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Roundup: Nest Audio reviews

Google replaces Home with next-gen Nest Audio speaker

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“The sweet spot”

Making the rounds on the Nest Audio Reviews

Dan Seifert, The Verge: Four years is an eternity in the modern tech product world, but that’s exactly how long it’s been since Google’s first smart speaker, the Google Home, was released. Since then, Google has expanded the range both above and below it, with the compact and ubiquitous Nest Mini and the powerful and gargantuan Home Max.

This year, Google is returning its attention to the midrange. 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 was in 2016, but it’s not exactly the impulse purchase that the Nest Mini can be. Despite that lower price, the Nest Audio is an improvement over the Google Home in nearly every way. It’s larger but easy to fit into a variety of places in your home. It’s faster to respond to voice commands, and most importantly, it sounds a lot better than the Google Home ever could. MORE@The Verge

nest audio
“An improvement in every way.”

Molly Price, CNET: The Google Home was overdue for an upgrade, and it comes in the form of the new Nest Audio. This $100 (£90, AU$149) smart speaker sits squarely in the middle of the Nest Mini and Home Max, providing a midrange speaker that is no more or less smarter than you’d expect. Sound is improved over the old Home speaker, and the design is updated, yet familiar, in keeping with the newer, fabric-wrapped design of Google’s other Nest speakers. A handful of new features make this sensibly updated speaker appealing, especially if you’re looking for great sound and a good price. MORE@CNET

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“A homerun.”

Daniel Bader, Android Central:  The promising news is that if you’re coming from either an OG Google Home or a Google Home Mini or Nest Mini, this will be a big upgrade. Unlike the Alexa ecosystem, which has seen huge growth because Amazon seems willing to work with literally any company that can throw together a tweeter and a microphone, there aren’t a lot of capable Google Assistant speakers. And as Google spent the last few years working with partners like Lenovo, LG, Sony, and JBL to pair speakers with screens, and even as it built out its own Nest Hub products, audio quality has never seemed like a priority. On its own, the Nest Audio speaker is 75% louder, and has 50% stronger bass, than the original Google Home, according to Google. While that’s immediately apparent upon first listening, it’s the clarity and dynamic range that I appreciate more when comparing the two. The Google Home, praised when it was released for its room-filling fidelity, sounds muddy and boomy in comparison. MORE@Android Central

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“Doesn’t deliver the jump in performance we were looking for”

Truls Steinung, Tech Radar: It sounds just fine with uncomplicated pop music, but other genres reveal a lack of detail in the treble and mids that make tracks lack sparkle and sound muffled.

On the plus side, the Google Nest Audio functions very well as a smart speaker – the assistant voice comes out loud and clear, and it picks up commands very well. It also has some handy features like Google Duo voice calling, which can help you keep in touch with family.

As a smart speaker, and as an extra Wi-Fi-connected speaker for the kitchen or another smaller room, the Google Nest Audio can do a pretty good job. However, if sound quality is important to you, it’s worth keeping in mind that you don’t have to spend very much more to get a speaker that will reward you with a superior listening experience. MORE@Tech Radar

“Detailed sound in an attractive design”

Will Greenwald, PC Mag: The Nest Audio features a 75mm (nearly three-inch) woofer and a 19mm (three-quarters of an inch) tweeter, which is slightly behind the latest Amazon Echo (one three-inch woofer and two one-inch tweeters). It uses three far-field microphones, and the mic mute switch is a hardware cutoff so you can feel secure when you disable them. The speaker can absolutely fill a room with music, but don’t expect loads of deep bass. Our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” doesn’t get much low-frequency presence through the Nest Audio, which isn’t surprising given the speaker’s size. Generally, you need a bigger speaker with bigger drivers in order to move enough air to produce really powerful bass. The kick drum hits and bass synth notes are present, but the speaker doesn’t attempt to give them any serious rumble, and the kick drum in particular sounds more poppy than thumpy, though neither distorts at maximum volume. MORE@PC Mag


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