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. Currently, they only have three speakers on the market, so these speakers represent the entirety of their lineup.
The Google Home Max is the best Google speaker that we've tested. This smart speaker comes with built-in Google Assistant, and the voice assistant performs well even if you aren't very close to it. It also has very low latency when connected over Google Chromecast, making it suitable for watching videos and movies.
It comes with a Smart Sound feature that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of the room you're listening in. With this feature turned on, it has a very neutral, balanced sound profile, suitable for listening to lots of different audio content, though it lacks some low-bass. Fortunately, you can use the bass and treble adjustments in the Google Home app to customize its sound more to your liking. You can also use the app to configure multiple Google speakers to amplify audio across a crowded party, or to play audio throughout multiple rooms in your house.
Unfortunately, its build quality is just mediocre, and its fabric covering seems like it could tear or collect dust easily. Also, while it gets loud, there's a lot of compression artifacts present when you play it at max volume. That said, if you're looking for a versatile smart speaker to use at home, it's still a solid choice.
The best Google speaker in the budget category that we've tested is the Google Nest Audio. This smart speaker has a sleek design, and its built-in Google Assistant offers an impressive overall performance. It can hear you clearly even if you aren't very close to it, and there's also a mic mute button if you don't want it to listen to you.
Thanks to its balanced mid-range, it can reproduce clear and present vocals and lead instruments, but they may also sound a bit dark. Fortunately, the Google Home app offers bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound more to your liking. You can also stream audio wirelessly from your mobile devices over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, and it also has built-in Chromecast capabilities, though its latency may be a bit too high to be suitable for watching videos.
Unfortunately, it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound as immersive. It also doesn't get very loud, and there's a lot of compression when you play it at max volume, so it isn't really suitable for use at parties. However, you can use the Google Home app to pair multiple Google speakers together to create a stereo pair or amplify music across a party, which is nice.
The best cheap Google speaker is the Google Nest Mini. This wired-only speaker comes with Google Assistant, which can hear you clearly 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.
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.