Nearly four years after the Google Home was launched, the tech giant has just confirmed a new version of its first Google Assistant smart speaker, the so-called Google Nest.
We initially heard that the new Google Nest speaker would hit shelves in late August, as reputable leaker Roland Quandt alleged in a tweet.
According to Quandt, Google's latest smart speaker would be available from "the end of August", and will cost 100€ – that works out at around $120 / £90 / AU$160. That's a little pricier than the original Google Home, which cost ($89 / £89 / AU$128) at launch.
Despite the slight delay, it looks like the Nest smart speaker will actually launch on September 30, alongside the Pixel 5 and a new Chromecast. We've been invited to join Google for its '#LaunchNightIn' on Wednesday, September 30, with the event kicking off at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST (that's 4am, October 1 in Australia).
The invite reads: "We invite you to learn all about our new Chromecast, our latest smart speaker and our new Pixel phones."
Get your popcorn ready for #LaunchNightIn.Click below to know when to tune in. 👇 pic.twitter.com/RpKOinCDHjSeptember 14, 2020
Previously, the new Google speaker was apparently revealed to 9to5Google by ‘sources familiar to the matter’, and it’s poised to sit somewhere in between the Google Home and Google Home Max, the brand’s largest and best-sounding wireless speaker.
According to that source, the Google Home 2 goes by the codename Prince – like the musician – suggesting that it could have a stronger focus on audio quality than its predecessor. That means it could be a new rival for the likes of the Sonos One, the best smart speaker you can buy in 2020.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A new Google Assistant smart speaker.
- When will it be released? We think on September 30 at the next Google event.
- How much will it cost? It's rumored it will cost around $120 / £90 / AU$160.
What the new speaker will be called officially remains a mystery. A few years ago, Google placed the vast majority of its smart devices under the Google Nest umbrella, implying that the products were all interconnected and compatible with the Nest series of smart thermostats, alarms, and security cameras.
While we’ve seen a few Google speakers that fall under this umbrella, including the Google Nest Hub, Google Nest Mini, and Google Nest Hub Max, the original Google Home and Google Home Max were never renamed.
For now, we think the new smart speaker could be called the Google Nest Home in a nod to both old and new nomenclatures, while some outlets are calling it the Google Home 2.
Hopefully we'll find out for sure on September 30, but in the meantime, here’s everything we know about the rumored Google Nest Home, as well as all the things we’d like to see from a new Google speaker.
New Google Nest release date
Now that Google has unveiled the Google Nest via a video and an image, a release date for the new smart speaker is imminent; and an invitation to the next Google event suggests that it will launch on September 30.
We initially thought the new Google speaker would arrive sooner, as reputable leaker Roland Quandt alleged in a tweet, saying that the smart speaker would hit shelves at "the end of August", coming in two colors, Chalk and Charcoal.
Whether the September 30 release date is a result of delays is unclear, but it makes sense that Google would show off its latest smart speaker alongside the Pixel 5 and a new Chromecast model.
The launch will be live streamed on Wednesday, September 30, with the event kicking off at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST (that's 4am, October 1 in Australia). We'll be there to live blog all the news as it comes in, so make sure you check back in for the latest from Google.
New Google Nest price
We initially thought that the Google Nest Home will probably be priced similarly to the original Google Home, which cost ($89 / £89 / AU$128) at launch.
However, Roland Quandt has claimed that the new speaker will cost 100€ – that works out at around $120 / £90 / AU$160. That's a little pricier than the original Google Home, though it's still relatively cheap for a smart speaker.
That would corroborate previous claims that it will be priced somewhere between the Google Home and the Google Home Max, which was fairly expensive at $399 / £399 / AU$549.
If you can't wait for the new Google Home, check out the best Google Nest deals we've found today:
Google Nest design
Google has now officially lifted the veil on its new and improved Nest smart speaker by releasing the image seen at the top of this article.
