Google - Home - Smart Speaker with Google Assistant - White/Slate

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Simplify your everyday life with the Google Home, a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Use voice commands to enjoy music, get answers from Google and manage everyday tasks. Google Home is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems, and can control compatible smart devices such as Chromecast or Nest.

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    Overview

    What's Included


    • Google Home - Smart Speaker with Google Assistant
    • Owner's manual
    • Power adapter

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    95% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (9745 out of 10353)

    Included Free


    TikiLIVE - 1-Month The Cable Alternative Premium Plan Subscription Code [Digital]
    TikiLIVE - 1-Month The Cable Alternative Premium Plan Subscription Code [Digital]
    TikiLIVE The Cable Alternative offers access to premium cable and satellite channels from your smart devices at a fraction of the cost. Access all your favorite TV shows, news programs, sporting events and more anywhere you are. Enjoy a robust library of hundreds of high-quality video episodes and movies as well as 24/7 commercial free music channels. TikiLIVE provides you with a free unlimited Cloud DVR so you can record as much TV as you want. TikiLIVE is a monthly service that does not require a long-term commitment from you. Pay monthly and cancel at any time with no termination fee. Free yourself from your cable and satellite TV provider.

    This item cannot be returned or refunded, please visit to learn more.

    Features


    A powerful helper

    Google Home is powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It's your own Google, always ready to help.

    Get answers from Google

    Use your voice to quickly find information about the weather, news, sports and more. "Hey Google, what time does the grocery store close?"

    Bring your music to life, using only your voice

    Google Home's high-excursion speaker delivers a big, rich sound in a compact size. "Hey Google, listen to Discover Weekly on Spotify."

    Manage your day from breakfast to bed

    Get help around the house with things like your schedule, commute, travel information and more.

    Google Home can even help you find a lost iPhone or Android phone and make phone calls to any personal contact or business.¹ "Hey Google, call Mom."

    Play, pause and rewind. Hands-free

    Pair with a Chromecast to control your favorite movies and shows, using only your voice. "Hey Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my TV."²

    Control your smart home

    Use your voice to control your compatible lights, thermostat, smart plugs and more. Google Home works with more than 1000 smart devices from over 150 popular brands. "Hey Google, set the thermostat to 72 degrees."

    Your voice. Your info

    Get personalized responses for you and others in your home with voice recognition.³ "Hey Google, when is my first meeting tomorrow?"

    Fun for the whole family

    Learn something new, play fun games and listen to stories with the Google Assistant. Want to tell the kids breakfast is ready?

    Broadcast a message to other Google Home devices around the house.⁴ "Hey Google, let"s play a game."

    ¹In the US and Canada. 911 and 1-900 calls are not supported.

    ²Subscriptions required to access some content.

    ³Google Home can distinguish up to six voices in total.

    ⁴Your child can sign in to Google Home devices with their Google Account managed with Family Link. Also works with Arlo.


    Customer rating

    4.5
    95%
    would recommend to a friend

    Expert rating

    4.1

    Pros

    Cons

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A great beginning to having a “Smart House”

