After almost four years, Google Home is finally getting a much-needed upgrade with a refreshed look, bigger sound, and an entirely new name. The US technology firm revealed its latest smart speaker during its online Launch Night event and it now follows the rest of its range by ditching the “Google Home” branding in favour of the Nest name instead.
Called the Nest Audio, this update moves away from the famous air-freshener-like design of the original Google Home towards something more box-shaped. Just like Google Nest Mini, which received a design refresh late last year, the Nest Audio is completely covered in a fabric mesh finish.
Other than three glowing dots, which help show when the Google Assistant has been summoned, this speaker is very minimalistic with even the volume controls on the top hidden from view.
We’re guessing Google wants users to simply ask for the music to be turned up to 11 and tracks skipped or paused as finding the touch buttons certainly doesn’t look easy.
Along with the new design, the other big upgrade comes to the audio with this Home replacement now 50 percent louder than before. It also includes a built-in tweeter and woofer for improved bass.
All of that should mean this device is far more capable of filling bigger rooms with sound although we’re still not expecting it to replace a Sonos-style home stereo system.
Of course, being a Google-powered smart speaker the Nest Audio gets all the usual voice functionality and can play music from services such as Spotify and Deezer along with your daily dose of radio stations.
There’s also all able to turn on lights, check the weather, set timers and ask Google to remind you to do something. If you happen to have two of them in your home you can also pair them up for a stereo sound experience.
It does need a mains connection so the speculation that it would feature an in-built battery didn’t turn out to be true.
The new Nest Audio will go on sale from October 15 and cost £89.99 – that’s, unsurprisingly, the same price as the new Amazon Echo.
It will be available from Google Store, John Lewis, Argos, Dixons, Amazon and Tesco in Chalk and Charcoal.
Although the rumours suggested that it would arrive in with a more colourful blue appearance it seems in the UK you’ll only be able to take delivery of one in Chalk or Charcoal.
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