Google recently expanded its lineup of voice-controlled speakers to include the Google Home Hub along with to the original Google Home, the affordable Google Home Mini, and the powerful Google Home Max. As Google continues to develop new products and add more features to its voice assistant, it narrows the gap between the Home and the Echo. One key feature is the ability to play music through headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.
Sound quality is a major factor when evaluating a smart speaker. Some people want to have the option to blast music so loud they shake their house and piss off their neighbors. On the other hand, you may also want to be able to listen to music through headphones, so you don’t disturb people around you who don’t want to jam out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers at that particular moment. Amazon’s Echo line has you covered on this. The Echo Dot, Echo (with the exception of the first generation), and the Echo Plus all have a 3.5mm jack. Amazon also made it so you can stream audio from an Echo device to another Bluetooth speaker.
Initially, the inability to connect an external speaker was an issue for Google Home customers, given there’s no line-out jack on the Home or Home Mini. Fortunately, Google made it so you can now stream music to a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. So, you can blast those tunes as loud as you like or dance around your living room in headphones when (you think) no one’s watching.
How to connect a Bluetooth speaker or headphones to your Google Home
- Turn on your Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headphone and make sure the device is in pairing mode. Typically, you press a button on the device to initiate pairing mode. Refer to the speaker’s instruction manual to find out how to place it into pairing mode if you can’t locate the pairing button on your device.
- Open up the Google Home app.
- Tap “Devices.” It is located in the top right corner of the app Home screen.
- Find the picture of the Google Home you want to pair with a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. In the top right corner of the picture, tap “Settings.”
- In the settings menu, select “Default music speaker,” then select “Pair Bluetooth speaker.”
- Select the speaker or headphones you want to pair, then select “Done.”
- Play music through your Bluetooth speaker or headphones.
- You can only play music through one speaker or pair of headphones at a time.
- You can pair your Google Home to multiple Bluetooth speakers or headphones, but it will only connect to the one it connected to most recently.
- You can check which speaker or headphones are paired with your Google Home under Devices > Google Home Device Menu > Settings > Paired Bluetooth Devices. You can unpair the device in this menu by tapping on the “X” next to the device and unpairing.
- Once you pair a speaker to Google Home, it will connect to the Bluetooth speaker automatically unless you disconnect the speaker or turn it off. To disconnect the speaker, simply say “Hey, Google, disconnect Bluetooth.”
How to stream and play music on Google Home
Now that you have your headphones or speaker all set up, you can start listening to your favorite tunes. Google offers several free and paid music services. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime music isn’t available, but you can still use one of these options:
- Google Play Music Free and Premium
- YouTube Music
- Spotify Free and Premium
- Deezer Premium+
Want to request a specific song? Turn on shuffle? Play a certain album? The chart below shows the commands for music on Google Home. The controls are the same across all providers, so you use the same commands whether you’re listening to music on Pandora, Google Play Music, or Spotify.
|Command||Say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google,” then…|
|Request a song||“Play <song name>,” “Play <song name> by <artist name>,” “Play <song name> from <album name>,” “Play <song name> on <music service>” “Play songs like <song-name>”|
|Request an artist||“Play <artist name>,” “Play music by <artist name>,” “Play <artist name>” on <music service>,” “Play songs like <artist-name>”|
|Request an album||“Play <album name>”, “Play <album name> by <artist name>,” “Play <album name> by <artist name> on <music service>”|
|Play music based on genre/mood/activity||“Play classical music,” “Play happy music,” “Play music for cooking,” “Play <genre> on <music service>”|
|Play personalized suggested content from chosen service||“Play some music,” “Play <genre> music on <music service>”|
|Shuffle, pause, stop, skip, next song, etc.||“Shuffle,” “Play <album/artist/playlist> and shuffle,” “Pause,” “Resume,” “Continue playing,” “Stop,” “Next,” “Skip,” “Next song”|
|Control volume||“Set volume to 5,” “Set volume to 40 percent”|
|Play music on your speakers, TV, or video device. (Note: Device linking is required.)||“Play music on my living room TV,” “Play <genre> on my bedroom speakers”|
|Source: Google Help Center|
- What is Tidal? The hi-fi streaming music service fully explained
- Google Nest Mini vs. Google Home Mini
- The best music apps for iOS and Android
- Google Play Music is shutting down. These are the best alternatives
- The best Android Auto apps for 2020