The Best 'Cheap' Google Assistant Headphones of 2019

There are two kinds of "Google Assistant headphones":

  1. Supported - Most Bluetooth headphones and earbuds support Google Assistant as long as they have a microphone and are connected to an Android phone. Long-pressing the play button or saying "OK, Google" activates the Assistant. Spoken commands are relayed to the phone the headset is paired with.

  2. Full Integration - Headphones with full Google Assistant integration don't rely on a smartphone to execute voice commands, they run Google Assistant natively. This unlocks additional features like realtime foreign language translation as well as live notifications.

A good pair of Google-Assistant supported headphones can be had for less than $50 (see these guides to cheap AirPod alternatives and Bluetooth earbuds). With them, you can make calls, send texts, set reminders and control smart home devices like a Wi-Fi thermostat or smart LED bulb.

Google Assistant-integrated headphones are significantly more expensive. At around $150 retail, Google's Pixel Buds are one of the cheapest models available. JBL's Live 400BT, Live 500BT and Live 650BT NC headphones natively support Google Assistant, however, not many reviews mention how well it works.

One day, integrated voice assistants will be a standard headphone feature. Until then, the best "cheap" Google Assistant headphones are the expensive ones that go on sale. A price guide is below:

Good Price: $327 | Great Deal: $300

It's relatively simple to activate Google Assistant on these headphones using the Bose Connect app, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers enjoyed using Google Assistant to receive notifications (e.g. having text messages read back to them). Some reviewers complained of firmware bugs and app crashes. The majority of reviewers say these headphones are very good for music, phone calls and tuning out ambient noise.

Typical Price: $350 | Good Deal: $298

These headphones are comfortable, sound great and have impressive noise cancellation, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers say that Google Assistant is slow to respond; others complain that the touchpad is buggy or unresponsive (especially in cold weather).


John DeFeo