Google has just released the Audio Bluetooth Speaker for $100. But is there a $100 worth of audio and features built into this speaker?
Google Audio Review
The Google Audio is replacing the Google Home that came out back in 2016. This device is 75% louder and comes in five different colors. We've got chalk, charcoal, sage, sand, and sky.
Google Audio features
There are some features listed on the side of the box that we can expect from the Google Audio. We’ll be testing these out later, but there are:
- Crisp vocals with rich bass and built in tweeter and woofer
- Google Assistant
- Weather, calling, timer, and alarm apps
- Light, TV, and other smart device control
- Google Audio groups
Audio groups let you link your Google speakers together to get a surround sound audio experience from them.
We’re happy (but not surprised) to see Google Assistant built into it. Google Assistant allows you to talk to the speaker and ask it to do things like play music, turn off your lights, and set reminders.
We can see on the box that the Google Audio works with a bunch of other different applications. We've got YouTube music, Spotify, Pandora, and Sirius XM. So those are gonna be a lot of the music stuff—I mean, this is a speaker. We've also got Google Duo, which is their video phone call app. We've got the Google Calendar, Google Maps, and the Phillips Hue, just to name a few more.
Google Audio unboxing
Opening up the box, we've got the speaker front and center. Now this is surprisingly heavier than I expected, but that just goes to show the quality of components that are inside.
Taking a look at the front, it's got a fantastic clean look. There are no logos, no buttons, nothing. It's gonna look great in any environment you place it in. On the back, we've got the mute switch for the Google Assistant, the Google logo, and the power plug. There is no audio jack on this device, which is unfortunate, but you can connect other devices through Bluetooth.
The power adapter has a nice rectangular design, which is not the typical rounded design that you're gonna see with other Google products. This is gonna make this device a lot easier to plug into a power strip. It connects to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi routers.
On the top, it's got touch control that allows you to turn the volume up, turn the volume down, or, if you tap in the center, you can play and pause what you're listening to. Internally, we've got a 75-millimeter woofer and a 19-millimeter tweeter. In addition to that, we've also got a quad-core processor.
Google Audio setup
Setting up this device is really easy. We're just gonna click on the Google Home app. We're gonna tap on the plus in the top corner, and then we'll click on Set Up a Device. And since this is a new device, we'll click on New Device. I'll select my home here, and it's gonna start looking for the device.
Google Audio testing
All right, so now that we have it set up, let's listen to some demos of what this speaker can do.
The speaker sounds pretty good so far, and I will tell you that it sounds so much better in person than it does in the recording.
Google Home app
Let’s dive into some of the features of the app. From the app, I can adjust settings such as:
- Speaker volume
- Equaliser settings
- Speaker name and location
- Group names
- Wi-Fi settings
- Down times
- Group delay correction
- Default speaker and TV
- Alarms and timers
- Night mode and do not disturb
- Recognition and personalization
- YouTube settings
Google Audio long-term sound test
I'm gonna spend a little bit more time with this speaker and then give you my thoughts at the end. I have had this speaker for about two weeks now, and I absolutely love it. The highs and the lows sound great. It's extra base-y, and you can just really feel it.
In fact, I keep turning it up because I want to just feel the sound. But when I do that, I'm constantly hearing: “Turn it down!” So that is one possible downside with the speaker is that it does cause a little bit more yelling in the house, but it sounds so good.
Recap: Is Google Audio good?
I do wish the Google Audio had a battery built into it. It would be nice if this was either sitting in a cradle that charged it or that I could just unplug it from the back and take it out to the backyard or the garage, or just a different room. Portability would just be such a bonus for this speaker.
But for $100, having a speaker that is this nice with the Google Assistant built into it seems like a great deal to me.
Pair this product with the Google Nest Outdoor Cam.