May 26, 2024

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Google Home: the best smart speakers with Google Assistant

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The best Google Home smart speakers

The best way to begin building a smart home that is controlled by Google Assistant is to choose a device as the base. Your best option is to go with a Google Assistant smart speaker.

There is a large range of Nest and Google Home native speakers as well as a growing number of smart speakers Assistant by third-party companies like Sonos, Bose, and Marshall.

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The best Google Assistant speakers aren’t just hubs for smart homes. They are also high-end audio equipment that can be combined into multi room speaker setups.

These smart speakers, in case you’re confused, are not the same as appliances and devices that are compatible with Google Assistant. They only become voice-controlled if they have a controller to talk to, such as smart plugs or cameras.

The Google Assistant is built into all of these smart speakers, so it’s easy to plug them in and use voice commands to control devices.

Our top choice of speakers that have Google Assistant built in – it’s not just Google Home or nothing.

 

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The best native Google Home speakers

This guide is divided into two sections, one for Google and Nest Home speakers; the other for third-party assistant speakers.

This section covers the best Google Assistant Speakers from brands such as Sonos and Bose, which, while delivering superior sound quality, sometimes lacks features found in Google’s speaker family.

nest audio smart speaker

Google Nest Audio is the newest smart speaker from Nest.

$99

Nest Audio, the latest Google smart speaker, was announced at the end last year. It has a design and form factor that seems to place it between the Nest Mini (now discontinued) and the Google Home Max.

The original Google Home speaker was a pretty old model, having been released in 2016.

Nest Audio is an entirely new device. It’s cheaper, has better sound and more intelligence, but it’s not just another air freshener.

The new Google Home boasts a revised 19mm tweeter, and a 75mm middle-woofer. This gives it 50% more bass.

The speaker is also a great smart home controller. It can turn on or off any smart home device connected at lightning speed. The machine-learning chip should help the speaker to learn your most common commands and respond faster.

Nest Audio comes in the same familiar mesh fabric as the Mini. Nest Audio is available in several colors to match Google’s desire to blend into the modern home, which is a lot of pastels. These include Sky (blue), Sand(pink), Chalk(white), Charcoal(black), and Sage (green).

We love

  • Great sound
  • Price is very competitive
  • Unobtrusive design

We don’t like

  • No 3.5mm jack
  • Invisible buttons
  • Apple Music and Amazon Music are not available

For more information, read our Nest Audio full review.

The best Google Home and Assistant smart speakers

Google Nest Mini is the best assistant speaker for voice commands

$49

Google Nest Mini, a pebble-shaped speaker with smart capabilities, is the most affordable product in Google’s range. It is a second speaker that blends into any decor.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants to build a smart house on a tight budget.

Its Achilles heel? Its Achilles’ heel?

We love

  • This is a great price
  • The small size makes it easy to use
  • Controls for mobile devices

We don’t like

  • No 3.5mm output
  • Unsightly wire placement
  • It’s not that amazing, obviously

Read the full Google Nest Mini Review.

google max speaker

Google Home Max is the best for sound quality

 

$299,

The Home Max is at the top of the Google Home family. It is still available online in some stores, despite Google officially discontinuing it at the end last year.

Google’s best-sounding speaker is not part of Nest, but it still delivers loud, punchy sound that fills the room. Power is costly, especially if you’re looking to buy two speakers for stereo.

The Max, however, is the clear winner of Google’s first-party speaker lineup, based on sound quality. The speaker is a massive beast, measuring nearly 12 pounds at 13.2 x 7 x 6 in. You’d better clear some room.

This is the best option if you’re looking for a Google-built, high-quality speaker. However, the Max, while loud, lacks the balance of some of the other options from Sonos or Bose.

We love

  • The sound of a massive object is as impressive as its size
  • Google Assistant beats Alexa
  • Bluetooth Support

We don’t like

  • Costly (double the price if you want stereo).
  • Very large
  • The sound is not as balanced as other sounds

Read the full Google Home Max Review.

 

nest hub 2021 model clock

Google Nest Hub: The Best Google Home Smart Display

 

$99.99

The Nest Hub, which was formerly known as the Google Home Hub, is now in its second-generation. The 7-inch screen is small, but we think it’s the best of its kind.

