It will cost $99 / £89 / AU$149, and it's available to preorder now from the Google Store, with the official release date falling on October 5.
According to Google, the Nest Audio has "50% more bass" and "50% more volume" than its predecessor, the Google Home.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? The Google Nest Audio, a new Google Assistant smart speaker.
- When will it be released? October 5, 2020.
- How much will it cost? $99 / £89 / AU$149
The Google Nest Audio is made from 70% recycled material, and features a new ovaloid design, with a wraparound fabric grille that should look chic in any home.
It will apparently be available in a range of stylish pastel colors, including light blue, charcoal gray, light gray, green, and light pink – however, right now it's only possible to preorder the speaker in Chalk or Charcoal.
Aside from playing music, the Google Nest Audio is still a smart speaker at its heart, coming with all the smarts of Google Assistant, allowing you to control your music hands-free, ask questions, set calendar events, hear the news, and more.
You'll also be able to control your other smart home devices with the Nest Audio, so you can do things like turning on your smart lights and locking your front door – provided those devices are Google Assistant-compatible, of course.
Google Nest Audio release date
Google says the Google Nest Audio will be available to buy from October 5 "in 21 countries", and it's already available to preorder from the Google Store.
In the UK, it won't be available to buy until October 15 – the reason for this slight delay is unknown right now.
Google Nest Audio price
The Google Nest Audio will cost $99 / £89 / AU$149 – in the US, that's slightly more expensive than the original Google Home, which cost $89 / £89 / AU$199 at launch.
If you want to take advantage of the Nest Audio's multi-room audio smarts or stereo sound feature, Google is offering discounts when you buy packages, including the Home Entertainment package (two Nest Audio speakers, a Nest Hub Max , and a Chromecast with Google TV) , the Audio Anywhere package (two Google Nest Mini speakers), and the Room-filling Audio package (two Nest Audio speakers).
Can't wait until October 5? Check out the best existing Google Nest deals we've found below:
Google Nest Audio design
The Google Nest Audio is a bit of a design departure from its predecessor, the Google Home (though not as dramatic a change as the new Amazon Echo), eschewing the air freshener-esque build in favor of a rounded ovaloid shape.
With a slim 175 x 124 x 78mm (H x W x D) frame and sleek lines, it should fit into most homes pretty seamlessly. Like its predecessors, the Google Nest Audio features a row of four hidden LED lights under the aforementioned fabric grille, which light up as you interact with it.
As expected, there are no wireless capabilities here, and you'll need to keep the Nest Audio plugged into a mains socket to use it.
On the back of the speaker you'll find a physical switch that allows you turn off the microphone, for times when you don't want Google Assistant to be listening in – it's a nice touch, and offers more peace of mind than the same function in an app, for example.
Google Nest Audio sound quality
Inside the speaker, you'll find a 19mm tweeter that delivers the treble frequencies, while a 75mm mid-woofer is designed to create powerful bass notes.
Google describes the sound of the Nest Audio as "full, clear, and natural", while the custom-designed tweeter "allows each musical detail to come through". The company also says that it designed the fabric grille "so that you can enjoy music without distortion".
If you buy two Nest Audios you can pair them for stereo sound – and there are even more configuration options for multiple Nest Audio speakers, allowing for wireless multi-room audio.
You can even move audio from one room to another by saying "Hey Google, move the music to the living room speaker", for example. It should sound good in any room too, thanks to Google's Media EQ feature, which "enables Nest Audio to adjust based on the background noise in your home, raising the volume so you can hear Google Assistant", as well as adapting to the content you're listening to (music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.)
While we're waiting to test the Nest Audio for ourselves before we make a judgement on the sound quality, the speaker has already been sold to the public (accidentally) by Walmart. This was picked up by a Redditor, who posted their first impressions:
“Audio quality blows the original Google Home out of the water by a very, very wide margin,” the Redditor reports. “Highs are super clear and crisp, lows are remarkably delicate and defined whereas heavy bass items seem to have definition rather than just heavy output. Seems competitive with my Sonos IKEA Speakers at lower volumes.”
We'll put the speaker to the test ourselves in the near future and we'll report back once we get some time in with it.
Google Nest Audio connectivity
As well as connecting to your home Wi-Fi network, the Google Nest Audio is packing support for Bluetooth 5, which means you can pair it with your smartphone for fuss-free wireless music playback.
It also comes with Chromecast built-in, which means you can use the speaker to control compatible TVs, playing shows and movies using your voice alone.
Setting up the Nest Audio is done through the Google Home app, which available to download for free for iOS and Android devices.
Google Nest Audio smart home compatibility
Like all Nest speakers, the Google Nest Audio comes with Google Assistant on-board.
The things Google Assistant can do are incredibly varied, and it's capable of everything from answering your general knowledge questions, to checking your emails and appointments. If you you have a Tile tracker, Google Assistant can even help you find your lost keys, wallet, or phone.
Alongside the Nest Audio, Google has announced a new feature called Family Bell. According to the company, it lets you "add bell reminders throughout the day that announce when it's time to start an online class, settle in for reading time, have a snack, or even for bedtime".
The best thing about Google Assistant however, is its ability to connect with your other smart home devices, acting as a single voice-activated hub for your smart light bulbs, smart thermostats, and even your outdoor security camera.
This means you can ask Google Assistant to do things like “turn off the lights in the bedroom”, “turn down the thermostat”, and if you have a Google Assistant smart display or TV, “show the front door camera” for a livestream of your security camera’s view.