      Posted
      Nate34
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

      In the box there is the device itself, a power cord, and some papers like the quick start guide, etc. The set up was pretty straight forward. You plug it in, it will boot up and when its done booting it makes the same chime sound the Google Pixel does which I thought was a cool touch. You then have to install the Google Home app from either the play store, or Apples app store. For me this was from the play store. After installing the app you begin the set up. It will ask for various permissions for example location. The next step was a device search. It immediately located my Google Home device. It then sets up a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot while it connects. Once its connected it will do a connection test by chiming a sound from the Home. If you hear it you have connected successfully. It then asks you what room the device will be in. You have the standard options like Living room, etc. For me I scrolled all the way down and chose “other” and manually entered a room name. The next step was connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on. For me it automatically had the correct SSID and password so I didnt have to enter it. In the box there is the device itself, a power cord, and some papers like the quick start guide, etc. The set up was pretty straight forward. You plug it in, it will boot up and when its done booting it makes the same chime sound the Google Pixel does which I thought was a cool touch. You then have to install the Google Home app from either the play store, or Apples app store. For me this was from the play store. After installing the app you begin the set up. It will ask for various permissions for example location. The next step was a device search. It immediately located my Google Home device. It then sets up a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot while it connects. Once its connected it will do a connection test by chiming a sound from the Home. If you hear it you have connected successfully. It then asks you what room the device will be in. You have the standard options like Living room, etc. For me I scrolled all the way down and chose “other” and manually entered a room name. The next step was connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on. For me it automatically had the correct SSID and password so I didnt have to enter it. After that initial set up you then get to the “Meet your Google Assistant” steps. This was locating my address, selecting whether or not I wanted email notification, and choosing my music service. You have several music service options like Google play Music, Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora. In my case I used the Google play music. After this it went into an audible tutorial on just a few of the things it can do. For example giving you the weather, time, setting alarms. If you are bored it can also tell you jokes, read poetry, sing songs, and you can even play games with it such as trivia, mad libs, etc. These could really come in handy if your bored. During this step it also told me I had a free 6 month subscription to Youtube Red which I thought was pretty cool. One of the main things people will want to do with this of course is play music. It is very easy. You can choose specific songs, albums, or even just ask it to play random music from a certain genre. For example I said “OK Google, play me some dubstep”. It then played some dubstep from a google play music station. I was honestly surprised at how good music played from such a small device. The bass was much more than I expected. The highs, mids, and vocals are all very clear as well. In other words it sounded great. Another useful feature that I'm sure a lot of people will use it for is of course Google searches. It does this very well and because it is connected directly to Googles network it is very accurate, and can do a lot more than you might think. The searches are also contextual meaning you can ask it something, then continue with that topic without having to specify that topic again. For example you could ask it “How old is George Clooney”, then say “what are some of his movies” without having to say “What are some of George Clooneys movies”. It will know the subject you are already asking about. But you do have to say “OK Google” before each, it wont work if you just ask the question without first saying “OK Google”. This is of course so it wont always be talking when you are asking someone else near it a question. It has to be activated with “OK Google” or “Hey Google”. The device itself looks a lot like an air freshener. Its very small and can fit pretty much anywhere. It comes with a grey base, but this can be swapped out with optional bases that are different colors to match your houses theme if you want to. The top of the device is also a touch pad. You can use this to control music, adjust the volume, or start and stop searches with a tap. The microphone on it is very good as well. I was surprised at how it heard me perfectly. Even when it is playing loud music you can say “OK Google” to stop, pause, go to next or previous track, or even adjust the volume. It will also connect to any Chromecast devices you have. I dont have any at the moment, but it would for example connect to any external speaker system you had if it had Chromecast. You can then choose to play music from your speaker system instead of the Google Home device. It can also connect and control lights, and thermostats that are network connected. Our house doesn't have any of these yet, so I guess at the moment our house isn't “Smart” yet. But the Google Home is a step in that direction for sure. At the moment it does have some limitations. For example when trying to make calls or send texts it will say “I cant do that YET”. The “YET” I am assuming means it will be able to soon. I'm sure with updates and time there will be a lot more this little device can do. But even now it is quite handy. The Google Home is great device that will smarten up any home. One of the main things people will want to do with this of course is play music. It is very easy. You can choose specific songs, albums, or even just ask it to play random music from a certain genre. For example I said “OK Google, play me some dubstep”. It then played some music from a google play music station. I was honestly surprised at how good music played from such a small device. The bass was much more than I expected. The highs, mids, and vocals are all very clear as well. In other words it sounded great. Another useful feature that Im sure a lot of people will use if of course google searches. It does this very well and because it is connected directly to Googles network it is very accurate, and can do a lot more than you might think. The searches are also contextual meaning you can ask it something, then continue with that topic without having to ask it again. For example you could ask it “How old is George Clooney”, then say “what are some of his movies” without having to say “What are some of George Clooneys movies”. It will know the subject you are already asking about. But you do have to say “OK Google” before each, it wont work if you just ask the question without first saying “OK Google”. The device itself looks a lot like an air freshener. Its very small and can fit pretty much anywhere. It comes with a grey base, but this can be swapped out with swappable bases that are different colors to match your houses theme if you want to. The top of the device is also a touch pad. You can use this to control music, adjust the volume, or start and stop searches with a tap. The microphone on it is very good as well. I was surprised at how it heard me perfectly. Even when it is playing loud music you can say “OK Google” to stop, pause, or even adjust the volume. It will also connect to any Chromecast devices you have. I dont have any at the moment, but it would for example connect to any external speaker system you had if it had Chromecast. You can then choose to play music from your speaker system instead of the Google Home device. It can also connect and control lights, and thermostats that are network connected. Our house doesnt have any of these yet, so I guess at the moment our house isn't “Smart” yet. But the Google Home is a step in that direction for sure. At the moment it does have some limitations. For example when trying to make calls or send texts it will say “I cant do that YET”. The “YET” I am assuming means it will be able to soon. Im sure with updates and time there will be a lot more this little device can do. But even now it is quite handy. The Google Home is great device that will smarten up any home.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient

