Well, the true successor to the original Google Home smart speaker is officially available from various retailers. It has been a while since we added a new smart speaker to the list of smart devices around the office. So, we went and picked one up. We’re going to spend a little time with the new Assistant-enabled speaker before we do a full review and we’re planning some head-to-head comparisons with other speakers in this range so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.
For now, we wanted to get this thing out of the box so you can get a closer look and see how it really sounds. Google is touting a 75% volume bump and 50% better bass response than the original Google Home. Those are some serious gains. If this speaker can perform as well as Google says, the $99 price tag will make it the must-have Assistant smart speaker for any and all discerning audiophiles. The original Google Home arrived with a $129 MSRP. So, the Nest Audio already has a leg up in the budget category.
Out of the box, the Nest Audio isn’t that much larger than the OG Google Home but it feels way more substantial than its predecessor. The original Home came in just over one pound while the Nest Audio weighs a whopping 2.65 pounds. I suspect that the added weight is directly responsible for the increase in sound volume and quality that Google is advertising. Like the Nest Mini, the Nest Audio features a fabric outer shell, and the familiar colors of Chalk, Charcoal, Sand, and Sky wrap entirely around the device sans the bottom. Google has also added a fifth color with “Sage” that mimics the Sorta Sage found on the new Pixel 5.
Like the Mini, the Nest Audio features a simplistic control setup that is comprised of capacitive touch controls that are located at the top front of the speaker. You get play/pause in the center and volume up/down on the right and left sides. Around the back, you’ll find the standard mic mute switch for privacy and the power port near the bottom of the speaker. Other than that, this device is clean and devoid of any conspicuous branding. There is a small, subtly raised “G” logo in the center of the back but you won’t see that when you set it up in most scenarios.
Again, we’re going to run this thing through the paces before we render a final verdict. That said, my initial impressions of the Nest Audio are very good. Google did a great job of blending a good mixture of highs and lows while keeping the bass powerful but not too powerful. The audio quality is hands-down better than that of the OG Google Home and will probably stand up to many speakers that cost significantly more but we’ll let time tell that story. So, without further ado, here is the all-new Nest Audio in all its glory.