Google has officially unveiled its new Nest Audio smart speaker, the latest in a series of smart speakers driven by Google Assistant. Nest Audio replaces Google Home in the 2016 model year as the latest Google mid-range smart speaker, ahead of Nest Mini in the product line and below Nest Max. It costs $99.99 and will be available in 21 countries from October 5, but you can pre-order it now.
Unlike Google Home’s “air purifier” aesthetic, Nest Audio’s soft fillets and vaguely boxy shape make it easier to think of a piece of standing bread. Like nest Mini, it’s completely wrapped in fabric, and you can buy several different colors. Also like other Nest speakers, the fabric is embedded with four color LEDs that light up when the speaker hears or responds to voice commands. In terms of appearance, you can choose from dark gray, light gray, green, pink, or blue color options.
In addition to the new design and upgraded audio performance, Nest Audio can do everything else from Google Assistant speakers: play music, control smart home devices, tell you about future weather, and more. You can pair multiple devices with stereo or other configurations for multi-room audio settings.
Google claims nest Audio sounds 75 per cent louder and has a 50 per cent better bass response than its previous generation, and its shell is made of 70 per cent recycled plastic, equipped with a 19mm treble and a 75mm subwoofer.
Nest Audio’s main competitor is Amazon, which has just upgraded its popular Echo smart speaker. It’s clear that Nest Audio and the standard Echo, which also sells for $99, will face each other in the market. The main difference between them is design — the Echo is now a sphere compared to Google’s rectangles, and we have to wait until we can compare them side by side to determine which is a better speaker.