At its annual hardware event today, Google officially unveiled its latest smart speaker: the Google Nest Audio. As with previous smart speakers from the company, this product exists as a way to bring Google Assistant access into your home whenever you need it.
Unlike the most recent Google Nest Mini, though, this new speaker is much bigger and delivers much more capable sound. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Google Nest Audio!
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Google Nest Audio: At a glance
Way back in 2016, Google unveiled its very first smart speaker, Google Home. In essence, Google Nest Audio is the unofficial follow-up to that device — think of it as a Google Home 2, in some respects.
Like the Google Home, Google Nest Audio offers a wireless audio experience, whether through Bluetooth, Google Cast, or Wi-Fi. It has Google Assistant on board and responds to the “Hey Google” hotword. It integrates with your smart home, features the four-dot Google Assistant light design scheme, and has a hardware switch on the back that shuts of the microphone.
Also like the Google Home, the Nest Audio is designed to play music, podcasts, and other audio media. The Nest Mini (and its predecessor, the Google Home Mini) is primarily a cheap entryway into the smart home space, not a high-quality audio system. As such, the new Nest Audio should appeal to folks who want a smart speaker and a good-quality wireless audio speaker all-in-one.
It should be mentioned, though, that the Nest Audio will probably not be as high in audio quality as the older Google Home Max. That product is more expensive, larger, and likely more appealing to those looking for the highest-quality sound they can get from Google.
Google Nest Audio: A new design
Now, just because the Google Nest Audio is extremely similar to the Google Home doesn’t mean there aren’t differences between the products.
The first thing you’ll notice about Google’s new smart speaker is that it looks like it morphed from a Google Nest Mini. You’ll find the same fabric covering all around it, and the same oblong curves. It’s almost like someone grabbed a Nest Mini and stretched it out like it was made of putty.
However, unlike the Nest Mini, you don’t have two options for how this speaker gets placed in your home. With the Nest Mini, you can lay it flat on a table or mount it vertically on the wall with the built-in mounting hole. With the Nest Audio, its sound comes from both the front and back, meaning it must be placed on a table for it to work best.
If you want to measure out where it will go in your house, it’s 6.89 inches tall, 4.8 inches wide, and 3.07 inches thick. It also weighs just over 1kg, making it heavier than the 180g Nest Mini, but lighter than the 4kg Google Home Max.
Google Nest Audio: How it sounds and new features
Android Authority and our sister site SoundGuys will be conducting a thorough Nest Audio review. Until then, we can’t make any formal declarations about how the Google Nest Audio sounds.
However, based on the size, weight, and relative newness of the device, it’s highly likely this speaker will best the audio quality of the original Google Home. According to Google, this new Nest speaker is 75% louder and has a 50% stronger bass response than the original Google Home. This is likely due to the 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid-woofer included.
Two of the features that will make the Nest Audio sound even better are Media EQ and Ambient IQ. The former will automatically tune the speaker depending on what you’re listening to (music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.) while the latter auto-adjusts the volume based on how noisy your home is at the moment.
Google Nest Audio competition and alternatives
The smart speaker space is highly competitive. Google’s primary competitor is Amazon, which offers several smart speakers powered by its own Alexa digital assistant. The all-new spherical Amazon Echo costs the same as the Nest Audio and delivers many similar features, making it likely the best Google Nest Audio alternative.
However, for many buyers, the number one factor in their smart speaker choice is the digital assistant. As such, the Echo might not even be on their radar. As far as Google-only devices go, the JBL Link ticks off a lot of the same boxes as the Nest Audio and even comes in at a similar price point.
Ultimately, though, Google’s biggest competition is its own offerings. Although the Google Home is no longer in production, it’s still really easy to get from many retailers. Although the Nest Audio will likely sound better, it doesn’t offer too many new features to make it superior to the Home.
Also, the Google Home Max — while much more expensive — is still around and might be better for buyers intent on getting the best audio quality they can.
Google Nest Audio: Pricing and availability
The Google Nest Audio comes in at $99.99, putting it very comfortably between the prices of the Nest Mini and the Home Max. It comes in a few different colors, with Charcoal, Chalk, Sage, Sand, and Sky being the ones confirmed by Google so far.
You can buy the new Nest smart speaker from Google directly or many third-party retailers right now in the United States. It will arrive at your house on or around October 8. It will land in India at some point later this month.
Google Nest Audio: FAQ
Q: Does the Google Nest Audio get power through Micro-USB or USB-C?
A: Neither. As with the Google Nest Mini, the Nest Audio speaker uses a proprietary power cable. It comes with the speaker when you buy it.
Q: Can I link multiple Google Nest Audio speakers together to create multi-room audio?
A: Yes! If you own multiple Google speakers (doesn’t matter which kind), you can link them together within the Google Home app. You can have one stream of audio playing all throughout your house, allowing for uninterrupted listening as you make your way from room to room.
Q: Can I link two speakers together to create a stereo audio experience?
A: You sure can. For this, you will need two speakers that are the same exact model and for them to be in the same room. As with multi-room audio, you’ll set up the pairing within the Google Home app.
Q: Can I turn off the microphone on the Nest Audio permanently?
A: Yes. On the back of the speaker is a hardware toggle that shuts off the mic. If you wanted, you could leave it that way forever and only use the speaker for wireless audio.
Q: Is there an Aux input on the speaker, or an Ethernet port?
A: No. Other than the power connector, there are no I/O ports on the Nest Audio. It will only be good for wireless audio.