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Nest Audio worth in India is Rs 7,999. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

Nest Audio has been a very long time coming. Its predecessor, Google Dwelling — which was additionally Google’s first sensible speaker — was launched again in 2016 although it made its strategy to India solely in 2018. For some context, its greatest rival, the Amazon Echo is already in its fourth technology. Suffice to say that not solely has it been a very long time coming, but it surely has additionally given the Echo sufficient legroom to change into the default sensible speaker in lots of properties.

On a product portfolio degree, the Nest Audio slots between the pint-sized Nest Mini (additionally in its second technology now) and flagship Dwelling Max. Solely the previous is accessible in India which invariably makes the Nest Audio form of a giant deal for anybody searching for a robust sensible speaker made by Google. To be clear, that is the viewers that’s closely invested within the Google ecosystem.

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However Google seemingly desires much more folks to purchase its sensible speaker which might be why it selected to cost it aggressively — at Rs 7,999. That is relative to each the Echo (Rs 9,999) and the unique Google Dwelling (Rs 9,999). With the Nest Audio, Google has lastly discovered a manner again residence. Query is, is it right here to remain.

Design and construct high quality

Nest Audio appears to be like nothing like a speaker. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

The adage appears to be like will be deceiving sums up the Nest Audio completely. I imply this within the nicest manner. The Nest Audio appears to be like nothing like a speaker, sensible or in any other case. Its design, although extremely distinctive, is unassuming and a far cry from the Google Dwelling’s extra putting air freshener-like aesthetic.

Its cushion-like type paired with Google’s refined color decisions — chalk/charcoal — helps the Nest Mini seamlessly mix in with most backgrounds.

In contrast to the Google Dwelling, the Nest Audio is unibody. You can’t entry the internals or swap an element or two to boost its appears to be like. However that’s alright. The truth is, I see it as a extra concerted, a extra assured effort from Google than its first sensible speaker. The construct is high notch. The construct supplies are prime quality.

Just like the Nest Mini, Google is utilizing “sustainable,” or in different phrases, recycled plastic mesh cloth on the surface of the Nest Audio. It appears to be like splendid when model new however standard caveats apply. This factor is susceptible to gather mud over time, although I might not go to date to name it a dust magnet. However it’s what it’s. This fabric-covered exterior additionally serves as the primary bodily interface for the Nest Audio however due to its bigger measurement, it isn’t as easy to make use of straight out of the field — just like the Nest Mini.

Nest Audio is unibody. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

The highest portion has touch-sensitive controls for quantity up and down and play/pause. They aren’t marked or something and there’s a studying curve to utilizing them (this consists of the quantity of pressure it is advisable to apply, the place to use it, to set off them). Misses will certainly outnumber the hits for lots of people no less than initially, however all this works properly as soon as you might be previous that part.

The entrance of the speaker has an array of 4 LED lights that point out when it’s listening or when it’s on mute — it can additionally present you its quantity degree. This can be a customary affair you probably have crossed paths with the Nest Mini. The Google Dwelling provided a extra stylized choice for my part.

On the again, there’s the facility socket and a bodily mute swap. There is no such thing as a audio jack which is a curious omission.

General, the Nest Audio has a compact profile, however it isn’t mild. For a speaker that appears this small, it’s shocking how agency and reassuring it feels if you decide it up for the primary time. It must be this fashion as a result of Google has packed some critical guts inside it, versus the unique Google Dwelling Mini. There’s additionally a shift in focus. The Nest Audio is a forward-firing speaker which makes extra sense contemplating its measurement.

Audio and smarts

Nest Audio has twin drivers. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

The Nest Audio’s {hardware} is a giant step up over the Google Dwelling’s. It has a 75mm woofer and a 19mm tweeter whereas the Google Dwelling got here with only a single 50mm driver. This dual-driver setup entails a speaker that’s 75% louder with 50% stronger bass than the Google Dwelling. However that’s simply Google’s advertising and marketing discuss. In my expertise, I’ve discovered it to be as loud however then the Google Dwelling was already a “loud” speaker so no complaints there by any means.

What that dual-driver setup does is add character to the sound popping out of the Nest Audio. I can’t stress sufficient how necessary that’s for “any” speaker. The Google Dwelling was loud, but it surely sounded muddy. The Nest Audio is clearer with minimal distortion at peak quantity (although this may even rely upon the dimensions of the room the place it’s put in). It is rather balanced and that’s its essential promoting level. By extension this implies, listening to music is a way more pleasurable expertise on the Nest Audio. It sounds slightly higher than the third-generation Echo too.

You too can select to pair two Nest Audio audio system for a stereo impact or group it along with different Google sensible audio system just like the Nest Mini (or an present Google Dwelling) for if you’re seeking to play the identical music throughout your private home. Google’s stream switch characteristic can also be a neat trick for when it really works to allow you to transfer music from one gadget to the opposite utilizing your voice.

Nest Audio has three microphones. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

Talking of which, the Nest Audio has three microphones. I’ve had no main complaints with the Google Dwelling’s two microphone array in terms of selecting up voice instructions. If something, the additional microphone on the Nest Audio solely makes it a contact extra responsive.

As anticipated, the Nest Audio is powered by the Google Assistant which implies that it solutions to “Hey Google” or “Okay Google” voice instructions. As soon as fired up, it could management your sensible residence units, reply questions, give climate updates, set timers, play music, so on and so forth — you already know, the standard drill.

All this works properly on the Nest Audio. But when I have been to check it with the Echo, I might say Amazon’s sensible speaker feels a wee bit sooner, extra responsive, and customarily higher at conversations. I’ve an odd desire for the huge variety of Alexa expertise regardless that I exploit all of Google’s providers by default. Alexa may also discuss to extra units which implies better sensible residence compatibility.

Must you purchase it?

Nest Audio is a great speaker that’s sensible and sounds good. (Picture credit score: Saurabh Singh/Monetary Specific)

That final bit is what actually issues in terms of sensible audio system as a product class. What’s it that you’re actually seeking to do with it? For many customers, a Google Assistant-powered sensible speaker ought to do the trick. For the extra tech savvy, I believe the Echo is a greater purchase. It additionally narrows down to private desire. Type of like Android versus iPhone.

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I can solely inform you if the Nest Audio is price a purchase and my reply to that could be a resounding sure. It’s higher than the Google Dwelling in virtually each sense of the phrase. It’s a sensible speaker that’s sensible and sounds good, so simple as that. I believe Google pricing it the way in which it has is simply an icing on the cake.

The Nest Audio is a traditional return to type by Google and a worthy contender for the title of one of the best “worth” sensible speaker out there right now.

Execs:

  • Minimalist look
  • Good {hardware}
  • Delivers well-balanced audio
  • Fast and responsive

Cons:

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