Google Assistant-powered smart speakers have the very useful ability to play music in groups, but that functionality is taken a step further with a “Stereo Pair,” which puts two of the same speakers in a permanent group with shared volume and more. Currently, though, some users are reporting issues with volume on these pairs.

“Stereo Pair” allows users to put two compatible Google Assistant speakers – such as the Nest Mini – in a group that uses one device as a left channel and the other as a right channel. This allows the pair to create better stereo separation as well as being louder.

Over the past few days, though, more and more users have been reporting issues with Stereo Pair. A thread on Reddit as well as another on Google’s support forum highlight more than a few cases where users are unable to control the volume of a Stereo Pair through the usual means. Some report issues when using a voice command to change the volume, while some were unable to change the volume while in the Google Home app. It seems that manually changing the volume on the device is unaffected.

Those affected by this issue are hearing the following response from their speaker(s).

Sorry, I can’t change volume on this device.

While this issue doesn’t seem overly widespread, it’s certainly a frustrating issue. I couldn’t replicate the issue myself, but it would certainly be more than a simple annoyance for my own setup, as my Google Nest Mini speakers in Stereo Pair are mounted far out of reach for any manual volume controls.

While the cause isn’t known, the timing has led some to believe that this could be another side effect of the ongoing dispute between Google and Sonos. Synchronized adjustments to volume for multiple speakers at once was one of the functions in question, as Bloomberg previously reported.

That said, it doesn’t seem particularly likely this is the case, as some users have been able to fix the problem by simply resetting their devices and recreating the Stereo Pair. Others report that this doesn’t work, but starting playback from a different means and transferring it to the group allows volume controls to continue working properly.

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Ben Schoon

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