Update: The video that offered a clear look at the QuietComfort II with Google Assistant was removed from YouTube earlier today.
We’ve learned a great deal about Google’s plans for smart headphones over the last several months through app teardowns, and Google itself slipped-up recently by adding Headphones to its support website (and then quickly removed it). Today, we can confirm that the rumored successor to the Bose QuietComfort 35 will be one of the first pair of headphones to feature the Google Assistant.
On Monday, we found a graphic in Google Assistant for iOS that showed a pair of over-the-ear headphones in great detail. With a design that matched strings of code previously found in the Google app, the illustration was titled “baywolf” — one of a few “Bisto” device codenames that we spotted in the Google app. Bisto is the name Google is using to refer to this category of devices in the Google app code.
Some noticed how the button layout described in the app’s code, as well as the baywolf image, happened to line up with a pair of leaked Bose headphones in early August.
We can now exclusively confirm, via Bose documentation seen firsthand by 9to5Google, that this is indeed the case and that the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II will be one of Google’s first partnered smart headphone devices that feature the Google Assistant.
Earlier this week, a tipster tried to purchase the original QC35 at Australian retailer Life Style Store only to be told that a new model was coming in “2-3 weeks” and would feature the Google Assistant.
We have since been able to examine a fact sheet from Bose made for retail employees that confirm the presence of Google Assistant, as well as several other specs for the noise-canceling over-the-ear headphones. We cannot publish the product sheet, but here are the Google Assistant highlights:
Google Assistant Built In
“With your Google Assistant built in, you can control music, send & receive texts, and get answers using just your voice. Just press and hold the Action button, and start talking.
Update 10:16 AM PT: After publishing this article, a reddit user shared photos of the device’s retail box showing a “Google Assistant built-in” logo.
There is an “Action button” on the left cup that is not found on any other Bose headphones. According to teardowns of the Google app we did previously, users will press and hold on this button to give a command, as well as to hear their notifications.
The Verge published an image of the headphones which came directly from a Bose newsletter earlier this year. We can confirm that the device seen in this fact sheet is identical.
The upcoming headphones look very much like the current QC35, with the added button being the only notable physical difference. Like the existing models, they come in black and silver.
Other specs for this device include “adjustable noise cancelation” and a “Noise-rejecting dual microphone” that “Provides clear calls and accurate Google Assistant response in noisy environments.” Meanwhile, battery life is rated at 20 hours and the headphones weigh 5.7 ounces. In the box, you’ll get the headphones, a carry case, a USB cable, and a 3.5mm audio cable.
Bose Australia charges A$499 for the original QuietComfort 35. Our tipster was told that the new models would cost the same, and we’ve seen a deposit receipt confirming that identical pricing. Meanwhile, Bose officially sells the current QC35 in the U.S. for $349.95.
With the Google Assistant on Android and iOS already featuring the groundwork for Assistant-enabled headphones, an announcement seems likely at Google’s October 4th event. That date lines up with the 2-3 week estimate we were given from the Australian retailer.
Thanks Sargon Homeh!
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.