      Posted
      scovartwo
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home. The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations. If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request. The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring. The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home. Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you to say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone. The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions. The Google Keep App for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list. The Google Keep app can also be found on the Google Play store and can be installed on Android smart phones, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way. The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of every calendar entry that you added for each day. The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser. Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for: What time is it Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set) Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set) What the weather in Ventura, California ( Any city and state can be requested) What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set) Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc.. What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar) Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc. What is my shopping list Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source) Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source) Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source) Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources) Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 - 10) What is the volume The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philip Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be done with the Philips Hue lighting. Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off. The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it. My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Home is Where the Google is

      Posted
      mikeheel
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 25 ContributorTop 25 Contributor

      Google Home has now invaded my home, and I'm very interested in seeing where this takes us. Right now, I think the biggest selling point for Home is potential. It has some neat tricks as-is, but it promises so much more. Unboxing: The first thing I noticed is that the packaging is first-rate. There are even corner tabs on the tape to allow easy removal without having to damage the box. There is a pull tab in the box itself to open up for the grand reveal. The Home sits in a formed plastic tray that holds it snugly. Everything about the packaging says Google wanted to convey they put a lot of thought into making opening the Home a good experience. I was very impressed. Appearance: The Home is a relatively attractive device. It is unoffensive and can fit pretty much any decor without drawing unwanted attention to itself. You can jazz it up with a colored base, if you want. Some folks have said it looks a bit like a large air freshener. I guess that's about right in some respects, but that makes it sound unattractive to me. In reality, it is a good-looking device. Setup: I have a Pixel and a Chromecast, so I already had Google's new Home app on my phone. You will need to download the Home app if you don't already have it. For any WP users lurking out there, check first, b/c I think the Home app is available only on Android and iOS. Anyway, I plugged in the Home unit, opened the app, the app located the Home unit, I entered my wifi info, answered a few questions about use, and it was ready. The entire process took just a couple of minutes. It was painless and worked flawlessly the first time. Use: Using the Home is easy. It has understood me virtually every time I've said anything to it. I connected it to my Nest thermostats (although that took a moment to sort out how to do it; you open the menu in the Home app rather than click on the big box that says "Add Devices"), and the Home was able to set the temperature based on my voice commands. It performed searches flawlessly, reading back answers to me. I did try a few queries that it was unable to resolve, so it gave me the canned apology. It also works with several music services. I chose Spotify as my primary music source, but it can use any of the supported services. It steams music well enough, although you won't mistake it for audiophile level sound. I do like that you can use multiple Home units throughout the house, and they will sync to provide music throughout the house, if you want. I only have one unit at this time, though. I'm also very interested in using a Chomecast Audio unit to pair my regular speakers with the Home. That's a relatively inexpensive way to get a much higher sound quality. You can, however, tell it to play music or video through the Chromecast TV dongle, and it will happily oblige. I have to admit, though, I really prefer my Roku to the Chromecast. I know it is a "competitor," but I hope Google doesn't try to make the Home a walled garden when it comes to service they also provide. Fortunately, they already allow a wide spectrum when it comes to music, so I hope they will do similar with video. Side note, Home comes with six months of YouTube Red for free. Issues: Unfortunately, there are limitations to the usefulness of Home right now. First and foremost is that it only syncs to one Google account, so it only knows one user. There is a guest mode, but it'd be great if my wife and kids could tell it stuff that would sync to their search history rather than mine. I'm afraid I might suddenly get inundated by ads for things in which my daughter is interested. Second is that, even with only one user, it doesn't really harmonize all that well with some external accounts. For instance, I don't use a Google calendar for work. My office uses Exchange. My Google phone gets this. My Google Home does not. When I ask about my appointments or schedule, the Home is at a loss. I wish it'd work hand-in-hand with my phone so I could tell it to check my Outlook calendar. We also have a shared family calendar. All Home sees is my personal Google calendar, which is a desolate wasteland, given that most of my real appointments are in Outlook or the family shared Gmail calendar. Home can't see those right now, but maybe it will be able to eventually. One other thing my wife really wants is for it to pair with BT headphones, but I couldn't find a way to do that. There are times when you want to be able to stream music or news without everyone else having to listen, so that'd also be a nice addition, if it can be done. Also, I'd really like to be able to use my own awake word or phrase. As it is, every time I say "Ok, Google," my phone wakes up and gives me a note that "another device" is answering my question. Why does that need to happen? It wouldn't have to happen if I could say "Ok, Home" or "Ok, Pixel." Conclusion: But, on the whole, this is a fun and cool device. I'm still getting use to it and am excited to see what the future holds for my little friend. It's good device, but I expect it have a period of growing pains as it gets more useful and adds more services. Still, though, I'd say try it.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A fun, entertaining assistant

