One of the larger nagging issues with the Google Home mini and the standard Google Home has always been the lack of auxiliary output. This small omission causes some major headaches for users with large, existing speaker setups that they would like to leverage for music and media playback.
Sure, Google’s Chromecast Audio solution is a workaround, but if you have a really nice wireless Bluetooth speaker like one of Bose’s fantastic offerings, you’re forced to decide between smart controls and portability. The Chromecast Audio requires power and thus comes with quite a few non-mobile setup issues. If we are only talking about static home speakers, the Chromecast Audio solution is honestly a great solution.
Many users, however, have invested good money in wireless, portable, Bluetooth speakers. For those people, having a Chromecast Audio permanently tethered along for the ride just isn’t an option. I’m one of those people, and now I’m very excited that there is a clear fix for this situation.
Bluetooth Pairing From Your Google Home
The concept is simple enough: instead of pairing a playback device (phone, Chromebook, tablet…) to your Google Home, you pair your Google Home to the speaker you’d like playback to happen through. It is a devastatingly obvious solution to this whole problem, and setup is pretty simple, too.
For me, this means my Bose Soundlink Mini will be getting far more use on a daily basis. I’ve become spoiled by casting audio and all the benefits that follow. Pairing Bluetooth speakers just feels like a step backward, so I tend to only use cast-enabled speakers. Though Bose makes headphones with Google Assistant integration, they’ve yet to make a portable speaker with Chromecast abilities. That makes me sad, but I can’t deny the staggeringly good audio their small speakers produce.
Because of this fact, I’ve continued pairing my speaker at home from time to time, but I tend to go with the simpler Google Home speaker when I just need some music on.
This new feature will likely change that for me and could change it for you as well, so let’s talk about how it is done.
Get Set Up
The process for setting up this whole thing is quite straightforward. Let’s dive in.
- Turn on your Bluetooth speaker and make sure it’s in pairing mode.
- Open the Google Home app on your phone or Chromebook or tablet.
- In the top right corner of the app Home screen, tap Devices Devices.
- Find the device card for the Google Home you want to pair with your Bluetooth speaker.
- In the top right corner of the device card, tap the device card’s 3-dot menu > Settings > Default music speaker > Pair Bluetooth speaker.
- Tap the speaker you want to pair.
- Tap Done.
That’s it! At this point, any media you command your Google Home to play will be output through the connected Bluetooth speaker instead of your Google Home’s internal speaker. For the most basic things, you are done at this point, but there are a few things to consider.
First, your best way to handle volume will be with the Google Home and/or your phone’s volume. You won’t have any way to actually adjust the Bluetooth speaker’s volume, so I’d recommend setting the speaker to full volume and using the casting volume controls to adjust your volume. It gives you much more flexibility and a better remote experience.
Second, your device will remain paired just like any other Bluetooth device. If the speaker is in range of your Google Home, it will default to this new setup. If the speaker is turned off or runs out of battery, once it is returned to power and within range, the setup will go back to Bluetooth being the default. For me, it was taking a few seconds after powering up the Bluetooth speaker, but it does auto-connect again. If you unplug the Google Home, the default will have to be switched back, it seems, but that isn’t something most users do that often.
Overall, this is a great – if not obvious – addition to the Google Home feature set. I know I’ll be taking advantage of it on the regular…what about you?
Source: Google Keynote Blog