It doesn’t even have a camera. You can get a Nest Camera with the larger Nest Max. It has a 10-inch screen and you can view it remotely from your smartphone.

Duo also allows you to make video calls and use some novelty gestures.

The Nest Hubs display photos in a stunning way thanks to an ambient EQ sensor on both displays.

The 2021 Nest Hub is a compact device that includes a Google Soli gesture system, a temperature sensor and a new chip to make Google Assistant Assistant faster. It also features a third microphone for better music listening and a 50% increase in bass.

Soli, a radar-based gesture system, is available on the Nest Hub and allows users to tap on the air in order to pause or resume media.

This also allows the device to detect sleep, which can monitor chest rises and falls in a quiet manner.

Nest Hub allows you to control your smart home via its touchscreen. You can activate Google Assistant, listen to music, watch videos or use it as an electronic photo frame.

We love

  • What is the size of it?
  • The privacy-minded will appreciate the absence of a camera
  • Decent sound

We don’t like

  • Some people may find it to small
  • No Zigbee/Z-Wave Hub
  • Still maturing software

Check out our complete Nest Hub 2nd Gen review

The best third-party Google Assistant speakers

Google Assistant, like Alexa is now appearing in smart speakers from other companies.

It’s important to note that Google Home speakers from the first manufacturer tend to receive new Assistant features earlier than other models. Otherwise, the experience will be the same as a Google Home.

Best overall: Sonos One

sonos one and google assistant

Buy now: Amazon, sonos.com | $199

Sonos’ first smart speaker, which has been around for a few years now (but you won’t notice any changes), is still in use.

Google Assistant is the biggest update. It now joins Alexa. Only one voice assistant can be active at any given time. But having this option makes Sonos stand out from the crowd.

The One offers the same great Sonos sound in a smaller, more affordable speaker. The Assistant allows you to use the One as a chromecast controller.

We love

  • Amazing sound
  • Google Assistant and Alexa both have the same functionality
  • AirPlay 2 is just one of the many ways you can listen to music.

We don’t like

  • Hearing problems persist
  • Some Google features have disappeared

Read our full Sonos One review.

 

Best portable Google Assistant speaker: Sonos Move

Google Assistant is built into the Sonos Move

 

Buy now: Amazon, sonos.com | $399

Sonos moved to a portable device for the first with the Move, and Google Assistant is included. Sort of. You can use the Assistant (as well as Alexa but only one can be selected) so long as your Move is connected to Wi-Fi. In Bluetooth mode, the Assistant is deaf.

The Move is still a good speaker, and thanks to the Wi-Fi’s long range you can place it anywhere and listen to music and use the Assistant without interruption.

You may even be able to extend it outside, which is what Sonos was aiming for when they designed the Move. Were we to mention that it sounds great? It’s a pity it costs so much.

You can also opt for the smaller Sonos Roam speaker, which comes with the Google Assistant.

We love

  • Both modes of Brilliant Sound
  • Very durable
  • Long battery life

We don’t like

  • Costly
  • Mic pickup is a little iffy
  • It’s heavy

Read our full Sonos Move review.

Please also consider…

Audio Pro G10 ceiling mount

Audio Pro G10

PS225

The G10 is Audio Pro’s first attempt at the smart speaker industry. It is a multi-room, all-singing-all-dancing box of tricks that not only includes the Google Assistant but also Chromecast, AirPlay 2 Bluetooth and other features.

It’s a super stylish, 3rd-gen-Echo-lookalike, which is wrapped in a woven fabric that comes in either dark or light grey.

The G10 can be positioned in a variety of ways, very Scandinavian. The G10 can be positioned in a variety of ways, all very Scandinavian.

We noticed that the G10 enters a low power standby mode after a period of inactivity.

You may say “Hey Google”, and not get a response. Google Assistant can be brought back into the game by simply tapping the button at the top.

Bose Home speaker 500

 

$299

Bose Home 500 speakers were originally only compatible with Alexa. However, Google has been added since then. Like Sonos, only one speaker can be active at any given time. This makes an already great speaker even more impressive, adding Google’s intelligence to top-notch audio quality and a beautiful speaker.

The price is about the same as the Sonos Move but it does have the same portability.

The only difference is the small screen that displays album artwork.

Read the full review of Bose Home speaker 500.

