Nest Audio review: The Google Home successor has serious audio chops

The substitute for Google’s unique, now discontinued sensible speaker is right here, and after listening to it for just a few days, I’m not lacking the previous Google Dwelling one bit. The oblong Nest Audio delivers actually spectacular sound contemplating its $100 price ticket, and its sturdy, fabric-covered design appears good-looking in individual. With Google Assistant on board, the Nest Audio may reply to voice instructions and take cost of sensible house gadgets. Ready within the wings, nevertheless, is Amazon’s refreshed Echo speaker, which additionally prices $100 and packs in stereo (slightly than mono) sound, plus a Zigbee sensible house hub.

Design and specs

From the second pre-announcement pictures of the speaker appeared on-line, the Nest Audio’s industrial design provoked furrowed brows and even some derision; certainly, I wrote that it appears like a “potato sack” or “a pillow standing on finish.” Effectively, disgrace on me. Seeing it in individual, the Nest Audio appears smaller than I imagined, and positively extra fashionable and stylish than a crumpled pillow.

google nest audio on shelf Ben Patterson/IDG

The Google Nest Mini seemed fairly sharp sitting on a shelf in my eating room. Be aware the chunky wall wart within the background, nevertheless.

Putting it subsequent to a crimson vase on a shelf close to my eating room desk, I really thought it seemed fairly sharp. The Nest Audio’s design makes much more sense once you see how its two front-firing drivers (a tweeter and a mid-woofer, which we’ll focus on in additional element momentarily) are vertically stacked, similar to a traditional speaker.

Measuring 6.89 x four.89 x three.07 inches (HxWxD), the Nest Audio is greater than an inch taller than the Google Dwelling speaker it’s changing, but it surely’s a half inch shorter than the largest Google speaker, the Google Dwelling Max. Weighing in at 2.65 kilos, the Nest Audio feels reassuringly substantial, and given its heft together with its broad, rubberized base, the speaker by no means felt in peril of tipping over.

google nest audio base Ben Patterson/IDG

Due to its heft and vast, rubberized base, the Nest Audio by no means felt in peril of tipping over.

The Nest Audio’s tight, tactile cloth masking, which is available in “chalk”, “charcoal,” “sage,” “sand,” and “sky” flavors (I examined the chalk model), ought to really feel acquainted to anybody who has a Google Dwelling Max or a Nest Mini. The material wraps across the complete shell of the Nest Audio, save for its base. The entrance of the Nest Audio is featureless, save for the 4 telltale LEDs that peek by way of the material once you’re chatting up Google Assistant or adjusting the speaker quantity.

Ports and connectors

As for ports on the Nest Audio, there’s solely the barrel-shaped DC energy port in again. That port connects to a roughly five-foot energy wire with a 24V adapter, essential to accommodate the Nest Audio’s 30W energy draw. That adapter comes within the type of a chunky, 1.5 x 2-inch wall wart, which is able to block any outlet that’s straight beneath it.

google nest audio power port Ben Patterson/IDG

The Nest Audio’s barrel-shaped energy port sits close to the speaker bottom-right nook; observe the lacking three.5mm audio jack.

Notably, there’s no three.5mm audio jack for connecting an exterior speaker, though one may argue that with its improved audio system (in comparison with the Google Dwelling), the Nest Audio doesn’t want an analog audio output. In any case, in case you do need to join the Nest Audio to an exterior speaker, you possibly can at all times accomplish that by way of Bluetooth (It’s value noting that the majority of Amazon’s competing Echo audio system do include three.5mm audio outputs.)


As with Google’s different sensible audio system, getting the Nest Audio related to Wi-Fi is a snap. In case you’re already utilizing the Google Dwelling app, a “Arrange Nest Audio” banner merely seems on the high of the app’s most important interface. Faucet it, and the app connects the Nest Audio to your Wi-Fi community; I needed to choose my community from an inventory of close by Wi-Fi networks, however I didn’t must enter my community password. If that is your first Google speaker and also you’re new to the Google Dwelling app, you’ll want to put in the applying and sign up together with your Google account to get began.

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