Nest Audio review: the modernized Google Home that finally loves sound

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Announced at Google’s back-to-school conference, the Nest Audio is already here. Switched under the name Nest, which now includes all the brand’s devices for the home, this speaker actually replaces the old Google Home by bringing it upmarket. Enough to make it a really useful, audiophile and intelligent speaker?

Google Nest Audio

A Radical Look Change :

Radical change of look for this Nest Audio. The initial bi-texture beveled cylinder has become more rounded and uniform. It is quite compact and discreet with its vertical cushion shape. We find the now iconic honeycomb fabric, available in gray (pebble) or black (charcoal). Like many Google products released in 2020, it brings the green touch with a durable fabric for the coating, identical to that of the Google Nest Mini, and a case and some components made of 70% recycled plastic.

Google Nest Audio Google Nest Audio  Google Home initial

Compared to the Google Home it replaces, the Google Nest Audio is a little wider (124 mm against 96.4 mm) and higher (175 mm against 142.8 mm), but in fact shallower ( 78 mm). With its size, it can thus disappear in any environment or be placed on a desk corner without getting in the way. However, it must be supplied electrically with a wire of a reasonable size.

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There are no visible buttons or defined area, but hidden touch controls on the top edge, under the fabric: volume adjustment on the sides (to lower, tap left – to raise, on the right edge ) and in the middle to turn the sound on or off. On the back, there is a button to activate or deactivate the microphone for voice recognition. For a speaker dedicated to sound, it may be a shame not to have possibly put an auxiliary socket in any form whatsoever.

Google Nest Audio (left) and Google Nest mini (right)

Always As Easy To Install :

It’s not that hard to install Nest Audio. You plug it in, download the Google Home app (iOS or Android), connect to Wi-Fi, and go through the pairing process. You obviously need a Google account to be able to configure the device and add it to the app.

You can add audio services to the app for your speaker like YouTube Music. If you have a premium subscription, you can request to listen to songs on Play Music, Deezer or Spotify (possibility to set it by default with a free account, but to launch playlists simply).

Nest Audio has a new quality: it can serve as a hub for a possible more global audio system, if you have other compatible Google devices (Nest Mini families, Google Home, Nest Hub, etc.). You can then pair them to play music throughout your home, or take advantage of the content transfer function for continuous listening (from the app). Note that two Nest Audio together will be able to play in stereo in the same room.

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The speaker has a Chromecast built-in and relies on 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi connections.

Audio Quality: Small, But Powerful

Over the years, we expected this new Nest Audio to be truly dedicated to sound, like the Google Home Max. Much less bulky, it is also less powerful. But many will tell you much more efficient in the sound footprint. If you’re into big wall-shaking bass and more boomy sound, go your way (or go for the Home Max).

 

The Nest Audio is said to be 75% more powerful than the original Google Home (which is not difficult given its poor sound quality), and 50% richer in bass. It has a 19mm tweeter for handling high frequencies and a 75mm woofer for bass. It is above all their architecture that has been studied so that the sound sounds clear and is more immersive, even through the fabric and the grid. Google has also reduced compressors as much as possible. The result is there: no need to boost the sound to enjoy it and no distortion. And you can hear pretty well wherever you are around the speaker, without the sound output being 360 °.

And it works just as well whether you’re listening to melodic and harmonious Pachelbel’s Canon, Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir with its guitar riffs, or even more topical R&N and rap with lots of bass. The voices of podcasts are no more crushed and just as crystal-clear as those of the performers. The sound is balanced between low, mid and high frequencies. It turns out to be quite enjoyable to listen to, whatever your favorite musical style.
The button on the back of the Google Nest Audio to mute the microphone

Thanks to its three on-board long-range microphones, the speaker adapts the noise to the sound environment (TV, dishwasher, loud ambient noise, etc.), to your activity, especially if you use Google Assistant. The on-board intelligent calibration also adapts the sound quality to the type of content (song, podcast, audiobook, radio, etc.). The application also has a fairly basic equalizer, but which will allow you to adjust the bass and treble according to your content and your tastes.

The successor to Google Home, Nest Audio also has a smart speaker mission to fulfill. And he still does it just as well. Even if you are a bit far from the device, Google Assistant is responsive and its voice clear to understand the answers.

The sound of Nest Audio is a pleasant surprise that goes far beyond the capabilities of the old Google Home. Now we have a real speaker with smart capabilities, sound quality worthy of the name with sound that fills the room in a fairly balanced and deep way for more immersion.

A Speaker Always As Smart And Complete :

Nest Audio is above all a connected speaker from Google. We therefore find all the usual services provided with the in-house voice assistant: request information via the voice assistant (weather forecast, information, routes, traffic information, your appointments, your reminders, make your shopping list, etc. ). It uses Voice Match technology to recognize your voice and adapt its responses.

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From the device, you can also take calls with Google Duo, control connected devices from home by voice, enjoy various entertainment, including music. It takes back its fundamentals perfectly and quickly understands the instructions for controlling your thermostat, your bulbs, etc. Nest Audio does the job of a back-up assistant with the added touch of audio quality.

Nest Audio

You can also use the Bluetooth connection to stream audio content from various applications, but also Apple Music from your iPhone for example. The only regret: you must systematically go and pair the speaker and the third-party smartphone each time to use the connection. Nest Audio obviously doesn’t remember the pairing. An update will most likely correct the problem shortly.

Google Nest Audio Price And Availability :

Nest Audio will be available from next October 15 at 99.99 dollars, in a pebble or charcoal version, on the Google Store and in other stores like (Fnac, Darty, Boulanger, Carrefour, Leclerc, Cdiscount, Auchan, Système U) .

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