Over the past four years, Google has expanded its smart speaker lineup quite a bit. This week, the new Nest Audio is hitting doorsteps, but where does it fall in the lineup? Here’s how Nest Audio compares to Home Max, Nest Mini, Google Home, and everything else.
Google’s smart speaker and display lineup hits a bunch of different price points and focusing on different priorities, and that’s clear from how they’re marketed, too. With the new Nest Audio, Google clearly wants to focus on sound quality. Rightly so, too! Early reviews of the product praised the quality, and since we’ve gotten a few units in-house, we’ve been pretty happy with the quality as well.
To my ears, Nest Audio sounds crisp and clear but isn’t very heavy on bass. You can hear the bass, but you can’t feel it. That’s fine, though, as the sound quality as a whole has been very good. In testing the Audio alongside the rest of Google’s smart speakers, I felt that it only falls behind the Google Home Max.
The Home Max wins out because it sounds just as clear as the Nest Audio, but it sounds much fuller. The bass is heard and felt in your chest. This speaker is still the best for very, very good reason and, in my book, is very much worth the extra $200 over this latest release. Is it worth it compared to a pair of Nest Audios? To be determined.
What about the Nest Hub Max? It used to take second place for me, but I think Nest Audio edges it out. The Hub Max feels better for bass, but it’s not as clear or well-rounded as the Audio. The same goes for Nest Mini. That speaker is still phenomenal for its price point of just $49, but it relies too much on the lows and leaves some tracks muddled as a result.
The older Google Home that Nest Audio replaces had that problem even worse. It tried so hard to give good bass that it kind of ruined the audio as a whole. Home Mini, in my opinion, was actually better.
And then, of course, there’s the Google Nest Hub which… well it sounds pretty bad. The volume is low, the bass is non-existent, and it’s just not a good experience at all. No one should buy a Nest Hub to use it as a speaker.
Really, though, you need to listen to these speakers to tell the difference. In the video below, you can get a sense of how they all differ. If you can help it, try to watch on something that has some decent bass — perhaps a TV with a soundbar and subwoofer or a pair of headphones — so you can get the full experience.
Stay tuned, our full Nest Audio review is coming very soon! You can buy Nest Audio now for $99.
More on Google Nest Audio:
- Google launches Nest Audio speaker, successor to Google Home, available Oct. 5 for $99
- Where to buy Google Nest Audio
- Nest Audio Review Roundup: Google’s latest smart speaker is a hit
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