Technology New Google Nest Audio speaker packs a huge punch for $99

15:30  05 october  2020
15:30  05 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Google's Nest Audio sounds way better than the Nest Mini

  Google's Nest Audio sounds way better than the Nest Mini It’s been three years since Google released a smart speaker with music quality in mind. The Google Home Max was the polar opposite of the Home Mini, a large and powerful speaker that could fill a room with great-sounding audio. But unsurprisingly, cheap and tiny smart speakers like the Home Mini and Amazon’s Echo Dot have had an easier time gaining traction than more expensive options like Apple’s HomePod and the Home Max. Google is trying toGoogle is trying to split the difference with the Nest Audio, a compact smart speaker that the company says will offer a robust music experience without breaking the bank.

Google ’s new Nest Audio is a $ 99 . 99 smart speaker that uses the Google Assistant. It sounds very good for its price and is a good choice if you’re The new Nest Audio sits between the Nest Mini and Home Max in price, size, and output. At $ 99 . 99 , it’s less expensive than the original Google Home

The Google Nest Audio takes a different approach to the smart speaker than the uber-popular Google Nest Mini. The larger size allow the Google Nest Audio to pack a good punch when it comes to audio , at least on paper. In the U.S., it costs $ 99 . 99 and can be picked up from Google .com or

The old Google Home that looked like an air freshener has been reinvented, renamed and redesigned to rock out.

a close up of a keyboard: Nest Audio speakers © Google Nest Audio speakers

Now known as Nest Audio, the new editions look more like a tiny, traditional speaker, this time in a multitude of colors (pink, blue, green, white and black), sell for less than the original Home ($99.99 versus $129.99) and the big news is a major sound upgrade.

Nest Audio, available today, is still being sold as a personal assistant to run your smart home, answer trivia questions, set reminders, get news updates, translate languages and, of course, play music and podcasts.

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Google Nest Audio | $ 99 . 99 (USA) / £89. 99 (UK) at Google Google makes some of the best hardware products going, an impressive feat for a software company and the Nest Audio is the latest example: sleek, powerful, subtle, with Assistant smarts built right in.

GOOGLE may have just launched its new Nest Audio smart speaker but this latest release now means However, despite this huge Google upgrade, there's still a very big reason to own that older and hugely With the Nest Audio hitting stores in the coming weeks, the Google Home has, as you

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But the speaker, which runs on the Google Assistant, still lags Amazon's Echo speakers and the Alexa system in doing many obvious tasks that various Google help pages claims it can do, but either can't or require so much setup that consumers will be stymied.

But let's start with what does work well: playing music.

For $99, you get a speaker with vastly improved sound than the original, in a slightly larger body. I frankly didn't expect it to sound as good as it did. It's a $99 speaker. How good could it sound?

In a word, fantastic.

In my subjective, non-scientific tests, I'm giving it a 6 out of 10, compared to a 7 out of 10 for the most expensive $199 Sonos One, which has been the gold standard for higher fidelity audio in a smart speaker. We put both speakers back to back for the test.

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  Nest Thermostat: Your guide Yes, Google already had its Fall 2020 launch and unveiled the Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Chromecast with Google TV and Nest Audio. But the team is not quite done. Google's back, relatively soon, and has a new $129.99 Nest Thermostat. © Nest And no this isn't a replacement to the Nest Learning Thermostat ($249.99) or the Nest Thermostat E ($169.99). This is the new entry point, as it's the most affordable thermostat from Nest yet. The Nest Thermostat does everything you'd expect a smart thermostat to be able to do. You can adjust the temperature — and really any aspect of your HVAC system — on device or via the connected app.

Following those previous leaks, Google has taken a page out of its own book and shown us a glimpse of "what the Nest team is working on from home." Reliable leaker Roland Quandt has tweeted about a possible launch date and price for the new Google Nest speaker . According to his retail sources

Google Home fans, get ready. You're looking at the entirely new Nest -branded smart speaker headed to you for 2020 -- likely an update to the original The original Google Home speaker is no longer available at the Google Store, but when it was it retailed for $ 99 (although it, too, could occasionally

Old Google Home and new Nest Audio back to back © Jefferson Graham Old Google Home and new Nest Audio back to back

But spend $200 to buy two Nest Audio speakers, and pair them like many used to in traditional stereo setups, with the left speaker on one side of the room and the right speaker on the other, and this trumps them all, with not just stellar bass and treble, and volume that rocks, but separation of the instruments and vocals the way they're supposed to sound.

