Everyone has their favorite digital assistant. For Apple users, it’s Siri. Amazon fanatics rely on Alexa to execute their common household chores. Samsung even has their own AI bot in Bixby to perform daily tasks on Galaxy devices. However, when it comes to intelligence, nothing beats Google’s alternative: Google Assistant.
Google has brought its voice assistant platform over to numerous product categories, including wireless audio. Many of today’s headphones and earbuds support Google Assistant, but only a handful are programmed to achieve optimal voice command execution.
You’re probably saying, “well, Google makes their own wireless earbuds, so, obviously, those offer the best Google Assistant experience.” Yes, that’s absolutely correct. Nevertheless, there are some third-party audio manufacturers that have shown they can properly integrate the software and its plethora of features (e.g., Fast Pair, Translate) into a pair of headphones or buds.
Having tested all the top options, we’ve compiled this list of the best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds to give you a better idea of what’s most suitable for your mobile device and budget.
The best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds you can buy today
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Android-philes wanting the best Google experience possible will want to pair the Pixel Buds Pro with their current Pixel smartphone. Services like Google Assistant, Translate, and Notifications all work flawlessly on these buds. A custom 6-core audio processor was developed to deliver versatile sound, which can also be personalized via Volume EQ; bass and treble frequencies are increased when listening at low volume levels. ANC is just as impressive, blocking out many ambient noises in different settings and reducing wind presence. Pairing is instantaneous on Android devices, thanks to one-tap Google Fast Pair, though the buds also connect quickly to iOS/macOS devices.
Those who are constantly on the move may find the Pixel Buds Pro’s loose fit problematic. On top of that, you’ll want to keep your own USB-C cable on hand because Google does not include one with the purchase.
Read our full Google Pixel Buds Pro review.
Sony outdid themselves with the WF-1000XM4. Not only is the listening experience exceptional, from the superb ANC to the wide soundstage, but you’ll also get the best Google Assistant performance from a pair of non-Google-made buds.
The WF-1000XM4 comes with Alexa and Google Assistant integration, so you can enable either AI bot by saying their respective action phrase. Sony’s mic array demonstrates great speech recognition and blocks out ambient noise at a high level, allowing the software to register and execute voice commands accurately. Other high-end features such as 360 Reality Audio for spatial audio listening and Speak-to-Chat to automatically pause music when talking out loud only add to the WF-1000XM4’s value.
Read our full Sony WF-1000XM4 review.
Despite lacking high-end features such as ANC and spatial audio, Google’s most affordable buds can offer a grade-A Google Assistant experience. You get the same Google perks as the Pixel Buds Pro, including one-tap Fast Pair, Find Device, and Translate. These buds also boast the same attractive design as their predecessor, from the tiny oval-shaped buds to the pebble-inspired charging case. Sound is satisfying for the price with sharp vocal output. Most importantly, “Hey Google” voice activation is always active and responsive to all commands.
We can live without ANC considering the low price, but we do wish the volume was higher when listening to music and video content.
Read our full Google Pixel Buds A-Series review.
The WH-1000XM5 get you stellar ANC, battery life, and sound quality with signature Sony bass at the helm. They are one of the few over-ear headphones to have Google Assistant built into their architecture, and the feature works flawlessly. Google’s software responds fast and accurately to voice commands. Sony also added a few voice features that are worth checking out, including Quiet Attention and Speak-to-Chat to either lower or mute sound whenever speaking out loud.
The redesign isn’t the most stylish and there are some bugs that Sony has yet to flush out. Flaws aside, Sony fans will find that these flagship headphones handle ambient noise and voice commands with ease.
Read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 review.
The LinkBuds S might lack the original LinkBuds’ innovative design, but they outperform their predecessor in every other category. Impressively, Sony was able to stuff all their proprietary technologies (360 Reality Audio, DSEE, LDAC) into a small and comfy design. What’s more impressive is how well these features perform. But those aren’t even the LinkBuds S’ biggest selling points. It’s the dynamic sound, effective noise cancellation, and surprisingly good digital assistance that places it among category greats like the AirPods Pro and sibling WF-1000XM4. Access to the Sony Headphones Connect app is also useful for personalizing their buds.