      Posted
      nickcal
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      I'm a fan of the Amazon Echo and other digital assistants so when I was able to test out Google's new voice-activated assistant, Google Home, I was more than happy to do so. The Google Home is a voice-activated speaker that uses the Google Assistant to do things. It's about the size of a desktop Bluetooth speaker and it gives you the opportunity to control certain aspects of your home and daily life. The body of the device is designed to blend in with your regular home decor. It looks modern and works well with varying styles of interior design. The Google Home is first and foremost a speaker. As such, it's equipped with a microphone and play/pause and volume control. The basic speker controls are integrated into the touch surface on the top of the speaker. Because it’s voice activated, you can also control Google Home by talking to it. Commands like, “Play Pandora Radio,” will enable the music player on the device. Even though I’m more of an Apple user, I really appreciate Google’s self-integration with devices like the Home. For one thing, the search is blazing fast. I used to have a virtual assistant called UBI, which pre-dated the other voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa. The search function worked on it, but it was slow - sometimes taking a solid minute to speak the answer back. Google Home responds within about 3 seconds whereas Siri on my iPhone 7 took about 7 seconds to tell me a response. All of Google Home’s functions are quick and precise. Another test we ran was to request that Siri and Google Home both turn on Hue lights in a specific room of our home. Again Home was faster. When asked, “Turn on the Living Room lights,” Siri took approximately 3.6 seconds to respond while Google Home only took about 3 seconds. What’s remarkable about this to me is that the two devices are running on the exact same network. Set-up of the device is very easy. You plug it into power and then follow the instructions on the companion app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. Basically, once the Home is connected to the internet, you can start using it. The app is truly a companion because other than set-up, you don’t really need to use it. The app gives you pointers like ‘Things to ask’ and helps you connect other services like Music services and Home controls. You do have to use the app to connect your other smart devices in your home. Probably the most impressive thing about the Google Home is the follow-up functionality when you ask questions. For example, you can ask, “Who is the current President of the United States?” And Home will answer, “Barack Obama.” You can then say, “How old is he?” Home will respond, “He is 55 years old.” Other voice assistant will get confused and say that they can’t answer the question because it doesn’t get the reference back to the original question. This is a function of the Google Assistant and it pulled through into this device flawlessly. One of my favorite thing about Google Home, aside from how well it works, is how fun it is. Google Home provides an entertainment outlet in addition to a functional assistant. You can play trivia games with it, which makes it a fun addition to family gatherings. Say you are sitting around with friends and want to do something other than visit. You can simply say, “Play a trivia game,” and Google Home will act as your game show host. You can let it know how many people are playing and it will ask questions for each player in the correct order. We tried this out a couple of times with no problems. You can also have Google Home just ask you single questions if you are on your own. As easy as Google Home is to set-up and use, it does still have its limitations. They are limitations that I feel that Google will upgrade over time with software updates, but they are still very noticeable especially if you use other voice assistants like Alexa. First, Google Home only works with some smart devices. Right now, it’s only compatible with Nest, Philips Hue lights, and SmartThings. It does work with IFTTT protocols and recipes and you can control your TV if you have a Google Chromecast, but no other streaming media devices. Google Home also only works with 5 different music streaming services - YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and TuneIn. You can’t connect to libraries throughout your house like you can with devices like Apple TV, but again, I think this is something that will probably be an upgrade once Home isn’t quite so new. One other very basic feature that the Home does not do is to record reminders. You can ask it to remind you to do something and it says, “Sorry, I can’t set reminders yet,” which leads me to believe it’s a forthcoming option. For the limitations that Google Home has, it does a lot of things very right. If I had to choose between the Google Home and Alexa, I would choose the Home because it is so much fun to use. I think that if you are integrated into Google’s ecosystem, the Home is definitely the way to go.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

      Not quite a TOTAL disappointment...

