Hands-On with Google Nest Audio

Announced last week during a virtual event alongside new Pixel handsets and the Chromecast with Google TV, Google Nest Audio is the new version of what used to be called Google Home, and it offers a more attractive form factor, better sound, and—go figure—lower pricing than its predecessor. I ordered a pair immediately, intrigued by Google’s ongoing efforts to take on and undercut Sonos.

The quick takeaway: Google Nest Audio is a nice advance over Google Home. But it’s no match for any Sonos speaker, including the identically-priced IKEA Symfonisk Wi-Fi Bookshelf Speaker. And Google still doesn’t offer a viable home theater setup with surround sound, while competitors like Amazon, Roku, and Sonos all do. I’m curious that it didn’t introduce such a system alongside the Chromecast with Google TV.

Anyway, Google Home was still ripe for a makeover, given that it is approaching its four-year anniversary next month. As

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