The Amazon Alexa range, Siri, Google Home, people have rather mixed thoughts when it comes to Voice Assistant Speakers. “They’re always listening”, “The CIA/FBI wanna know what I’m at” etc etc, first off all, really? and second off all I am 1000% sure that Google, Amazon and Apple have better things to be doing than knowing that you asked how big a whale’s junk is. Anyway recently the new and improved Google Nest Audio Voice Assistant Speaker landed on our desks for review. Using a Google Pixel 5, The Nest Mini in the bedroom and this new Nest Audio down in the office, Alexa has been boxed away and sent to a new home, meaning right now all my devices at home are Google, a total contrast of Martin’s Huawei without Google experiment. Anyway there’s something beautifully simple about what Google are making these days let’s see what the Nest Audio is all about.
All about that Audio
The Nest Audio is one of two new devices in the Google Home range alongside thew new Chromcast and TV. The Nest Audio is a whopper of a device and the extra size means extra sound with this coming in at 75% louder than the original Google Home. It’s got a two piece speaker setup with a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm mid-woofer that gives a nice blend of high frequency coverage, clear vocals and a banging base. Really the sound is incredible and at a price of €100 its well worth the money. The Nest Audio is designed with sound quality in mind, the grill, fabric and materials are designed so that you can enjoy the audio without distortion.
What’s pretty cool is the connectivity. While the sound quality is very good you can link it up with a bunch of other devices which in my case means my Nest Audio and Chromecast are connected with this so my audio now follows me around the gaff. While it might sound pointless, I think it’s really cool if I’m watching something on tv the sound can come follow me up to my bedroom.
As I was saying the Google Home range is all about connectivity, you can easily move your tunes, podcasts and the likes between the Google devices in your home. So for example with me the Chromecast in the living room, connects with the Nest Audio in the ‘office’ and the Mini in my bedroom and I can move the music either through the Google Home app or using the Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, move the music to the living room speaker.”
Now it gets better if you have other connected devices at home you can really get a proper connected home going. The Nest Audio as with the rest of the Google Home range will link up with pretty much all smart home devices from Tp-Link to Philips Hue and all major brands in between. With the Google Assistant you can control thinks like lights, the kettle, your tv and even things like sprinklers if you’re very fancy. You can also link up with other Google Nest products, like the Nest therostat and Google Tv and door camera. The feature I’ve really enjoyed is called Family Bell and it’s fair handy during this whole work from home lifestyle. You can add little reminders throughout the day that will remind you when its time for a break, to finish work, go for a walk or start a class etc.
Basically we have a really good speaker, shit that connects simply and a voice assistant that just works. Not unlike the Pixel 5, Google are making things that are about doing the job and doing it well. With the voice assistant alongside everything you can do the usuals like playing the radio, your Spotify account and for Spotify Premium and YT music subscribers can have Google recommend tunes based on your previous activity. Nest Audio adapts to your home to ensure that you’re getting the best sound experience possible. The Media EQ feature enables Nest Audio to automatically adapt to the content that you’re listening to: music, podcasts, audiobooks or Assistant. Nest Audio also adjusts based on the background noise in the home, raising the volume so you can hear Google Assistant.
Like all of these products, privacy is important. You can turn off the mic on the Nest Audio using the switch on the back of the device. It will shine orange on the indicator lights to show that the microphone is completely off. Also you can view all of data and history of your interactions with the Google Assistant, which can be found in the Google Home App under My Activity. Handy know that you have the control over your own data. In the app you can delete your history and control your privacy settings and if you want to be sure that Google aren’t listening to you all the time you can check out the their privacy settings.