Skip to main content

Google Nest Audio is a proper successor to the aging Google Home smart speaker

Google has announced the long-awaited but previously leaked Nest Audio speaker. This new addition to Google’s smart speaker lineup is a replacement for the aging original Google Home speaker and retails for $100 on Google’s store. If you’re in the market for one, you can pre-order now. It will be available for purchase on October 5.

The Nest Audio speaker takes on a new design that is quite different than the conical shapes of previous speakers. This device is rounded on the corners and resembles a headphone in some ways. It’s completely covered in fabric and available in five colors: Chalk, charcoal, sage, sand, and sky — in other words, white, black, beige, pink, and blue.

Related Videos

According to Google, the “audio” in the name isn’t just for show. The Nest Audio is 75% louder than the original Google Home, with significantly improved bass. The Nest Audio has a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm mid-woofer. It’s clear that Google devoted a lot of effort toward ensuring this speaker produces high-quality audio.

It also boasts smart features. To activate the speaker, you just say, “Hey, Google” like you always have. Three far-field microphones allow the Nest Audio to hear you from across the room, but if you are concerned about privacy, there is a two-stage mute switch to ensure the speaker is off. You can also say, “Hey Google, delete what I just said.”

The Nest Audio also utilizes capacitive touch functions to give you another way to interact with it. You can touch the top of the device to trigger it (four colored LEDs will indicate when it is listening.) Touching the left side of the device lowers the volume. The Nest Audio excels from an environmental standpoint as well. The enclosure is made of 70% recycled plastic, reflecting Google’s continued commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Overall, the Nest Audio is the upgrade the original Google Home sorely needed. Thanks to its improved speakers and aesthetics, it can now compete with more dedicated sound systems and certainly holds more appeal for audiophiles than the previous iterations.

Google is offering dedicated bundles with the Nest Audio included, including the Room-Filling Audio package that features two Nest Audio speakers and the Home of Entertainment package that packs two Nest Audio devices and a Nest Hub.

The Nest Audio was only one of the numerous new products Google announced.  Check out our full coverage.

Editors' Recommendations

The best smart home devices for 2023
An iRobot Roomba 694 next to a wall, vacuuming pet hair.

With hundreds of incredible products available, it can be intimidating to piece together a smart home. From smart displays and smart thermostats to smart light bulbs and video doorbells, not only are there tons of categories to browse, but each category is filled with highly reviewed products that can be difficult to distinguish from one another. If you’re in the market for a new smart home gadget or are just starting your smart home journey, there are tons of factors to consider.

If you need help navigating all the products, here’s a look at the best smart home devices of 2023 across a wide variety of categories. It’s hard to go wrong with products from big names like Ring, Arlo, Amazon, and Google, but if you need a bit more guidance, here are some of our top picks.
Voice assistant

Read more
Sonos One vs. Google Nest Audio: which is the best smart speaker?
The Google Nest Audio speaker on a table.

The Sonos One and Google Nest Audio are two of the best smart speakers of 2023. Both can pump out impressive sound, respond to a wide variety of voice commands, and easily sync up with the rest of your smart home. But with the Sonos One costing more than $200 and the Google Nest Audio clocking in at just $100, you might be wondering if the Sonos One is truly worth your money -- or if you’d be better off saving $100 and opting for the cheaper Google product.

Before picking up either smart speaker, here’s a closer look at the Sonos One and Google Nest Audio.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Apple AirPlay 2 supports 24-bit lossless audio, but you can’t use it
An Apple AirPlay icon hovering above an Apple HomePod speaker.

Apple's wireless platform for audio and video streaming -- AirPlay -- is one of the best ways to play music from an Apple device to a wireless speaker. When at home, on a Wi-Fi network, it outperforms Bluetooth thanks to its wider bandwidth. The conventional wisdom has always been that AirPlay sets a hard limit on audio quality: iPhones and other Apple devices can only transmit lossless CD-quality audio, at 16-bit/44.1kHz, to an AirPlay-enabled speaker, leaving the technology incapable of supporting the higher-res streams now being offered by Apple Music and others.  But it seems that AirPlay can actually do 24-bit audio. Sort of.

The new second-gen HomePod, which Apple released in January, can stream lossless 24-bit/48kHz audio directly from Apple Music, using its own Wi-Fi connection to the internet. This isn't news: Apple added 24-bit lossless playback (via Apple's ALAC codec) to the first-gen HomePod and HomePod mini in 2021, along with Dolby Atmos support.

Read more