      Posted
      SaulyGood23
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      It's going back to the store this weekend. I don't recommend anyone buy this for at least another six months, especially if you don't usually adopt new technology early. Out of the box, Home performed really well. We had some friends over for game night. I was DJing with voice commands and loving it. I had big plans to play with my daily news update, tweaking it to start off my mornings right. Speaking of mornings, I would love to be able to set an alarm in my kitchen that would actually require me to walk out of the bedroom to make sure I'm up. Google Home is not equipped to set alarms. My sister asked me to check up on her puppers while she was away. I asked Google Home to set a reminder for 2:00pm. Can't do that either, even though it's synced with my Google account, which includes my Google Calendar. (Almost missed feeding the poor doggos because I didn't have a reminder set on a very busy afternoon.) I asked Home to create a calendar event for last Friday night for my wife's work Christmas party. Can't do that either. If I have volume for a playlist set at 50% or higher, it won't even hear me saying the wake phrase, even if I'm standing right next to the unit (we're talking about less than two feet away). It's also impossible to eliminate my roommate's Chromecast from the Cast Devices menu in the Google Home app. That means that he has control over MY Google Home. I can start a playlist. He can stop it from his phone downstairs. He can override my selections and start a playlist of his own. While they (Google) say they're "working on it", Google Home does not currently support multiple users, meaning if my wife commands Home to "Tell me about my day," she gets a full report on what I'M up to instead. If Google Home Assistant actually supported purchasing Google items online, they probably would have sold me 3 Chromecast Ultras the first night I owned my Google Home. As you might guess...it can't do that either. The last straw is that in Week 2 of ownership, Home will now hear the wake phrase "Hey Google". The colored LEDs on top fire up, ready to obey my every command. Then, even at a meager distance of 4 feet, Home does not hear me speaking, and its "wakefulness" stops. I could look past the almost-complete lack of Google Apps integration, but I cannot abide by hardware failure AND software shortfalls. I don't have to waste my money on things that don't work well. I contacted Google Home support, was walked through two troubleshooting steps, and when neither of those steps solved the problem with the mic picking up my command, they gave up and offered to replace it. The only way I could get the mic to hear my actual command was to stand DIRECTLY over the Home unit. It's like I have to intimidate it to get it to work, and that just really falls short of the performance of something like the Amazon Echo. Keep in mind, I can use the wake phrase "Hey Google" from across the room, 15-20 feet away. The mics work in one scenario (using the wake phrase "Hey Google" or "Okay Google"), but not when I issue an actual command. Again, if I have my music at a volume that allows me to hear it from the kitchen while I'm in the bedroom, it won't hear me, even if I walk all the way back to the kitchen and stand less than two feet away from the unit. The fact is, I tried this thing out this early because I have been a huge fan of Google Now and Voice on my phone. I'm literally a safer driver because I can send text messages by voice (you can't do that with Google Home either). Even though Google's been using voice automation and some low-level intuitive commands for a couple of years, next to none of that has been translated to the Google Home in any meaningful or useful way, if at all. What's worse is that aside from music and weather (which I can get with two taps on my phone screen [I'm not cooking chicken 24/7, so I can easily use my actual hands to find information at most points of the day]) and Google Play Music, Google Home BARELY integrates with Google's own Keep app (the only functionality to date is to add items to a shopping list in Keep; you can't dictate notes or manage checklists like you can in Google Now). It has "read-only" privileges with Google Calendar. Excited about integrating smart home devices like Nest, lighting, security, and more, with Google Home? My question for you is: Why would you be? You can do all these things from your phone, you can do them better from the app on your handheld, and you can do them from anywhere. The value in a home assistant like Home or Echo is to help you organize/simplify your life first, entertain you second. If we limit Google Home's features just to keeping your life organized, that leaves you with two (2) lonely features, at present: 1) adding things to your grocery list, and 2) having it read you a list of your appointments for the day with some news sprinkled in from sources you may or may not even rely on to get your news on any other day. Once Google is actually able to onboard all the features we use in Google Now and improve app integration, Google Home will likely be the "product to beat" in home assistants. For right now, your phone does a whole lot more, and it does it a lot better. I'm not impressed that it can sync with my streaming music service, read me some news, tell me a joke, or look up answers to pointless trivia questions; my phone and my Surface tablet can do those things for me without any hassle. This is an early version of this product that will improve a lot when Google updates its feature set to catch up with...say...any other Google product currently out on the market. It is 12/12/2016 at the time of this writing. If you are buying a home assistant for a friend or loved one, stick with the Amazon Echo. Give it at least until June of 2017 and pay attention to Google's website to learn about any updates they release. When you are satisfied it's going to work with the Google apps you like to use most, buy it then. I bet it will be amazing. Right now, Google just charged in to this market to compete with Amazon Echo, and frankly, they just can't do that by a loooooongshot. Until then, don't make the same mistake I did getting all hopped up and buying one of these just because they knocked $20 off the price for Black Friday.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Ok Google... Are you my friend?

