Bose Brings Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Integration to the QC35 IIs
Last December, we reported that the percentage of voice-assistant-integrated hearables were on the rise, projected to increase 78% by 2022. Bose shows that this trend won’t be limited to earbud. It will also include over-the-ear headphones. The QuietComfort35 II (QC35 II) Wireless Headphones now support both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Google Assistant support first showed up in the QC35 II models in September 2017. You can now update the device software and pair your headphones to the Amazon Alexa app to access a second voice assistant. Usually priced at $350, these headphones are currently on sale for $300 on the Bose website.
Still Require Touch to Talk
Voice-activation is still yet to come for Bose headphones, though. Activating the voice assistant requires the tap of a button in the QC 35 IIs. Bose’s 2015-released SoundSport earbuds included an inline microphone compatible with most Apple devices. Bragi Dash Pro is closer, with just a head movement required to activate the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. 66 Audio remains the first to release wireless headphones that enable voice-assistant activation by simply using the wake word, “Alexa.” Apple may not be far behind, however. Apple plans to include voice-activated access to Siri in the upcoming AirPods upgrade.
Apple plans to compete with more than just AirPods
Apple’s ever-popular, Siri-integrated AirPods have been a key driver to the arrival of voice-assistants in headphones. Beyond AirPods, Apple has a new product aimed to rival those of Bose and Beats in the works: over-the-ear, Siri-enabled, noise-cancelling headphones. The release date was initially expected for late 2018, potentially accompanying the new iPhone releases. According to Bloomberg, Apple “has faced development challenges,” which have pushed the projected product launch to early 2019.