Google Assistant has arrived on headphones. Audio specialist company Bose on Thursday unveiled the QC35 II, the newest addition to its Quiet Comfort range of noise cancelling headphones, featuring Google’s virtual assistant. Bose also took the opportunity to unveil wireless SoundSport Free earbuds.
The Bose QC35 II, a promotional video of which got leaked earlier this month, will allow users to speak to Google Assistant and ask it to call their friend, play music or news, and have it read messages and calendar events, Boss said. It features a dedicated “Action” button on the right ear that can trigger the Google Assistant.
Bose says the QC35 II headphones offer the same noise cancelling feature as the original QC35, the company said. The headphones have up to 20 hours of battery life and are going on sale at $349.95 (roughly Rs. 22,750) today.
Google’s plan to trickle down Google Assistant to headphones could further increase the reach of its AI-powered digital assistant. Google Assistant competes with Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, which already is on select smartphones and headphones. Apple’s AirPods are selling well in the market. According to data from NPD from earlier this month, more than 900,000 completely wireless headphone units have been sold in the United States just this year. Apple’s AirPods account for 85 percent of those wireless headphones.
The audio company also unveiled what it calls “truly wireless” SoundSport Free earphones. Each earbud less than 10 grams and measures 1.1 inches high and 1.2 inches deep. The company claims the earphones will work even when the paired device is up to 30 feet away. They will last up to five hours on a single charge. There is also a charging case, which will add about 10 hours of additional listening time. It is priced at $249.99 (roughly Rs. 16,250).