      Posted
      MarkusKong
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      Features: - Far field voice recognition to support hands free use - 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi support for high performance streaming - Simple setup with the Google Home app on iOS & Android - High excursion speaker delivers clear highs and rich bass for HiFi sound - Chromecast built in allows casting from compatible audio apps to Google Home - Multi room playback to sync music across speakers that have Chromecast built in - Check out these compatible services and more at g.co/home/services - YouTube Music, Pandora, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Chromecast, Nest, Friends of Hue, Smart Things What is in the box?: - Google Home - AC Adapter - Get Started Card - Quick "things you can say" card - Change your base card - Warranty/Safety Card (1 Year Warranty) Requirements: - For "turn up the thermostat", compatible smart thermostat linked to Google Home - WiFi connection - Electrical outlet - Compatible Android, iOS, Windows or Mac OSX computer or mobile device - Minimum OS requirements located at g.co/home/req Testing/Setup: Box is beautiful!!!!!!! Whoever designed this box is a wonderful person and knows what we "box people" want. The unit itself sits perfectly snug inside the box. Contents inside the box (quick reference cards, cable, etc.) is also made with quality material. Google Home itself is not heavy at all. The top portion of the device is a full touchscreen (not necessarily a screen). The material for the Google Home also has a great feel to it. Guess what... No fingerprints! The material around the base of the Google Home (speaker) is also nice material. The AC adapter is nice and the wire itself is flexible if you need to maneuver it around certain things. The power plugs in to the bottom base of the Google Home. All in all, the materials that were used to create this entire thing (box, cards, unit itself) is excellent. The voice recognition is accurate. I was in the kitchen and my device is set up in the living room. When I ask Google Home to turn up/down the volume; it hears you! Even if you slightly "slur" your words when talking to the Google Home, it'll still pick up what you're trying to say. I spent probably a good full 3~5 hours after setting it up and just messed with it, straight up talked to it. Setting it up was extremely easy. You literally plug it in and download the Google Home app on your phone and follow the on screen prompt. You can do so much with this device. Want to listen to Pandora? Tell it to play Pandora. You want Spotify? Ask it to play Spotify (if you have premium). Play a game? Ask it. Want news or weather? Ask it. Pretty much, it uses the Google engine to power this thing; meaning it uses Google's years and years of experience to help you do things. If you're someone that forgets to set appointments, what to buy when you're at the grocery store, setting up an alarm; Google Home will remember for you. Want to order an Uber? Ask Google Home to do it for you. If you have a Nest thermostat system or that fancy Phillips lighting system, Google Home can even be programmed to mess with those. So basically what I am saying is, if you have a smart home; get the Google Home to outsmart your smart home. BOOM! The range of things that Google Home can do is pretty magnificent. Of course, I have some cons as well. I still can't figure out if this thing is "messed" up or if it was Pandora. Basically, if I was trying to ask it to play a different station on Pandora; it wouldn't change. I ran into a couple occasions where my Google Home just stopped playing. When I tried to tell it to play Pandora, nothing. Another issue I have is the sound itself. The base is pretty good and the sound can get pretty loud. My problem is that it sounds a little *mono*. There's basically no surround sound effect, but that could be because the unit itself is not that big so it can't project a surround sound feeling. The thing that honestly got me upset the most is when it stopped playing and I couldn't get it back up and running. I had to open up the Google Home app on my phone and reboot the Google Home unit. If you have a Google Pixel by the way, prepare for both devices to hear you when you say "Ok Google". With these cons, I had to drop a star. Everything else blew me away though, everything from the quality of the device (the way it was built) to the things that it can do. I hope they update it in the future to make phone calls, that'll be awesome! Conclusion: If you're browsing the market for an Amazon Echo device or anything in that particular area, I would give the Google Home a shot. If you're looking for something that'll help you remember, someone to talk to, someone to play a basic game with (3 included/available right now), or trying to be a home DJ with your playlist and music; look into the Google Home. It offers more than what I just said like changing your temperature in your home, ordering a Uber, and looking up things via the Google search engine. It does a lot more too. I'm hoping with Google powering this things, they'll be able to update it to do other things like phone calls and maybe some more games and other *stuff*. Overall, I like the unit/device. OH!!! One more things... If you have a date you want to bring home to meet Google Home, you'll have a blast; especially if your date speaks a different language. You can tell Google Home to say whatever you want in that language. Its for the most part "accurate" but once you do long sentences, it kinda doesn't do it correctly. I tried a different language with my wife and she understood the first thing I said. Second thing (longer sentence) made no sense to her she stated. Anyways, give this things a shot and try it out for yourself.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Smart and entertaining device for the family!

