We've currently tested three Google speakers. Google is a very well-known technology company that produces a wide variety of Internet-related products, including smart speakers that offer compatibility with other technologies in the Google ecosystem. They're mostly designed for home use and tend to have Google Assistant built-in.
The best Google speaker that we've tested is the Google Nest Audio. This small smart speaker has Google Assistant built-in and has little trouble understanding you from far away and in noisier environments. You can also mute the speaker's microphone when you no longer want your assistant to listen to you. It has a balanced mid-range, so voices and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, the underemphasis in its treble range can cause higher-pitched voices and instruments to sound dull and veiled. Thankfully, its Google Home companion app features bass and treble sliders you can use to tweak its sound to better suit your preferences. You can also pair this speaker to two compatible Google speakers to create a stereo pair or to multiple speakers when you want to play different audio in different rooms at once.
Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and there are compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean at louder volumes. It also has to downmix stereo content to mono to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. That said, if you're looking for a good versatile Google speaker, it's still a solid choice.
The best cheap Google speaker is the Google Nest Mini. This wired-only speaker comes with Google Assistant, which can hear you even if you aren't very close to the speaker. If you don't want the voice assistant to hear you, you can also mute the microphone, which is handy. With its balanced mid-range, it's suitable for listening to vocal-centric content like podcasts and audiobooks. It's also compatible with the Google Home app, which comes with bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound based on your preferences. The app also lets you create a stereo pair with another Nest Mini speaker, and it also supports Party Mode and Multi-Room features to help amplify your audio throughout your home.
Unfortunately, it lacks a lot of low-bass, which can be disappointing if you like to feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. Also, while it supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, its latency is likely too high to be suitable for watching videos or movies. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.
Overall, Google makes wired-only smart speakers with lots of wireless connectivity options. They're compatible with other technologies in the Google ecosystem, including Google Assistant and Google Chromecast. Unlike other Bluetooth speakers on the market, they're designed for home use, and their wired-only design means they aren't really suitable to bring with you on the go.
Jun 23, 2021: Removed the Google Home Max from our recommendations since it's been discontinued, and updated the text for consistency.
Google makes smart speakers for home use that support Google Assistant. You can easily pair multiple Google speakers together to enhance your listening experience, and you can stream audio over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections. However, they aren't intended for outdoor use, and they may struggle to reproduce a thumpy low-bass.