Bose QC35 II released, with Google Assistant baked in for $350

Getting a virtual assistant on almost any device has become common place now and is no more restricted to just smartphones and smart speakers. Headphones seem to be the next big destination that will involve having its own virtual assistant. And while Samsung has already made a pair of earbuds that are integrated with Bixby, it is now Google Assistant’s turn to find a home in the headphone space. Bose has the answer.

The company has been working on bringing their AI assistant to headphones for some time now and today, Google has officially unveiled its newest integration with the Bose QC35 II. While the Google Assistant AI will be built into the headphones, it will still depend on a smart phone to fully function. According to Google, the integration inside the headphones will serve as the ‘in between’ medium for when the user just wants to look up something without needing to look at their phone, much like how a smartwatch would be used.

Users will be able to setup the headphones fairly simply enough, using just Bluetooth and following instruction from the Google Assistant app on Android or iPhone. Once the setup has been done, users will simply need to press the button on the right ear cup to activate Google Assistant. Like Google Assistant on regular phones, the one in the headphones can read out messages, play music and news as well as call people. The headphones will be dependent on the smartphone it is connected to for the processing capabilities.

The headphones themselves will feature active noise cancellation and most of the features that were found on last year’s QC35 headphones. The only addition that Bose have added to the headphones is the new button to activate Google Assistant. Users will also get to remap the button to toggle different kinds ANC settings if they are not interested in the Google Assistant. Bose also claims that the headphones would provide up to the same 20 hours of battery life as the first generation of QC 35s. The headphones are currently available and will come at a price tag of $349.95. It will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France and UK for now.

While the experience is not the complete Google Assistant experience, the headphones do their best to emulate its function. For those who just need good headphones, the first generation QC35 should do. But for those who want something smart, a smart watch would be a better option in this case.