- With the new Google Assistant built in and Voice Match technology, enjoy the perfect sound quality with smart device that work works with you.
- Dimensions and weight: Height: 6.89 in (175 mm); Width: 4.89 in (124 mm); Depth: 3.07 in (78 mm); Power cable: 59 in (1.5 m) Device weight: 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg ) (without external power adapter)
Review Google Nest Audio. The new smart speaker Google Nest Audio compatible with the Google Assistant was released on October 15th. In order to provide a richer music experience with this new product, the sound quality has been significantly improved from the first smart speaker “Google Home” released in 2017. Let’s report the first impressions of the new product while trying every function suitable for playing music.
Review Google Nest Audio: The newest smart speaker Google Nest Audio equipped with Google Assistant
Google is currently selling the new Nest Audio as a smart speaker with the Google Assistant, as well as the compact Google Nest Mini. At the time of writing this article, I checked the Google Store sale price and found that the Nest Audio is USD 110 and the Nest Mini is USD 46. Additionally, the “Google Nest Hub Max” and “Google Nest Hub” smart speakers with displays are also on sale now.
The Nest audio that arrived at the CnwinTech Labs was a charcoal color of two color variations. The speaker actually felt smaller than I imagined when I watched the online presentation video hosted by Google on October 1st. Main body height of about 17.5 cm. You can see a picture of its height compared to a 500mm PET bottle.
Enhanced music playback centers on the bass
The new Nest Audio is 75% louder than its predecessor, the Goole Home smart speaker, and has 1.5x more bass playback. 70% of the enclosure is made of recycled plastic material, and a high-frequency tweeter with a diameter of 19 mm and a woofer of 75 mm for reproducing mid-low frequencies is built in.
The capacitive touch sensor is installed on the top front panel of the main unit. When playing music, tap the center to play/pause, and left and right to increase/decrease the volume. There is a button on the back to mute the microphone on the main unit. Despite its compact size that can be held in one hand, it does not have an internal battery, so the adapter that comes with the package requires a constant power supply. It cannot be taken out where power cannot be supplied.
The response to voice surgery is also agile. AI Assistant that is easy to use
As with other Nest series devices, setup is done with the Android / iOS Home app. I used a Google Pixel 4a for this test. I already use Google smart devices at home, so I can bypass Wi-Fi and Voice Match settings and set up Nest Audio in a matter of minutes.
Start Android TV at my house with sound. Depending on the network congestion, the sound operation response of the smart home appliances is excellent.
Nest Audio has a built-in 1.8GHz quad-core CPU and ML hardware engine dedicated to machine learning. When you ask the Google Assistant about today’s weather and news, you’ll get a quick reply. I also quickly operated the power supply of the TV that came with my Android TV.
Not limited to Nest Audio, “routines” that can be used in conjunction with Google Assistant compatible smart speakers are also convenient. You can customize the information and the set of reactions that are returned when you say “Good morning” from the Home app.
If you have two Nest Audio, you can enjoy stereo playback and group playback. I would like to remember “Transfer Streaming” as a trick that allows you to hand over the music you listen to using your Android smartphone while on the way to Nest Audio after returning home and listening to the rest. The easiest way is to launch the Home app, select Media, and select Nest Audio as the destination device.
This is a speaker that can be enjoyed as full-scale audio
I checked the sound of Nest Audio while listening to a sound source distributed on Spotify. Certainly, the power is amplified, and the sound doesn’t get distorted even when the volume is turned up. The volume range of the bass is very rich. Low and stable center of gravity. For a speaker of this size, it sounded very dignified.
The Nest Mini is also interesting as an introduction to smart speakers that support Google Assistant, but its music playback performance is way behind Nest Audio in terms of sound depth and power. If you want to fully enjoy listening while listening to music carefully, you should go for Nest Audio, which has dramatically increased the “audio” level, without hesitation.
However, the sound quality of the speakers may be different for each person. The Nest Audio sound adjustment tends to be slightly warm and pushes the center and bottom forward. The remaining bass sound is very relaxed and comfortable, but when you look at the balance from a wide view, you can feel that the bass is a bit dominant.
If you want to make the outline of the mid-high range sound sharper, you can fine-tune the bass/treble balance to your liking from the “equalizer settings” accessible from the Home app.
How to get the most out of Google Nest Audio music playback
Since the speaker has a lot of horsepowers, as the volume is turned up, the vibrations of the housing are routed through the installation surface and turn into unnecessary sound, which also causes the speaker sound to become muddy. That’s why I want to be careful about speaker placement. If you place the Nest Audio on furniture such as a light wood colored box or bookshelf, you may not be able to get the full power from this unit.
Therefore, it is advisable to use accessories that are made and sold for audio as cheap ones such as isolators and audio boards are sufficient. For example, the Audio-Technica AT6098 hybrid insulator makes it difficult to transmit vibrations to the ground when multiple frames are sandwiched between the ground and the speaker, increasing the clarity and stereoscopic effect of the music.
The extra notes have been removed, and vocal melodies and acoustic instruments can now be heard clearly. The author found this in a consumer electronics retail store and bought it for about USD 20. I think I can shop a lot.
Nest Audio also has adaptive audio functions such as “Media EQ” which automatically adjusts the equalizer according to the content the user is listening to, and “Ambient IQ” which automatically adjusts the sound to the acoustic conditions of the room where the speakers are placed.
For example, environmental noise conditions change depending on whether the room windows are open or closed. Ideally, Google Assistant’s response would sound the same in both environments, but when I tried each one, the range of changes was not very large. In other words, the Google Assistant response is easy to hear in any environment, unless you reject it too much. However, for example, if you want to listen to music while washing dishes in the kitchen, I think it’s better to use the “Pixel Buds” wireless earphones.
Audio capabilities are number one in the Nest series
I’ve been used to living with a Google Nest Hub / Nest Hub Max that has a display for a long time, so to be honest, using a smart speaker that communicates only in voice feels like going backward, for example at home. If you want to watch YouTube on Google or take advantage of animated storytelling content for kids, I think you should go for the Nest Hub series.
However, if you enjoy Nest Audio especially for music playback, I think this unit is a wireless speaker with excellent cost performance, with improved bass sound quality, and enhanced functions for multi-music playback such as group playback. Its ability as an audio device is the best in the Nest series. Even if you don’t have a YouTube Music or Spotify account, you can listen to music stored on your smartphone paired Bluetooth with Nest Audio, making it easy to introduce as an introduction to Bluetooth speakers.
When I touched on the new Nest Audio, I realized that Google was undoubtedly doing its best to create a new smart speaker as “audio”. Pay attention to the Nest series, which is constantly evolving with hardware and software.
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Performance - 9.5
Facilities & Features - 9
Design & Easiness - 9
Price - 8.7
If you want to watch YouTube on Google or take advantage of animated storytelling content for kids, I think you should go for the Nest Hub series. Even if you don't have a YouTube Music or Spotify account, you can listen to music stored on your smartphone paired Bluetooth with Nest Audio, making it easy to introduce as an introduction to Bluetooth speakers.