Battery life is adequate for the price, though the charging case disappoints with a max of 20 hours, which falls short of the industry standard (24 hours).
Read our full Sony LinkBuds S review.
The Pixel Buds 2 is a vast improvement from what the company released prior, addressing the numerous issues that hindered its predecessor’s performance, while employing stylish design tweaks. As expected, Google Integration is flawless, with the buds connecting instantaneously to Android devices and offering cool functionality such as real-time translations via Google Translate. The 12mm dynamic drivers combined with an all-new Adaptive Sound feature give audio a rich, lively presence. We’re also fans of the flush design with built-in fins for proper comfort, as well as the innovative egg-shaped wireless charging case that holds an additional 24 hours of playtime.
The extra playtime is heavily needed, as a single charge only nets users about 4.5 hours of use, which is lower than what Google advertises. Not to mention this is the same as the AirPods Pro, a noise-cancelling model with better battery management.
See our full Google Pixel Buds 2 review.
The Bose 700 is a noise-cancelling treasure with many underappreciated features. It’s also the last pair of headphones from the brand to come with Google Assistant integration (why the QuietComfort 45 ditched this feature is bewildering). The action button on the side will instantly pull up the AI bot. Having adjustable class-leading ANC on top of other enhancement tools like EQ customization help complete the package.
Our only real complaint is the weak battery life, which doesn’t offer much ANC playtime at just 20 hours per charge.
Read our full Bose 700 review.
The Elite 7 Pro aren't Jabra’s best true wireless earbuds, but they stand out with premium features at a sub-luxury MSRP. To get Jabra’s full suite of functionality for just $200 is a steal, which includes MySound and Personalized ANC, two proprietary technologies that respectively tweak sound and noise cancellation based on your hearing preferences. Standard features like a customizable EQ with multiple presets, MyControls to personalize input, and wireless charging all come as part of the package. Sweetening the deal are great Google Assistant voice activation and long battery life: 9 hours of ANC playtime on a full charge.
While certain modern features are missing (e.g., multipoint technology, touch sensors) and the ear tip fit is a complete disaster, you can live without them and still enjoy top-tier performance.
Read our full Jabra Elite 7 Pro review.
How to choose the best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds for you
For starters, you need wireless headphones/earbuds that can enable your device’s native digital assistant. In this case, it’s Google Assistant, which is available across all platforms: Android, iOS, and Microsoft. Most models let you access Google Assistant manually, while a select few come with voice activation to turn on Google Assistant when speaking its assigned wake-word phrase: “OK/Hey Google.”
Powerful mics are the next priority. The best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds require these to pick up every syllable and long-winded inquiry with precision. You’ll also need a strong mic array to enjoy elite ANC. Models that block out ambient noise effectively can help reinforce the Google Assistant experience by allowing for clearer vocal capture.
Battery life is next on the list. Some might not know this, but the digital assistant sucks up a lot of juice when used often. Acceptable playtime for wireless headphones is between 20-50 hours, while wireless earbuds should offer between 5-10 hours per charge. Make sure quick charging is included to expedite the charging process.
From there, make sure to check off other must-haves such as great audio, call quality, comfort, connectivity, fit, and special features.
How we test the best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds
When testing for the best Google Assistant headphones and earbuds, we ensure that each product is properly set up for use with Google Assistant. Our experts then use the feature in different settings to see how well it performs across different noise levels.
The Laptop Magazine team also accounts for other key factors. Design, comfort, sound, and value are on that list. All selections are then compared to similar products in the category in terms of features, fit, and pricing.
Google Assistant headphones and earbuds are worn over the course of a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time. During this period, we assess ANC, ease of use, mic performance, and sound quality.
Speaking of audio, models featuring the latest audio codecs (e.g., aptX, LDAC) and spatial audio are tested using compatible hi-res streaming services (e.g., Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal). You can learn more about how these services can improve audio performance on laptops and mobile devices by reading this expert audio codec FAQ, which breaks down everything you should know about FLAC files, MP3s, and all other audio file codecs.
When testing is completed, Laptop Magazine rates every model based on a five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Any product that is truly exemplary will be awarded an Editor’s Choice.
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