After literally being leaked in its entirety thanks to some overzealous US shelf-stockers, today we got our first official look at Google’s latest Google Assistant-enabled speaker, the Nest Audio. This is Google’s better-quality speaker, replacing the original Google Home and nesting between the Nest Mini and the Google Home Max.
With a brand new design and forward-firing speakers, the new cloth-clad obelisk is both familiar and new. The new speaker measures in at 175mm x 124 mm x 78mm making is slightly larger than the original Google Home. The two speakers are comprised of a 19mm tweeter and a 77mm woofer, more than slightly better than the 2-inch main driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators in the original Google Home.
Of course audio is only half of the story with a smart speaker, with the new Nest Audio featuring three far-field microphones intended to make the Nest audio hear you better in more situations. Inside it includes Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 but unfortunately no additional radios for IoT compatibility into the future.
If you get your hands on two Nest Audio they can be paired together to create a stereo set up, or using a Chromecast group used to simulcast audio across your home. The Nest Audio will integrate into your existing Google Home ecosystem adding a new richer audio experience.
Google is bringing the Smart Sound feature found in the Google Home Max to the Nest audio. Using Smart Sound the speaker will use the far-field microphones to tune the speaker for optimal performance in that space. With the original Home Max it was hard to tell just how good this was, so we will have to wait to assess if it is of any benefit.
We will need to get some ears-on time to determine how much of an improvement the Nest Audio is over the original Google Home and if it is powerful enough to form part of a primary music system to those who care a little more about audio quality. Of course, no smart speaker is currently audiophile quality, so we’re not really talking about them.
The new Nest Audio will come in Sage (green), Sand (pink), Sky (blue), Chalk (grey), Charcoal (black) colour options internationally at launch in Australia you can only pre-order Chalk and Charcoal, with no word on if/when the full-colour range of Google’s Nest speakers will be eventually available. In Australia, the Nest Audio will launch for $149 with free shipping from Google.
For every two devices you order though, Google will give you a $30 discount per pair, dropping the price to $134 each, add to that a 10% store credit for any preorders and you’ve effectively lowered the price for a pair of Nest Audio speakers to $120.60 that’s getting really affordable.
You can pre-order today and units will be available October 15th. As always you can order from the Google Store or from retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and most of your favourite electrical stockists.
Do we know if the new speakers can be paired with the new Google TV for external audio?
I’ve never seen that functionality in the past for video content.