My first impression upon pulling the Nest Audio out of its field was “wow, this factor is tiny.” From the images and movies, it appeared like a smaller model of the Dwelling Max, which nonetheless holds true now that I’ve seen it in actual life. Nevertheless it’s lower than 7 inches tall and solely three inches thick — not like the Max, the Nest Audio will be capable of slot in nearly wherever you need to put it. Like all of Google’s present audio system, it’s coated with audio-transparent fabric that is available in 5 colours (I acquired the boring however versatile “Chalk” choice). The entrance has 4 LEDs that activate whenever you’re speaking to the speaker, and the again comprises an influence port and mute change. Lastly, there are invisible touch-sensitive buttons on the highest to play or pause audio and modify the quantity.
From a characteristic and setup perspective, the Nest Audio is actually equivalent to the Nest Mini and different Google-branded good audio system. Plug it in and the Google Dwelling smartphone app will information you thru a setup course of that hyperlinks your Google account and allows you to decide your most popular music companies. As soon as that’s executed, you possibly can ask Google to play no matter you are feeling like or solid songs to the audio system from numerous apps.
Nest Audio has all the identical options because the cheaper Nest Mini, so what I actually care about right here is music high quality. At first, the small measurement made me query how good it may actually be, and that was borne out in my preliminary testing. It’s each an enormous improve over a tiny speaker just like the Mini or Echo Dot but in addition a bit underwhelming on condition that Google is promoting it as an audio-first machine. Particularly, I discovered music to be a bit bit muddy, with out outlined highs.
The excellent news is that it’s decently loud and might fill small- and medium-sized rooms with sound, although you’ll in all probability have to push the quantity up previous 50 p.c. Fortuitously, the Nest Audio holds up nicely at greater volumes, with none noticeable distortion. And as time went on, the muddy high quality I seen initially appeared to subside — that may very well be simply because I acquired used to the speaker’s traits, or it may very well be that the Nest Audio’s computerized tuning characteristic was bettering audio high quality the extra I listened.
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