 

 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance

 

Buy now: Amazon, bang-olufsen.com | $2,250

The Beosound Balance smart speaker is an ultra-high-end device that will take a toll on your bank account.

This AirPlay 2-enabled speaker is a bookshelf-style speaker that has Google Assistant built in. It’s a high-quality audiophile speaker with excellent acoustics.

The solid oak base is home to a pair 5.25-inch drivers for bass, two 3-inch drivers for full range, two 2-inch drivers for full range, and a 0.75 inch tweeter. This allows a maximum volume of 104 dB.

 

You can get a richer sound experience at the rear with the “Active Room Compensation”.

 

Google Nest Home smart speakers – Considerations to consider before purchasing

It’s worth doing some research before you spend your hard-earned money on one of these smart speakers.

What are the main things to consider?

What should I spend?

You can get a Google Nest Mini for under $40. You can actually go even cheaper, as Google sells its older Google Mini at around $30.

These small smart speakers can be easily added to a Google Home speaker system.

Google’s latest Nest Mini isn’t the best, but it has improved the quality of the sound. If you want to listen your music, then you will need something larger – the new Nest Audio.

It has the same basic functionality as mini speakers but with better microphones to hear you better.

The sound quality of the Max is superior, but if you really want to enjoy high-end audio, you will need to spend more money on a speaker from a third party or the Max.

 

What is Google Smart Displays (Google Displays)?

Smart speakers now have a screen. In certain areas of the home, a smart speakers with a display is a great option. These are great for the kitchen, where you can follow along with recipes.

Smart Displays provide quick visual access to a variety of information. You can view a full week’s weather forecasts and YouTube videos. You can also see feeds from video doorbells and security cameras, touchscreen controls for home smart devices, and even video calls.

Smart speakers that have displays add an extra layer of interactivity. Instead of listening to the options, you can swipe and tap your way through your assistant’s results.

Although the audio quality of the Nest Hub Max isn’t quite as good as that of other smart speakers (mostly because they are all facing one way), it’s improving all the time.

What can the Google smart speaker do for you?

What can these Google Assistant speakers do? All the features are identical.

Let’s begin with music. They are all Wi-Fi speakers with different audio quality that you can control by voice using the “Hey, Google” or “OK Google” phrase to wake Google Assistant. Google Home and Max have a touch-screen interface at the top. You can tap to play, pause or adjust volume.

It is possible to set your streaming music service as the default – this includes Spotify Free, Spotify Premium, Google Play Music and Pandora in the US. Also, it supports TuneIn and YouTube Music in Australia and the US. You can ask the speaker to play music, or skip tracks, or even stop it. You can also ask Google Home to play radio stations.

They can be used as multi-room systems in your home (more about that later). This is very cool, but obviously on the low-quality, budget end. The speakers can also be used as Bluetooth speakers. Each speaker can be connected to your smartphone using Bluetooth in order to play music.

Let’s stick with media controls for just a moment. Google Assistant can talk to TVs that have a Chromecast connected. Chromecast Audio can be plugged into speakers to enable Wi-Fi, but this device has been discontinued.

Your TV can also be added to your multi-room setup. The voice controls work with apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Google Photos, CBS, and the CW.

You can also create voice match profiles for all the Spotify and Netflix profiles in your home so that you will get your own account when you speak.

 

Google Home Multi-room Speaker System

All Google Home and Assistant speakers can be used together to create a multi-room system.

You can use a Google Multi-Room System with any smart speaker you own, whether it’s an older Google Home, the new Nest Audio, Google Nest Minis or third-party assistant speakers.

Create stereo pairs, groups of speakers and more. You can even control the whole system with your voice.

You can use the same Google Assistant commands that you would use with a single speaker to say things like…

  • “Hey Google! Play Wonderwall through all speakers”
  • Google: “Play Badly Drawn Boy in my office speakers.”
  • “Hey Google set volume to 6 downstairs.”
  • “Ok Google, play/pause/resume/stop/play next song on Upstairs group”

 

Google Assistant for TVs

Google Assistant comes as standard in Android televisions, such as those from Sony and Philips. But that’s not all. LG TVs do not run Android TV but come with Google Assistant. Samsung announced that its 2020 smart televisions will also come with the choice of Google Assistant or Alexa .

Many TVs like Vizio have Google Assistant built in. You will find the’mic button’ on your remote to talk to your TV if it is built-in. No wake word required.

