google Assistant!
Best Sound Quality: Sony WH-1000XM3
While the Sony WH-1000XM3 are regarded as one of the best active noise canceling (ANC) headphones on the market, they're also one of the best over-ear headphones that support Google Assistant as well. Not only does the WH-1000XM3 support the Assistant, but you're also able to activate the Assistant hands-free. Just say the trigger word, wait a beat, and the Assistant will be ready to answer your questions.
Aside from support for the Assistant, the WH-1000XM3 are just overall great headphones. The ANC is top-notch and is among the best around, and the battery life lasts up to 30 hours on a charge. They're super comfortable and designed to be used when traveling. They're also compact thanks to the folding design so they can be easily stowed away. Included in the box is also a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and a 3.5mm to airplane adapter just in case you're on a flight with the older airplane plug.
The WH-1000XM3 support all of the major Bluetooth audio codecs such as SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX-HD, and LDAC. That support means you'll get the highest quality wireless audio your device can possibly support. Sound-wise, they have the classic Sony sound: heavy, deep bass that will rattle your head, a neutral mid-range, and recessed treble.
The only real downside with the WH-1000XM3 is that when you plug them in to charge, you won't be able to use them at all. This includes plugging in the 3.5mm cable while charging over the USB-C cable. To use the headphones, you'll need to unplug the USB-C cable entirely.
- Comfortable and portable
- High-quality audio
- USB-C & fast charging
- Hands-free Google Assistant
- No simultaneous charging and listening
- Google Assistant can be a bit slow at times
Best Noise Canceling Assistant
Hands-free over-ear Assistant
These not only have excellent ANC but hands-free Google Assistant as well. Also, you'll get superb battery life and a comfortable fit
Best In-Ear Assistant: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 are a reliable pair of earbuds for a relatively low cost. They offer all the essentials and none of the gimmicks that some vendors try to push. The Bullets 2 are yet another set of earbuds that offer hands-free Google Assistant. Say the trigger word, wait a beat, and the Assistant will be ready to answer anything you throw at it.
In terms of sound, the Bullets 2 are excellent. There's a small boost in the bass, but that's tough to hear. The mid-range and treble are neutral and excellent. The battery life is also excellent. A single charge will get you 14 hours of listening time. However, once the battery is dead, a 10-minute charge will get you an impressive 10 hours of listening time. Unfortunately, if you don't own a OnePlus device, you'll need to hold down the button to activate Google Assistant rather than use it hands-free.
- Hands-free Google Assistant with OnePlus devices
- Warp charging
- Non-OnePlus devices require manual Assistant activation
Best In-Ear Assistant
Fast charging Assistant
The OnePlus Bullets 2 Wireless charge fast, last long, and offer hands-free Assistant. They happen to sound good, too.
Best Alternative In-Ear Assistant: Google Pixel Buds
The Google Pixel Buds are a decent pair of Google Assistant earbuds. You can access Google Assistant with a quick tap of the right earbud. While there isn't an option for a hands-free Google Assistant, you get some special features such as having the Assistant read out your notifications. This removes the step of needing to check your phone when it buzzes.
The Pixel Buds have an adjustable loop towards the top of the bud to aid with comfort and fit. They have a good amount of adjustment, even if you have big ears. In our testing, we didn't have any issues when it came to comfort or fit. You shouldn't have any problems with wearing them over long periods.
In terms of sound, the Pixel Buds are decent. As expected, the bass response is mediocre since they don't offer a good seal. The low-bass is almost non-existent, with the mid- and upper-bass being overemphasized quite a bit, giving the overall sound a boomy sound. The mid-range is overall boosted but is consistent with the mid- and upper-bass boost. And the treble is neutral, but in this context will sound recessed due to the emphasis in the rest of the sound.
The buds have a soft-touch carrying case that nets them up to an additional 24 hours of listening time on top of the decent five hours on their own. The case charges over USB-C, which is consistent with most of Google's recent products.
- USB-C charging
- Deeper Assistant integration
- Battery life
- Adjustable loop
- Sound quality
Best Alternative In-Ear Assistant
The "Google" Assistant experience
While some may not love the sound quality, the integration with Google Assistant makes these totally worth it.
The number of Google Assistant-enabled headphones are growing by the day. Whether you want the Assistant in your truly wireless earbuds, wired earbuds, or noise-canceling headphones, there is plenty to go around.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Peter Cao is a headphone enthusiast who loves trying out a new pair of cans. Whether it be wired, closed-back planar magnetics, open-back headphones, or truly wireless earbuds, he loves them all equally. On his downtime, Peter enjoys analyzing music.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
These sub-$20 earbuds are perfect to listen to music or take calls
It's not easy to find a pair of sub-$20 earbuds that sound good and have a microphone, especially as the world transitions to Bluetooth for everything. However, there are still some great earbuds out there that won't break the bank and sound great in the process.
Talk to your heart's content with these wireless headphones
Just because a headphone has great sound doesn’t automatically mean it has a great microphone. Fortunately, there are some great headphones that feature both great sound and great mic quality.
These are the best cheap headphones you can buy!
Nothing says you have to spend an arm and a leg to get some quality headphones.