While the Pixel phones were obvious highlights, Google also finally announced a successor to its nearly four year old ‘Google Home’ smart speaker line-up. In comes the $99 ‘Nest Audio’, which by all means, will be Google’s primary smart speaker on sale going forward. There are a slew of improvements in the device, obvious considering the amount of time Google took to announce an upgrade.
To start with, Google says that the new Nest Audio is 75 percent louder and has 50 percent stronger bass than the original Google Home—measurements of both devices were taken in an anechoic chamber at maximum volume, on-axis. And Next Audio gets those enhancements due to a new 19mm tweeter for consistent high frequency coverage and clear vocals and a 75mm mid-woofer that really brings the bass in.
Google says that the need for a successor to Google Home, which was otherwise living in complete ignorance, came up due to the ongoing pandemic. In a research that it carried out, Google and its research partners found that over the past five months, Americans increased the amount of time they spend listening to music at home by 61 percent, and many people nearly doubled the amount of time they spend jamming out at home. Hence the opportunity to perhaps revive and otherwise dormant smart speaker line-up.
Google says that completed more than 500 hours of tuning to ensure balanced lows, mids and highs so nothing is lacking or overbearing. The bass is significant and the vocals have depth, which makes Nest Audio sound great across genres: classical, R&B, pop and more. The custom-designed tweeter allows each musical detail to come through, and the company optimized the grill, fabric and materials so that you can enjoy the audio without distortion.
All said and done, it is probably the speaker’s wide array of features when it is connected to multiple devices, that are really the highlight. So for example, you may have multiple Nest Audio devices across your home. All of these speakers can be interconnected to each other, and they actually transfer your music as you move from one room to another, seamlessly. You can even do this seamless switching from your car to your home. Nest Audio largely relies on Google Assistant for its intelligence, and that is one area where Google quite beats the competition.
In terms of availability, Nest Audio is available for $99.99 online at the Google Store and other retailers in the U.S., Canada and India starting Oct. 5. You can find it on shelves at retail stores including Target, Best Buy and more in 21 countries starting Oct. 15.