Review: Google Home

Enormous potential

The Google Home system has enormous potential, but as a speaker this is not the best.

Karakter
Google Home
We think
Perhaps the market's most successful voice control and merging of smart products.
Even if the bass is full enough, it murmurs upwards in the voice range, and destroys the sound from both the voice assistant and the newscaster. We miss routine commands in Norway.
Specifications
  • Type: Smart speaker
  • Management system: Google Home
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Connection: –
  • Speaker element: 2 x 2 ”+ 2 x 2” passive radiators
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 14.2 x 9.6 cm
  • Colors: White w / gray fabric
  • Web: storegoogle.com
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forfatter

When we last tested the Google Home speaker, we were impressed with the concept and usability, and we did not get too hung up on the sound. Now that the competitors have come up with the same opportunities, it must be considered on new premises, where the sound quality now weighs heavier.

Google Home easily connects compatible gadgets in your home, such as smart lights, robotic vacuum cleaners, Chromecast streaming, and more.

Google Home manages things easily, and it’s great to speak Norwegian. The vocabulary has potential, you have to test a bit to find commands that work. Naming the products is also important. For example, the light in the attic can advantageously be called “The light in the attic” in the app, so you can say: “OK, Google, turn on the light in the attic”.

It must be possible to combine several commands into a so-called routine. Then you can, for example, say: “OK, Google, it’s a football match”, then the TV goes to the right channel, the stereo system to the right sound mode and – what do we know – the oven is turned on because now the frozen pizza is going to pers. This does not work in Norway, but hopefully soon.

Unfortunately, Google Home disappoints on audio. The bass is fuller than with the much cheaper Home Mini. But it sounds closed and confined, which is silly when you hear what the voice assistant and newscasts say. In return, Google Home has bidirectional Bluetooth, so the speaker can be connected to other wireless speakers or headphones, or streamed from the mobile to Home.

Conclusion

Google Home is easy to use and only gets smarter as you use it. Unfortunately, the sound is confined, and now that it has received competition, we have to draw much more for this than when we tested it for the first time. There are in fact more well-sounding alternatives with the same voice control. We would rather buy the Home Mini or any of the other Google Home speakers in this test.

Also in this test

Libratone Zipp Mini 2

Looks like a thermos

Libratone goes against the flow, and the Alexa speaker Libratone Zipp Mini 2 looks like a thermos. It is portable, plays music well, and two can be connected in stereo.

12 hours of battery life makes the speaker very flexible. Clear sound on speech and approved sound on music.
There is a lack of bass, and the speaker falls short when you want to gobble up. As is well known, Alexa does not speak Norwegian.

Harman Kardon Citation 100

Looks Fantastic

This is probably the prettiest speaker we've seen in its class. However, the Harman Kardon Citation 100 fails to take sound advantage of its larger exterior.

The speaker has a beautiful finish in wool, and looks fantastic. Google voice control makes it speak Norwegian, and the sound is very clear and pleasant.
Does not play as big and powerful as the size gives hope for.

Marshall Stanmore II Voice Google Assistant

Concert from the bookshelf

Marshall Stanmore II plays much louder sound than the competition, without compromising the balance. It crushes them, quite simply.

No other smart speakers we have heard deliver this sound pressure. It just gets even heavier because it also sounds balanced and good enough for calm tones.
The sound can be experienced as a bit rough at the edges, and the appearance of the Marshall speakers does not appeal to everyone.

Apple HomePod

Approved from Apple

Apple HomePod has very good sound and is easy to use. But smart steering seems too rigid and solid.

Impressive deep bass combined with clear, airy sound. In addition, the HomeKit system is very stable.
It's not just about adding products to control. As there are currently quite a few of. Does not speak Norwegian

Hama Sirium 1400ABT

Bigger does not mean bigger sound

Hamas' smallest Alexa speaker Sirium 1400ABT is a bit larger than the Amazon Echo, but still fails to give us any greater sound.

Clear enough sound, and the speaker enjoys the functionality of the Alexa system.
Larger cabinets still do not produce louder sound than the smaller competitors. Cannot currently pair in stereo. Alexa does not speak Norwegian.

Sonos One

A smarter Sonos

Sonos One will one day give us both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in one and the same smart speaker. But Google is waiting.

Sonos One withstands moisture and sounds good. With upcoming updates, it will be among the most versatile on the market.
Until further notice, it is Alexa who applies, who does not speak Norwegian. There are speakers with heavier bass.

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Clear voice

With ready-made sound on the voice assistant, only the language barrier stands between us and the automated work tasks.

A compact and appealing appearance, clear speech sound and also a stable and good control system compared to other devices. Two can be paired in stereo.
The sound is tame on music, you have to take some detours to get the speaker connected in Norway, and Alexa does not understand Norwegian.

Kygo B9/800

Smart speaker that can swim

Kygo B9/800 is the only smart speaker we know of that you can take with you to the swimming pool.

Withstands water up to a meter depth for 30 minutes. It even floats! Google Home makes the Kygo B9 / 800 an exciting portable speaker.
The sound can be experienced a little strained over time. For desktop use, the USB connector on top is not very nice, with a cable sticking up and hanging down.

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