Nest Audio Review

Kenn Muguna Profile image

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Updated May 2, 2023
Expert Rating

Expert Score (From 3 Experts)

Customer Score (From 2945 Reviews)

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The Google Nest Audio is a mid-tier Bluetooth speaker launched in late 2020. As a Google product, the speaker comes with built-in support for Google Assistant. To give it a sleek and elegant design, its controls are concealed by its fabric covering. They’re situated on its top part and can control its volume levels and track playback.

The Google Nest Audio also has a companion app, like most highly rated speakers do. Owners will be able to control its bass and treble levels through it or even pair it with another speaker for stereo sound. The speaker has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, giving it a slight edge over some of the best Bluetooth speakers on our list that don’t support a Wi-Fi connection.

Its lack of a battery means it is more suited for indoor use, but it does have speakerphone functionality. These are similarities that it has with the Google Home Max, which we’ve also explored in our Google Home Max review.

Reasons to Buy

  • Works great with Google Assistant
  • Speakerphone functionality
  • Great vocal detail
  • Supports stereo pairing
  • Can play content from streaming services

Reasons to Not

  • Hyper-sensitive controls
  • Unimpressive bass response

Market Context

Compared to the same brand’s similar models: The Google Nest Audio and the Google Next Mini are very similar. Their only difference is that the Mini is a more compact speaker and is smaller than the Nest Audio, weighing 0.4 pounds and 2.6 pounds, respectively. However, the Nest Audio gets louder and has a better bass performance than the Nest Mini, but that should be expected from a larger speaker. They both can be used for multi-room setups with a nice fabric cover design and use Google Assistant voice controls, and you can check out our Google Nest Mini review to see what else the Nest Mini can do.

Compared to other brand’s similar models: The Google Nest Audio gets louder than the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4, but the Gen 4 supports Amazon Alexa, while the Nest Audio works with the built-in Google Assistant. Also, the Gen 4 has an audio jack while the Nest Audio does not, and Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices is shorter than that of the Nest Audio.

The Google Nest Audio supports Bluetooth connectivity and speakerphone functionality while the Sonos One Gen 2 does not, but the Gen 2 works with Amazon Alexa voice assistant while the Nest Audio does not. The Gen 2 also works with Apple Airplay, unlike the Nest Audio.

Critic Consensus

The Google Nest Audio impressed expert testers with how well it worked with Google Assistant and its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Analysts from WhatHifi liked how easy it was to set up, as they needed to connect it with the Google Home app on their phones. During their tests, they quickly linked it to various music and video streaming services. Also, they appreciated how easily Google Assistant could pick up their voice with music playing at high volume.

Thanks to its impressive vocal detail, they also found it great for listening to podcasts. Testers from Android Authority liked how well it worked as a speakerphone and liked that its microphone could pick up voice commands even from a distance. However, you’ll want to read our Amazon Echo Studio review for a smart speaker with great bass.

Sadly, testers weren’t impressed with the Nest Audio’s lack of an auxiliary jack and mediocre bass response. It was quite underwhelming, and so were its hyper-sensitive capacitive touch controls, however, the dedicated microphone mute button is a nice addition.. It also doesn’t work with Siri, so check out our Apple HomePod review if this is a priority.

Kenn Muguna Profile image