      Posted
      xKing
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      I was not a fan of a voice control before, but this have a potential of changing that! My family spent a whole evening talking to it, asking various things, it was real fun! Goole Home device is a size of a big coffee mug, with a detachable base (Google will start selling those bases as accessories in different colors very soon), base is magnetically attached to the device and could be pulled off by twisting it or just yanking it down. 3x2" speakers and hiding underneath along with a micro USB port that is currently not used for anything (I suspect micro USB is for service purposes only), no other ports are present. DC power port is at the bottom and Google Home comes with it's own DC power supply compatible with 110-240V input and giving 16.5 VDC out at 2 Amps. Google Home can't be powered by the USB. Power cord is 70" long and comes with a soft rubber strap to keep it organized. Top surface is touch sensitive and has a ring of 12 multi colored LEDs to indicate the device status, mute button along with a small power LED is at the back of the device. To start interacting with the Google Home - first thing you'll need is to pair it, it's a straightforward process, all you need is a phone or tablet (iOS or Android) with Google Home app running, everything is done from inside the app, you won't need to hop on different WiFi network or anything like that, I believe app is communicating with the Google Home via Bluetooth at the setup time (since the WiFi credentials are not yet known to it). You will be prompted to pick a Google Account you want the device linked to, then pick a source of the Music (out of: Google Play Music, Pandora (free account is OK), Spotify (paid account needed) or YouTube music (paid account needed)) and a source of News. Google Home would also look for any Chromecast devices on your network and will be able to pair to them (unfortunately it does not work with Android TVs yet). Now - the main thing - talking to it! To attract it's attention you could say "Hey, Google" or "OK, Google", it's pretty sensitive as I could talk to it from any corner of my 600sq ft living room and it could understand me perfectly. Alternatively - just hold your finger on top surface until 4 lights appear and say your command. Every command you say will be listed in the history inside of the Google Home app, you could even play your command back (so you know who said it!) and sometimes even look at the details of the answer such as URL it used to pull the recipe from. Google Home will keep a context of some commands like you could say "OK, Google, Who is Mr X?" and then "OK, Google, when was he born?" and it will know you asking about "Mr X" again! However if you ask "What's on my shopping list?" and then "Add potatoes" - it won't get it, it would read you some potatoes recipe instead. I'm hoping this will be improved soon! Speaking of shopping lists - you'll find it in the Google Keep app on your phone. Other things you can ask - weather, time, setting timers (you can set different timers for different things like 5 minutes for "potatoes", 3 minutes for "steak", etc), translations of different words and phrases to different languages. Sometimes "Home" will surprise you - like saying "Good Morning" will get you - current time, weather forecast for today and a news report from the news sources you've configured. However - it can's set reminders yet, hope that is coming! Music - "Home" will play music from the internet source you've configured and it could cast it to any chromecast enabled speakers you have. There is no direct audio output or ability to pair a bluetooth speaker directly to the Home device. Internal speakers of the "Home" put our pretty good sound for their size. Videos - anything you ask will be looked up on youtube and "casted" to Chromecast devices you have, it does not support Android TV yet, nor Roku or Apple TV devices. Smart Home integration - right now "Home" can control Nest thermostats, SmartThings and Philips Hue devices. I've tried Nest integration and it works flawlessly - you can ask what is the current temperature in the room, set the thermostat setpoints (even if you keep your Nest in Heat-Cool mode!). Unfortunately my home automation system (ISY) is not yet supported by the "Home" directly, but IFTTT is here to help! I was able to use "Google Assistant" channel combined with a "Maker" channel to control lights in my home no problem. I'm real excited about the possibilities this opens! Just be mindful about the security - don't let it disarm your alarm, unlock your smart locks or anything that could be used to gain unauthorized access. Another point - if you keep your "Home" near your home phone - someone could call it and once it goes to automatic answering - tell your Google Home to do anything. Few things to improve: multiple Google Accounts support (like maybe home and work, or different family members accounts), maybe add Exchange and iCloud account support as well (I use Office 365 at work and unfortunately "Home" can't access it), more device integration (Andorid TVs, Roku, etc) and open developer API of course! Overall - it's a wonderful start by Google! "Home" is a very capable device on it's 1st day and would only improve in the future!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Near perfect device

