Sony’s promised Google Assistant update for its headphones is finally rolling out

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Sony is finally rolling out deeper support for Google Assistant on some of its headphones, making good on a promise it made at CES 2018 when it first announced the feature, as spotted by Android Police.

For now, the update seems to be arriving for Sony’s WH-1000XM2 and WI-1000X headphones, adding a few new features to how Google’s Assistant works. Now, instead of summoning Assistant by holding down the call button, users can change the noise cancellation / ambient noise toggle to trigger Assistant instead, along with getting faster push-to-talk and proper iOS support. Users with the update will also be able to have notifications read out loud by Assistant, just like on Google’s Pixel Buds.

For now, users seem to have only seen support for the WH-1000XM2 and WI-1000X headphones, but Sony also promised that the features would come to the WF-1000X, WH-CH900N, and h.ear on 2 WH-H900N models as well, so keep an eye out for those updates, too.

Comments

I wonder how the actual updating works. I got the info page but there’s no "check for update button".

Same, I get the info page, but it doesn’t show the "Headphone update available" bar within the app like it says it should here:

https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=WH1000XM2&upd_id=11482&os_group_id=18#checkver

Same for me too for XM2 – there’s an info page about the new update when I launch Sony Connect app, but there is no way to actually do the firmware update.

Yeah, not sure. I found this support article https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=WH1000XM2&upd_id=11482&os_group_id=18 but don’t see the option to update it mentions. My headphones are only around half charged, so I guess I will try charging them to full first.

I updated my WF-1000X earlier today and it was pretty painless. When I opened the app, there was a banner at the bottom saying an update was available. It popped a window showing the headphones that had updates. I went to the next screen and it gave me a prompt with the general warnings to keep the buds close to your phone and not put them in the case and some text about how long it would take. It took around 30 minutes to update my buds, so not too bad.
Going to see if the update is available for the XM2s when I go home later.

I read elsewhere they’ve pulled the update due to an issue of some sort.

Yep. The support article linked in the above comments now reads, ‘We apologize for the inconvenience, but the release of this software update has been delayed. We are working on the issue and will release the update as soon as possible.’

You mean resurgent Sony… in jest a little bit… but they were well and truly written off so seems fair to redress the balance.

A Kaz Hirai interview or feature would still be much appreciated

In full seriousness I think there is a good story and something to celebrate (with questions over the future now Kai is stepping down from CEO).

They are dead in the smartphone market, but their cameras are doing great.
And they have Playstation obviously which is also a huge success.
No idea about their audio and TV depts though.
Sony ain’t dead yet!

They are slowly gaining market share in premium TV segment. Basically eating Samsung’s lunch.

I wonder if you have to wait for the beep or you can just start talking like on the Pixel Buds?

All these new Assistant integrated headphones are push to talk.

They need to address the glaring issues with the Headphones connect app. It is god awful.

I.e. every time I get on the train, or jog across the street to make a stoplight, or do anything that ever so slightly changes how I’m moving, the damn headphones cut out and pause to readjust? Yeah, I love my XM2’s, but I’ve officially turned on noise cancelling without the auto-adjust to environment.

The Update has been put on hold. Below is Sony’s message.

IMPORTANT:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but the release of this software update has been delayed.We are working on the issue and will release the update as soon as possible. (Added on 18-5-2018)

https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/support/wireless-headphones-bluetooth-headphones/wh-1000xm2/downloads/00015220

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