- Sony will update six pairs of headphones to include Google Assistant in the future.
- Once updated, the headphones will require a connection to an Android device to use Assistant.
- Sony did not provide a timetable for the updates.
Google Assistant is a hot topic at CES 2018 this week. JBL announced headphones with Assistant inside. We got a look at Assistant in your car. Lenovo gave us a peek at its Assistant-powered Smart Display. Now, Sony is making a Google Assistant announcement too. The Japanese tech giant announced it is adding the virtual Assistant to older headphones.
The announcement came with little fanfare, at the end of a PR document announcing other wireless earbuds and open-ear headphones, but Android Police spotted it. Here are the older models getting the update:
- WF-1000X — noise-canceling truly wireless earbuds
- WI-1000X — noise-canceling earbuds
- WH-1000XM2 — noise-canceling wireless headphones
- WH-CH700N — noise-canceling wireless headphones
- WF-SP700N — truly wireless fitness earbuds announced at CES 2018
- WH-9000N — aka h.ear on 2 wireless headphones
Turns out Sony’s confusing naming scheme isn’t limited to just its Xperia smartphones.
Updating older headphones with new functionality is an interesting idea. We see OEMs add new features via software updates to smartphones, smart TVs, and cars, so it makes sense for a company to go back and do it with something like headphones. Assistant in headphones is something of a new trend, but it certainly seems to be gaining traction. It would be a great move if other companies followed Sony’s lead.
Once the headphones are updated, they’ll be able to use Assistant when paired with an Android device. That will allow users to ask questions, request music, or make calls without touching the phone. If you want to see Assistant on headphones in action, check out our review of the Bose QC35 II.