      Posted
      psyclopps
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
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      Ok, I am going to start off by saying that this thing is simply cool. That should be the quick summary of this review. My gripes are minor and I have lots of praise, but I haven’t had this much fun with a product in a long time. First off, setting this thing up was as easy as can be. If you already have a Google account, all you need to do is plug it in, download the Google Home app on your phone, find it in the list of devices, get wifi going and that’s it! The hardest part is remembering your wifi password. The box it comes in is the first introduction to the experience you can expect as the box itself it made out of high quality cardboard and flips open in a pleasing manner. There is only a few sheets of documentation with very simple diagrams as to how to set it up. The device itself is about just about six inches tall and doesn't take up much real estate. It looks great in any room as it does not look like a high end piece of technology, it almost looks like a larger air freshener or a decorative piece to me. The lights on the device provide a pretty cool wow factor as they are not seen when not lit but are hidden behind the white plastic. They create neat patterns in Google’s colors or simply glow white when using volume controls. The back has a mute button in case you do not want it to listen to you and the only branding on it is also on the back, the G logo. The bottom part (speaker) has interchangeable covers to match your room decor but you must purchase these separately if interested. Upon first use, I thought to myself “how could this be much better than other products that do the same thing”. Well… this thing blows everything else out of the water in two key areas, usability and information thanks to Google’s vast search abilities and its neural network that powers Google Assistant. Google Home was great in every test I threw at it as I rarely had any unknown questions, and I could talk to it like it normal person as it remembers the context of previous statements, something no other device does to my knowledge. Asking it “what is tomorrow’s weather” gives you the expected result then adding on “what about rain” provides more narrow results. Google Home has loads of personality also, my toddler tells me he loves the Google Home because it is funny and because it likes him and sings him songs. I found music to be hit or miss on this device. The main services it supports are Google Play Music, Youtube Music, Spotify and Pandora. I tested it with Pandora and Google Play Music. I am not reviewing those services but the devices works very well with them. The music quality is loud but lacks much depth and feels a bit flat to me. I think for most people it’s quality is just fine though. For other interactions that are not music related, the speakers are great and conversing with the device is loud and clear. One of the largest strengths to the Google Home is the fact that it integrates with Google Services so well. What I mean is that if you have a Chromecast, Google TV device, a phone with Google Apps installed, you will be very pleased. It was great telling it to play popular videos on Youtube and it starts Youtube up on my Nvidia Shield. It was great telling it to play the most recent Blink-182 album to which it plays “California” and I can skip to the next song via voice or with the Google Play Music app on my phone. I could build in real time playlists for Youtube or music on my phone and they would be thrown to whichever device it was streaming on. All the devices work together seamlessly but the Home always feels like it is the centerpiece of this interaction. Testing it with other brands of devices, I used a Nest Thermostat which was a perfect interaction. On the Google Home I could ask it many different ways to change the temperature and it would be understand. It always felt as if it knew what I wanted it to do without dumbing down my commands any. With the backing of Google neural net, these features should get better over time. It also remembers things about you (creepy for some people but useful for future interactions). I ask it what its favorite animal is, it tells me then asks me mine, to which it states it will remember that. This kind of interaction provides useful knowledge to tailor conversations with the user as the software gets better. I have not had a chance to test the ability to pair multiple Google Home devices together but Google advertises that you can have multiple one paired together and they would hand off commands much better than competitors and even stream music throughout the house, this sounds like a great feature and hopefully they will build a greater variety of Home devices in the future that can suit different needs around the house. Overall, I am very happy with this device and I think it can easily find a place in my house for everyday use. Google has a near perfect product with its first launch. The Google Home is cheaper, higher quality and a more polished device than any of the other brands so I do not think there would be anyone unhappy with this purchase unless they have zero integration with Google applications. If you are an avid user of Google services, this is a must have in your home. Five out of Five stars for me.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    What experts are saying

    Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars with 34 reviews

    Click to visit alaTest website
    The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about design, size, usability and reliability. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 87/100 = Very good quality.
    • Expert Reviews (UK)Rating, 5 out of 5August 15, 2018
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    • IT PRO (UK)Bobby Hellard , IT Pro on August 10, 2018
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    • cnet.co.ukRating, 4 out of 5Andrew Gebhart on May 25, 2018
      Google Home is better than ever, but you probably shouldn't buy it
      It's a well balanced smart speaker with tons of features. But if you have a specific need, there's likely a better smart speaker for you.Full Review
    • Alphr (UK)Rating, 5 out of 5Thomas McMullan on May 10, 2018
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    • Trusted Reviews (UK)Rating, 4 out of 5David Ludlow on March 8, 2018
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    • TechRadar (UK)Rating, 3.5 out of 5Nick Pino Jon Porter on March 8, 2018
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    • Pocket-lint (UK)Rating, 4 out of 5Elyse Betters on February 19, 2018
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    • Tech Advisor (UK)Rating, 4 out of 5Marie Black on November 15, 2017
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      A review of Google Home, the smart home speaker and physical embodiment of the Google Assistant that is about to get even better with support for Reminders. Find out why it's worth your money today.Full Review



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