Four years ago, Google released its first smart speaker, Google Home. Since then, its competitors have been stronger in their market position — think the Amazon Echo Dot 3-rd gen. It was a signal to refresh the main product and not just release a thinner or bigger copy like the Nest Mini or Home Max. The Verge posted a fresh, hands-on review of a new Google Nest Audio, so we’ll recount the core components from it.

Google is making a return to the mid-range gadget sector. The new Nest Audio is a golden middle in its audio speaker line and takes a seat between the Nest Mini and Home Max. The $99.99 price tag is the optimal range for the gadget to become an instant buy. 

Despite its bigger size in comparison with previous models, the gadget owns a cheating look to get lost among the furniture. Also, the sound is more clear then the Google Home has, and the response to voice commands is significantly faster. 

Thanks to its design, the Nest Audio is like a ninja among your furniture, and it doesn’t scream out with acid colors or odd shapes. 

The Nest Audio’s shape has the clearest description — a pillow. The rectangle form doesn’t have pointy corners and it’s rounded from both sides. It looks so organic that when you implement it in your ecosystem, you can accidentally forget that you’ve got it. Google is selling this gadget in five different colors so there are even more options to combine colors of your walls with the Nest Audio.

Image credit: mobile-review.com

According to The Verge, the body of the audio speaker is made from partially recycled aluminum and magnesium and wrapped by a recycled plastic mesh fabric material that gives a nice soft sensation when you touch it. This fabric material has caused even more speculation than the hardware specs of the Home Mini. People were worried whether their cats would take aim at the audio speaker as a place to scratch their nails.

Google commented to The Verge that engineers had chosen aluminum and magnesium as the casing material so that they can act like thermal dissipators to help keep the internal components cool.

At the top of the Nest Audio there are three touch zones for volume and play/pause. Here occurs the problem; finding these buttons when you’re using it for the first time# – they’re hidden into the fabric too well.

In the center of the audio speaker, there are four LED lights meshed into the fabric too. These are volume indicators, when the speaker is listening to you, and when you mute the microphone.

LED indicators under the fabric. Image credit: cnet.com

By the way, the Nest Audio speaker has got a more directional speaker, which is the best update for this gadget. You see, the previous models have got a spherical construction to deliver sound. The company learned that people don’t have a habit of putting the gadget in the middle of their rooms, so more directional sound is a sweet nectar for our ears.

Hardware specs

The Nest audio accommodates a 75mm woofer and 19mm tweeter in a 175mm tall body. You’ll get a fuller and clearer sound in comparison with other models. The dual-driver system highlights the vocals amid the nice and deep bass.   

Image credit: ixbt.com

You’ve got different options to ask the Nest Audio to play a desirable track: use voice commands, use your phone and cast the audio from an app, or connect the speaker straight to your phone via Bluetooth.

Google’s Nest Audio doesn’t have an in-place adjustment of the sound, so it fits better to the ecosystem. However, the company says that they’ve already tuned it at the factory using a new adjusting tool that takes into account 2.500 possible listening positions and then sets the speaker’s output accordingly. 

Let’s not forget that for $99.99 you’re buying not only an audio system but also a smart speaker. That means you can use different voice commands to manipulate the Google Assistant. The three microphones set under the cloth of the speaker will help the gadget to catch your voice more accurately, though compared to Amazon’s Echo devices you should speak a bit louder. The Nest Audio has got a special button on the back that’ll make the gadget’s sound turn off so you don’t need to raise your voice higher than the track you are playing. 

In wrapping up, I want to note that when you’re purchasing a smart speaker, you should take into consideration the experience of the company. Google is a company that could barely create a sense of real thresh when you choose its gadgets. Yes, nobody omits price points, design, and functionality; yet here you should rely on your own preferences. But, when I tell them that Google is a nice company to choose, I mean that you can really trust them even when you don’t know a thing about the gadget you are buying.