Google calls this the "ultimate listening experience," and while I won't go that far. The Sonos system with multiple speakers still has way richer and fuller sound, but those Sonos speakers are very pricey, at around $1,000 for two "Five" speaker." Still for $200 and two Nest Audio speakers, you can jam your socks off at home.

Of course, Google is using the improved music as one selling point. The other is to put the Google Assistant to work.

One quibble: You would think that, after three years of marketing a speaker to take on Alexa, Google would finally have found a way for its speaker to do simple things like read back your latest text message or (Google!) e-mails. Or to let you compose a text or e-mail with your voice and send it out.

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The new Nest Audio replaces Google Home's single 2-inch speaker with a 3-inch woofer to control bass and a three-quarter-inch tweeter for high notes. There's also a quad-core processor instead of the original Google Home's dual-core processor, which should make response times faster and help

The all- new Google Nest Audio is a bigger smart speaker that allows you to do what the previous generation Nest speakers could do but slightly better It is made of 70% recycled material and comes with a wraparound fabric grille. The Nest Audio is available in a variety of colour options including

Alexa can do it. (There's setup involved, but it can be done.) But say "Hey, Google, read my latest e-mails," and the voice responds, "Sorry, I can't help with e-mail yet." (But of course, it can, on any Android phone, using the Assistant.) And Google online promos for the Assistant claims this can be done on Google speakers.

graphical user interface, application: Google promo to send text messages with Assistant © Google Google promo to send text messages with Assistant

And on and on.

I had trouble even adding potatoes to a shopping list initially. The Assistant says we need to change the permissions in the Google Assistant smartphone app, but good luck finding where to do that, because it doesn't tell you.

Here's what you have to do: Open the Google Assistant app (not the Google Home app, which is where you might expect to go), click on the icon with your picture in a circle at the top right, and click "Devices" and then the device you want to change, like Nest Audio. Make sure "Personal Results" is selected.

Once you've worked out the kinks, you'll go back to music listening. You'll need to subscribe to a music streaming service to get the most of the experience, and if you're a fan of Amazon Music or Apple Music, you're out of luck. Google's choices includes its own YouTube Music, Spotify and Pandora.

Google's latest smart speaker is the $100 Nest Audio

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New to the Google Nest Mini is ultrasound technology; this means that when audio is playing, the LEDs will light up as you approach the speaker to help you see the volume buttons. According to Cnet, it does this by emitting tiny inaudible chirps that “bounce off objects in the environment, reflect back to

The Google team also redesigned the speaker inside the Nest Mini, making it larger and just a bit heavier with more space around the components to When you're listening to news, podcasts or other audio streaming where people are talking (it doesn't work with music), the Nest Mini can adjust for

Consumers who don't have a smart speaker have to ask themselves how they feel about having Google in the home, listening to everything you say. Google says it listens (and records you) only when you use the "Hey Google," or "OK Google," wake word, and in its promotional website, reminds that you can delete your history by saying, “Hey Google, delete what I just said.”

However, that's only for what you just said. Google has a history of your queries going back 18 months, and beyond the inane questions, it also picks up snippets of your conversation that aren't questions.

Earlier this year, we tracked how dummy phrases read aloud were transcribed by Google, word for word.

The phrase: "We are told that Google only records you if you first use the wake word. Then how to explain this, huh?"

It recorded and transcribed every other query as well.

Google invites you to delete your recordings and keystrokes manually, or automatically every three or 18 months.

Google's privacy violations aren't any worse than Alexa and Amazon, which dominates smart speakers. However, if you want a convenient, small speaker with fantastic sound that can run your smart home and help with trivia, that's a decision you'll have to make.

Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Google Nest Audio speaker packs a huge punch for $99

Google Home connection problems: 3 common issues and how to fix them .
Factory reset isn't the only way to resolve communication problems with your Google smart speaker.If you're having trouble connecting your Google Home to your network, other devices or the cloud, try these troubleshooting tips.

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