I’ve been hearing about the audio performance interesting from Google Nest audio, without having had the chance to try it. The month of January and its traditional sales allowed me to get my hands on a copy at an attractive price, a perfect opportunity to offer you a test after several months of use.
What is Google Nest Audio?
Unsurprisingly, this is a connected and smart speaker from the range Nest which embeds the voice assistant Google Assistant. However, this “Audio” version is cut for listening to music, as indicated by his name. Halfway between the Nest Mini (pebble) and the Google Home Max. As the Home Max version is no longer marketed, the Nest audio is positioned as the most powerful smart speaker in the range.
Since I have a white Nest Mini version, I chose a black Nest Audio, just to have a different version that uses the anthracite fabric.
From an aesthetic point of view, I find the NestAudio very successful. Google opted for a simple, “soft” design that doesn’t draw much attention to itself. It’s a more traditional approach than the one the company took a few years ago with the first version of the Google Home. The object is beautiful and “imposing” compared to the Nest Mini, but without being bulky. The general appearance and the size (175mm by 124mm), indicate that we are in the presence of a beefier version of the smart speaker and that the sound should be of much better quality than on the little brother. Same impression when taken in hand.
At the same level in the range as the first Google Home of the name, the Nest Audio is a marked improvement over the Google Home in almost every way. It’s bigger but easy to fit in a variety of places in your home. It’s faster to respond to voice commands, and more importantly, the sound is much better than that of Google Home.
Under the fabric, the case is made from partially recycled aluminum and magnesium, which explains the weight of the object. It is therefore wrapped in a mesh fabric, made of recycled plastic which considerably softens the appearance of the speaker. When Google first launched this fabric on the Home Mini (nest Mini now) a few years ago, we had a few questions and a priori on them.
Several years later, we must admit that the material has proven itself and the tactile zones respond very well to the touch, even light. Finally, the fabric gives character to the object for a resolutely unique design, and over time, even iconic.
A small “G” appears on the back of the device to remind you that Google is never far away when it comes to the range of Nest connected objects. A range which has its independence, without however the parent company detaching itself completely from it.
The power supply is entrusted to a proprietary port, not Micro USB or USB C as is more often the case, even the standard these days. It is therefore not necessary to lose the power supply to use the device.
Finally, the classic button to mute the microphone. More concretely the 3 microphones that are built into the device. The button therefore allows you to switch the speaker to “mute” mode so that it does not listen to you. More concretely, this button makes it possible to avoid the triggering of the assistant, when it is not desired. A button that is very useful to me when I hold meetings where we debrief on services Google. Too often the assistant allows himself to intervene in the meeting… The joys of teleworking in the smart home ! A very practical button.
Google Nest Audio: Installation and setup
Installing the Nest audio is very simple and fast. Google has really done everything to make it accessible to everyone and that’s fine. To do this, open the application Google Home on a smartphone or tablet. You then have two options. Either the Nest audio has already started and appears under the application as ready to configure as can be seen below, or you will have to go through the + button to start the detection.
1. Once the installation procedure is started, it takes no more than a few minutes for before you can use the device. Just follow the wizard and the few steps it indicates.
2. Choose a home room and name the enclosure.
3. All that remains is to choose the Wi-Fi network to use, I advise you to choose a network dedicated to connected objects to optimize and secure the flows of the connected home.
4. The initial configuration is complete, the wizard then offers additional configurations such as Voice Match and the most common services.
5. It’s over, the wizard finishes by telling you how the touch zones work before you start enjoying the big sound of this connected speaker.
Nest Audio in use
Not surprisingly, this is best Nest speaker for listen to music. Of course, we are still far from the bass offered by a Sonos One on an equivalent size, but it is also a product twice as expensive as Sonos offers. The Nest Audio is therefore placed in direct competition with theAmazon Echo at its premium and does just as well. We like the fact that we can pair two Nest audios to make a couple stereo perfectly synchronized. This completely transforms the sound and its behavior in the room. This combination of two NestAudios enhances the listening experience and makes this couple a true hi-fi system new generation.
In terms of compatible services, no big surprise, this speaker is compatible with all the uses and services already seen on the brand’s other speakers. You can even listen to our Domotics Chronicle podcast on it:
hey Google, lis le podcast domotique chronique
Finally, the only difference with a Nest Mini or the first Google Home of the name is a more muscular sound and an interesting design.
Discover our guides around Nest connected speakers
The opinion of the domo-lab on the Nest Audio
A speaker that lives up to its name. Even better paired with a second unit for stereo and cumulative sound. The Nest Audio is the largest connected speaker in Google’s catalog. Big sound and interesting design, this speaker easily outperforms the small Nest Mini pebble in the connected home.