Nest Audio review: A welcome upgrade for Google’s flagship smart speaker

Google’s new Nest Audio prices $100 and replaces the corporate’s unique Google House good speaker.

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Google’s very first good speaker, the Google Home, appeared in 2016 as the reply to Amazon’s brand-new Echo system. Since then, the 2 firms have launched numerous good gadgets, acquired startups and expanded their voice assistants to create the platforms thousands and thousands of individuals use at this time. 

The Google House was overdue for an improve, and it comes within the type of the brand new Nest Audio. This $100 (£90, AU$149) good speaker sits squarely in the course of the Nest Mini and Home Max, offering a midrange speaker that’s no roughly smarter than you’d anticipate. Sound is improved over the previous House speaker, and the design is up to date, but acquainted, in line with the newer, fabric-wrapped design of Google’s different Nest audio system. A handful of recent options make this sensibly up to date speaker interesting, particularly if you happen to’re on the lookout for nice sound and a very good value.


  • Improved sound
  • Good channel separation in stereo pair
  • Reasonably priced
  • Up to date design and colours

Do not Like

  • Low quantity vary
  • Greater, heaver than Google House
  • No standout smarts

Google’s new speaker is just below 7 inches tall, almost the identical top as the largest iPhone fashions. It is available in 5 colours: chalk, charcoal, sand, sky and a brand new inexperienced tone referred to as sage.

Contact factors on the prime of the speaker management audio. Faucet the highest heart to play or pause. Faucet to the left to show down quantity and to the appropriate to show it up. The corresponding white dots within the heart of the speaker will point out your choice. Three far-field mics hearken to you from throughout the room.

All the things else concerning the Nest Audio’s look is par for the Google course. Wrapped all the way in which round this speaker is the acquainted cloth cowl that debuted within the Nest Mini, comprised of 70% recycled supplies. There is a mic-muting button on the again and a DC energy jack. Like the remainder of Google’s speaker lineup, there isn’t any USB-C or Auxiliary jack. All of your pairing with exterior audio system, TVs or gadgets will occur through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi within the House app.

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Nest Audio overview: Google’s new $100 good speaker


Google claims the Nest Audio is 75% louder and has 50% stronger bass than the unique Google House. That is as a result of it is outfitted with a 19mm tweeter for prime frequency protection and clear vocals, in addition to a 75mm midwoofer for bass, in comparison with Google House’s 50mm full-range driver.

The Nest Audio makes use of Google’s lately launched Media EQ and Ambient IQ know-how to regulate sound. Media EQ tunes audio primarily based on the kind of sound enjoying like podcasts, music, audiobooks or assistant voices, but in addition to the kind of music enjoying to regulate for sound profile variations in classical music versus laborious rock. Ambient IQ adjusts the amount to account for any ambient background noise in your house. It’s also possible to discover one or each of those options on Nest Mini, Nest Wifi, Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max.  

Sound high quality in comparison with the previous Google House is totally higher. Vocals are a lot clearer and the sound is fuller. Even at 100% quantity, distortion could be very minimal. 

Nest Audio

Large enough for a noticeable sound high quality replace.

Juan Garzon/PJDM

My solely grievance is the amount vary from 0-50%. Most of that vary is so quiet it does not appear helpful. My previous House Mini appeared louder at 30% quantity than the Nest Audio. I requested the Nest crew about my expertise, they usually pointed to the Media EQ function that might be studying and adjusting to the sorts of songs I am enjoying. Listening on the Nest Audio between 50 and 100% quantity is nice and possibly the place you may spend most of your time.

Like earlier Google audio system, you may group the Nest Audio with different Nest gadgets just like the Mini, Hub Max or TV through Chromecast. The Nest Audio’s standout function is the power to pair two items in stereo for left and proper channel separation.

A easy setup guides you thru selecting which speaker supplies left sound and which supplies proper. Stand between the 2 audio system and the impact is very nice. It was actually satisfying to listen to these channels separated distinctly whereas enjoying completely in sync. That is the one function that makes the Nest Audio really feel such as you’re getting premium high quality that ought to price greater than it does.

What about its smarts?

The Nest Audio comes with all of the smarts you have come to anticipate from a Google good speaker. Other than the spectacular stereo pairing, performance feels almost an identical to the Nest Mini and the House Max.

That is not essentially a foul factor. I did not want the Nest Audio to offer stunning new good dwelling options. I wanted it to catch as much as the Nest Mini, House Max and the remainder of the Google line of gadgets when it comes to design and sound. Google’s performed simply that with options like Google’s newest ML chip (additionally discovered within the Nest Mini) for sooner voice help response and good audio tuning options.

Nest Audio

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Is it value including to your good dwelling arrange? 

100 bucks is just not dangerous for audio system that sound this good, however with that very same $100 you could possibly get two Nest Minis or one Nest Hub. Which method to spend your cash comes all the way down to your good dwelling wants.

The Nest Audio actually sounds higher than both of these, however if you happen to’re after a extra good home-centric system, I would spend my cash on the Nest Hub. You may get a show on prime of fine sound high quality, and that opens up a complete world of good dwelling integrations like cameras, doorbells, video streaming and visible video games. 

Two Nest Minis will not offer you good show visuals, however it is possible for you to to broadcast your voice to a different room or play audio in two rooms directly for half the price of two Nest Audios. Small and unobtrusive however efficient at supply sound and digital help, Nest Minis provide rather a lot for a similar cash. 

An enchancment in each manner, however await Echo

The Nest Audio feels strongly geared towards music fans. Not essentially audiophiles with finely tuned ears, however extra the common Spotify or YouTube music subscriber, somebody who enjoys music sufficient to spend cash on providers and gadgets that put listening first. 

No, the Nest Audio does not include any actually thrilling new options. Perhaps 4 years after the arrival of the Google House, we have all turn into a bit too laborious to impress in relation to good dwelling gadgets. A speaker that talks again is not the shiny, new gadget it was, regardless of how good it sounds. The actual wow elements of Google Assistant are within the software program, not the gadgets; at the very least for now.

Nonetheless, credit score the place credit score is due. Google delivered on sound and elegance. The Nest Audio is an enchancment in each manner, and it brings the final of Google’s unique merchandise into the brand new Google Nest period. I’ve no qualms recommending this speaker to anybody on the lookout for Google Assistant smarts and nice sound for an inexpensive value. If you have not dedicated to a sensible dwelling ecosystem but and also you’re available in the market for a sensible speaker, you may wait a number of weeks to see how the new Amazon Echo speaker compares with this one earlier than making a purchase order. 

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