Google’s latest Echo rival sets its sights on providing a better audio experience for smart speaker fans. The new Nest Audio certainly reaches new audio heights for Google’s speaker range whilst also keeping the experience simple for the smart home novice.
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What we love – Easy to set up, enhanced audio and pleasing design
The Google Assistant ecosystem has always had simplicity at its forefront and the Nest Audio continues that trend. Whether its controlling your smart speaker and smart home with voice commands or integrating it with your Android phone – from alarms to sharing audio – Google makes it easy. The initial set-up remains simple and it’s no hassle to create multi-device connections with your other Google Nest speakers too.
Google clearly set its stall out for its Amazon Echo 4th Gen rival by placing “Audio” in the name, but does it live up to the moniker? Definitely. While it can’t match the quality of a more complex speaker system or larger soundbar, the larger 75mm woofer and 19mm tweeter offer the best smart speaker audio experience at this size.
There’s still some distortion at higher volumes but the experience is clear and detailed at regular volumes and your average music fan won’t have any qualms.
Google has never had many woes when it comes to the design of its smart speakers, offering home-friendly aesthetics that could easily blend in with most decors – unless the slightly air freshener-like Google Home put you off.
The Nest Audio simply takes the design language of the recent Google Nest Mini and stretches up to a larger pill design. It isn’t groundbreaking but it remains stylish and certainly won’t offend.
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What we don’t like – Pesky bugs
For this size, the Google Nest Audio doesn’t get a lot wrong. You could certainly ask for an improved audio experience but there’s always larger speakers that can offer that. However, what does stop the Nest Audio from getting that prestigious Platinum award is that it’s a tad buggy.
While the set-up for multi-room speaker use is simple, the day-to-day stuff wasn’t quite the same. One of the benefits of such a set-up is easily requesting that your music move from one speaker to another as you change rooms. Nest Audio can have some trouble with this, simply refusing to pick up the music on a different speaker on a regular basis. For a feature that was touted quite heavily during launch, it’s disappointing that Google hasn’t nailed it just yet.
Google Nest Audio is the Amazon Echo 4th Gen rival that Google fans have been waiting for – offering a similar Google Assistant experience to past devices with significantly enhanced audio. Unfortunately, the Nest Audio falls short of greatness with the odd software bug.
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