The Bose headphones with Google Assistant are official now

Google and Bose are today officially announcing a new version of the headphone maker’s great noise cancelling headphones, the QC 35s. The big new addition is Google Assistant — or rather, a dedicated button on the headphones that triggers the Google Assistant.

The new branding is simply QC 35 II, and according to Google you set them up as usual via Bluetooth and then follow some instructions built into the Google Assistant app on either an Android phone (running Marshmallow or above) or an iPhone.

Once that’s done, you’ll hold down the new button that’s on the right ear cup to trigger the Google Assistant. Google says that it can do most things the Assistant can do on your phone — read messages, play music or news, and of course call people. But the Assistant has slightly different capabilities in every place it appears, so it may be that you can’t do everything with these headphones that you can do with, say, a Google Home.

The Google Assistant feature on the QC 35 II headphones relies heavily on the Android phone or iPhone for most of the processing and network connectivity. Local processing on the headphones is limited to functions like instant voice input (buffering audio in the DSP followed by fast transfers to the phone) and notifications, for example.

Bose says that the button can also be configured to do the same thing the Bose Connect app on your phone can do: switch between noise cancellation settings, letting you set it to high, low, or off.

We’ve been seeing these headphones crop up a lot ahead of the actual announcement, in rumors and even in Bose’s own newsletters. These new headphones also go some of the way towards explaining the headphone-related bits that have been uncovered inside the Google Assistant app on Android.

Now that they’re officially official, we can tell you that they’ll be released in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and the UK. They should be available today for $349.95.

Correction: clarified the noise cancellation feature.

Comments

Can there be an official verge policy where at the end of every gadget article there is a line in 90 point font that says either:

  • USB-C: HOORAY!!!
    or
  • Micro-USB: BOOOOO!!!
    It’s the first thing I want to know whenever I read about a new gadget. I’m never buying anything with micro-USB ever again so it would help to have a way to quickly filter out potential purchases.

THIS! A couple months back I started the purge of replacing microUSB accessories and devices or just not buying them. I am down to just my UE Boom 2 and Bose QC 35’s (the first ones). Right now it’s just lighting or USB C. One day, hopefully, just USB C.

What about USB-D? I’m never buying anything USB-C again and have just done a purge of all my USB-C devices.

Didn’t you get the memo from Microsoft? USB-C is totally not ready for mainstream! So lets all faff about with old connectors until USB-C magically becomes "mainstream".

I’m wondering…who would chose to control the music(play/pause, skip) with google assistant instead of the buttons?

Control while playing? Probably not. But, choose/find/select/shuffle/etc for starting music. Yes.

But if you have noise cancelling turned on, wouldn’t you end up yelling? It isn’t like you can easily hear your surroundings to gauge how loudly you are speaking which would be awkward.

If you don’t end up using it to actively control your device, then you are just passively listening to its output which renders the feature kind of pointless.

It can probably be picked up by microphones, something like 1000x allows to hear your surroundings.

The Bose QC35 does not actually support that feature so it would have to be a feature that wasn’t announced here. Assuming that this product is basically the same as the QC35, I doubt it.

But the Assistant has slightly different capabilities in every place it appears

Ain’t that the truth…

I’m sure there’s a reason for it, as frustrating as it is. Anyone explain it for me?

Probably directed needs for the device it’s used on. Helps with limited processing power.

Micro-USB. No buy.

The current QC 35s can activate Siri with by holding down the play button, what’s the point of adding another button, when the last model could already do the same, and Micro-USB boo, no reason to upgrade or buy the QC 35 IIs

Being able to toggle the noise cancellation from the button is actually what caught my eye. Most annoying part of the QC 35s is that you have to use the app to toggle that setting.

I’d consider these if there was the ability to listen wirelessly with noise cancelling turned off. That was a silly omission on the QC 35’s when they first came out.

There was an update in June or July that allowed you to disable that feature, but you need the Bose Connect app to disable it. It isn’t a hardware toggle on the earcups.

From the press release

The Connect App also lets you change the Action button’s functionality, so you can control the noise settings from the earcup when you want, and switch back to your Google Assistant when you want.

Looks like that new button can do exactly that – which is a big thing for me. Having to use the app right now sucks.

MicroUSB charging: NOPE

Updated Beats Studio looked nice but micro usb killed my desires.

"I want a dedicated Google Assistant button on the headphones that I wear on an airplane" -nobody ever

Google Assistant or not the fact that the button also toggles noise cancellation immediately makes these better than the originals. So if the price is right I can’t see any reason not to buy these over the current pairs.

I’d pay probably $20 just for that ability on my current 35s. I know of people changing to Beats specifically because of this.

OK the wait is over. I was going to grab this if it has usbc and Bluetooth 5.0.
Since it doesn’t have either, I am heading to bestbuy to get the new Sony cans for the same price. These companies are stupid to ignore what the customer wants

I wish the Sony’s (I assume you mean the MDR-1000Xs) were as comfortable as the QC 35s for me. When I tested them both out the sound quality and ANC were basically indistinguishable, and I liked some of the features Sony offered, but for something I’m going to wear for hours they just weren’t an option.

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