The features include playing music, podcasts, searching the internet, and getting traffic, weather and calendar information on the screen. The TV can be linked to the Google Home app so that you can control your smart home gadgets, such as security cameras or video doorbells.

Google TV love not there? Chromecast can be used to give voice control over your Google Home speakers or Nest speakers.

The Nvidia Shield TV supports Google Assistant built-in, and TiVo has announced that it will also support Alexa voice control.

Google Assistant: What can it do?

Explore the Google Home app to see what else Google Assistant is capable of. Features are generally divided into two categories: smart home control and AI butler.

You can set up a My Day program of news, weather, traffic and calendar updates that the Assistant reads out when you ask, for example, strong>”What’s my day like?”/strong>. Plus, you can also ask about commute times, flight info, weather forecasts, upcoming events, local businesses, etc. You can create a My Day Program of news, traffic, and calendar updates, which the Assistant will read out when asked “How was your day?”. In addition, you can also ask for information on commute times, weather forecasts and local businesses.

Also, you can find information on stocks, sports teams, unit conversions and dictionary entries. Plus, there’s translations. You can get translations in 30 languages (and more) with short versions. The Nest Hub can be used as a translator. It will translate entire conversations. However, in our experience, it still needs some work.

 

 

For a more practical experience, you can add a Google Calendar event and set an alarm.

Right on the speaker, you can call contacts, numbers or companies. Google Keep allows you to add items directly to your shopping list. You can now use Assistant to perform two tasks at once, e.g. You can say “Hey Google, play pop music” and then ask for the weather. It will take care of both.

Google Home Actions is how Google Assistant can interact with apps. These actions are similar to Alexa Skills, and they can be more useful for reference, productivity, and voice control. Home will automatically learn them so that you do not need to set up any of them.

Third-party Actions are available outside of the smart home for things like calling Uber, answering questions on Quora or ordering pizza from Domino’s. You can also do quizzes at BuzzFeed, look up lyrics on Genius or recipes on Food Network, and work out with FitStar. You can set up multiple Actions to combine multiple tasks in one command.

 

 

Control your home with Assistant

Google Home can be used as a hub to control smart home gadgets that are not connected to your TV or speakers. You can configure devices in the app by selecting ‘Home Control,’ then the device or brand you want to use. For example Philips Hue.

There’s no need to use QR codes, unlike Apple HomeKit. If you’re using a device compatible with Google Seamless Setup, then the process is even simpler.

You can turn on or off gadgets, adjust settings, and create routines, depending on your tech.

Here is a list of all Google Home compatible devices. This includes smart thermostats and security cameras. It also includes plugs, locks and fans. Google Assistant is constantly improving and soon smart home technology and appliance manufacturers will be able to create custom voice commands.

Routines are another useful feature that lets you create these automated scenes using Google Assistant. You can pair Google Assistant with systems like Wink, Hive, or iHome if you are more interested in the automation side. But we recommend you try Google’s Routines.

Brilliant Google Assistant Easter Eggs

You can have some fun with Google Assistant by trying out our list of Easter Eggs and jokes.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • “OK Google, clean my room”
  • How do you like coffee?
  • “OK Google who shot first?”
  • “Hey Google! Is the cake a Lie?”
  • “Hey Google party on Wayne”

Google Assistant: Privacy

Privacy is one of the main reasons why people are hesitant to buy a smart speaker. This is especially true if it comes from a company who already knows a lot about their online lives.

You can read Google’s Home policy by clicking here. The company has also released a number of privacy policies, which can be found on this page. Google has a few key privacy policies:

  • Google Home devices don’t record all the time. They only do so when they detect the words “OK Google” and “Hey Google”. A few seconds of the conversation are saved. This is not perfect, and you may find that some conversations aren’t relevant after using it for a while.
  • Google does not sell your personal information to advertisers. It uses it to target you with “relevant” and useful ads. Google’s primary business model is still ads, not hardware.
  • Google shares transcripts of recordings made by you with developers that integrate Google Home with their own services (such as Uber). Google may also share audio with third-party companies, but only if you have given them explicit permission.
  • Your conversation history can be deleted from your Google Account. It’s not 100% clear whether Google stores data in its data centres even after the user has ‘deleted it’. Google claims to keep “service-related data” about your account.

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