As you can see from that photo, the redesigned Nest speaker has adopted the mesh fabric styling of the Google Nest Mini. The device, which stands upright, once again features hidden LED lights under the aforementioned fabric.
The image was released after photos of the new speaker were leaked by Android TV Guide:
Recently certified by the FCC, here is our first look at GXCA6, the new @Google Nest Speaker, replacing the original Google Home. 😁 pic.twitter.com/Ltp1quPFqcJuly 9, 2020
In keeping with the Nest Mini, the new Nest appears to retain the smaller device's mic mute switch, which should provide comfort to those who value their privacy.
We can also see that Google has opted to place a hole on the unit where users will be able to plug in the device's power adapter (also pictured}.
We can't imagine that Google would choose to make the hole so blatantly visible on the top of the device, and combined with the rubberized portion of the speaker in the tweet's second image, we have to assume the device will stand upright.
New Google Nest specs
It sounds as though the Google Nest Home will represent a happy medium between the Google Home and the Google Home Max in terms of sound, design, and price.
According to the 9to5Google report, the new smart speaker will use Google Assistant like its predecessors, and it won’t be a smart display with a screen like the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max.
That voice-only control makes sense if the Google Nest Home is set to replace the original Google Home or Google Home Max speakers.
The new Google speaker will apparently sport larger drivers than the first Google Home, which should give it a more powerful sound and a better bass response – however, the source suggested that it won’t be quite as sonically powerful as the Google Home Max, which boasts two woofers and two tweeters.
Looks-wise, it’s set to be kitted out with the same mesh fabric design we’ve seen with the Google Nest Mini – and it could possibly come in a range of colors, like the diminutive speaker.
Google Nest Home: what we want to see
When the original Google Home launched in 2016, we were really impressed – but a lot has changed in the world of smart speakers in the last four years, and Google itself has released superior models in that time.
So, we know that Google – and its biggest competitors, including Sonos, Amazon, and Apple – is capable of great things when it comes to building smart speakers. With that in mind, here are some of the things we want to see from the Google Home 2.
While the original Google Home didn’t sound bad per se, it didn’t exactly blow us away with its audio prowess. Compared to the likes of the Sonos One – which is admittedly, more expensive – it lacks robustness in the low end and clarity in the mid and high frequencies.
If the Google Nest Home can take a few cues from its more musically-inclined sibling, the Google Home Max, the company could be onto a real winner, combining audio fidelity with a conveniently compact build and a (hopefully) budget-friendly price.
An AUX port
The audio drivers in the Google Home aren’t anything to shout about, and more sound-focused buyers should probably be angling for the Google Home Max, anyway. But it’s a shame such a vast range of artists are being funneled through inferior speakers.
Google Assistant has managed to cobble together the biggest music library of any smart assistant, thanks to Google Play Music as well as the Google-owned Youtube Music – if you sign up for the service, at least. The current model can already connect to external amps and speakers over Bluetooth, but getting a physical AUX port would do a lot to win over listeners concerned about losing audio quality over the air.
The ability of a smart speaker to detect your voice accurately is crucial to its success, and Google didn’t exactly push out the boat with the original Home speaker.
The Echo’s substantial microphone array was cited as a reason for its ability to pick up your voice in noisy environments – and if Google wants to beat its biggest competitors, it’ll need to make sure its microphone array is watertight.
Right now, no Google Home or Google Nest speakers are portable, but we’d love to see a model that can double up as a Bluetooth speaker like the Sonos Move – especially if it retains the compact design of the original Google Home.
If the Google Home 2 is portable, it would be great to see an IPX4 waterproof rating too; after all, you’d want to be able to take it into your garden on a sunny day.
Isn’t this what we always want? The Google Home retailed at £129 / $129 / AU$199 at launch, so we imagine the new model would seem a good deal by bringing in upgraded features for the same price. However, getting an enhanced model that matched more closely to the Amazon Echo’s £89 / $99 / AU$119, would do a lot to lower the price barrier for new adopters.