Nest Audio critique: The Google Home successor has critical audio chops

The substitute for Google’s authentic, now discontinued clever speaker is listed here, and immediately after listening to it for a couple times, I’m not lacking the previous Google Household a single little bit. The rectangular Nest Audio delivers truly extraordinary audio thinking about its $100 cost tag, and its durable, cloth-lined style and design appears to be like handsome in human being. With Google Assistant on board, the Nest Audio can also respond to voice instructions and get demand of good house products. Waiting in the wings, even so, is Amazon’s refreshed Echo speaker, which also prices $100 and packs in stereo (fairly than mono) audio, in addition a Zigbee wise dwelling hub.

Style and design and specs

From the minute pre-announcement shots of the speaker appeared on the internet, the Nest Audio’s industrial design provoked furrowed brows and even some derision indeed, I wrote that it seems like a “potato sack” or “a pillow standing on finish.” Well, disgrace on me. Looking at it in man or woman, the Nest Audio appears to be lesser than I imagined, and surely a lot more fashionable and tasteful than a crumpled pillow.

google nest audio on shelf Ben Patterson/IDG

The Google Nest Mini appeared fairly sharp sitting down on a shelf in my eating area. Take note the chunky wall wart in the history, however.

Placing it future to a crimson vase on a shelf in the vicinity of my eating area desk, I in fact believed it appeared fairly sharp. The Nest Audio’s design and style tends to make even much more sense when you see how its two front-firing drivers (a tweeter and a mid-woofer, which we’ll examine in additional element momentarily) are vertically stacked, just like a standard speaker.

Measuring 6.89 x 4.89 x 3.07 inches (HxWxD), the Nest Audio is much more than an inch taller than the Google Property speaker it is replacing, but it’s a half inch shorter than the greatest Google speaker, the Google Household Max. Weighing in at 2.65 pounds, the Nest Audio feels reassuringly sizeable, and supplied its heft alongside with its broad, rubberized foundation, the speaker hardly ever felt in danger of tipping above.

google nest audio base Ben Patterson/IDG

Many thanks to its heft and large, rubberized foundation, the Nest Audio hardly ever felt in threat of tipping in excess of.

The Nest Audio’s limited, tactile cloth masking, which will come in “chalk”, “charcoal,” “sage,” “sand,” and “sky” flavors (I examined the chalk version), ought to truly feel common to any individual who has a Google Home Max or a Nest Mini. The fabric wraps all over the entire shell of the Nest Audio, help save for its foundation. The entrance of the Nest Audio is featureless, preserve for the 4 telltale LEDs that peek via the fabric when you are chatting up Google Assistant or modifying the speaker volume.

Ports and connectors

As for ports on the Nest Audio, there is only the barrel-shaped DC electric power port in back. That port connects to a roughly 5-foot electrical power wire with a 24V adapter, vital to accommodate the Nest Audio’s 30W electrical power draw. That adapter will come in the kind of a chunky, 1.5 x 2-inch wall wart, which will block any outlet that is directly beneath it.

google nest audio power port Ben Patterson/IDG

The Nest Audio’s barrel-shaped electrical power port sits around the speaker base-suitable corner observe the lacking 3.5mm audio jack.

Notably, there is no 3.5mm audio jack for connecting an external speaker, though just one could argue that with its enhanced speakers (compared to the Google Residence), the Nest Audio doesn’t need to have an analog audio output. In any case, if you do want to connect the Nest Audio to an external speaker, you can normally do so by means of Bluetooth 5.. (It is value noting that most of Amazon’s competing Echo speakers do occur with 3.5mm audio outputs.)

Set up

As with Google’s other smart speakers, having the Nest Audio related to Wi-Fi is a snap. If you’re presently employing the Google Dwelling app, a “Set up Nest Audio” banner only seems at the top of the app’s primary interface. Tap it, and the app connects the Nest Audio to your Wi-Fi community I experienced to pick my community from a listing of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but I didn’t need to enter my community password. If this is your initially Google speaker and you are new to the Google Property app, you are going to will need to install the software and indicator in with your Google account to get begun.