If you get over the concerns of Big Brother (more likely "Big Advertiser") looking and listening over your shoulder every waking moment, smart home devices can be awfully powerful and powerfully convenient. One big challenge with the Google Home family of smart speakers is that, especially in the case of the Google Home Mini, the sound quality is hardly exceptional. Well, now you can overcome that quite handily.

A new update has been pushed out by Google for the Google Home Mini, Google Home, and Google Home Max. This unlocks two key features and functions that were previously unavailable on Google's smart speakers.

First, you'll finally be able to pair your Google smart speaker with a Bluetooth speaker of your choice. By using the Google Home app on your mobile device, you can then configure it such that the paired Bluetooth speaker becomes the default audio device when you ask it to read audiobooks, play podcasts, or stream music online.

So, say you recently invested in a fancy electrostatic Bluetooth speaker and you want to take advantage of the voice controls of Google Assistant without having to whip out your phone. Now you can. This is huge, because it effectively unlocks the power of the smart speaker and voice assistant and combines it with potentially better sound quality.

I can see how this would be fantastic, for example, if you have a soundbar or other kind of audio system set up in home theater or living room. I can also see how this bites directly into the business model of Sonos, even more so that what Google has already done with Chromecast Audio and related products.


The second feature that the new update delivers is support for multi-room audio. Group multiple speakers together and jam out to Art3mis & Parzival by GUNSHIP (you ARE going to watch Ready Player One this weekend, right?) across every room in your house. Of course, the audio input part of the equation still has to happen over your Google Home speaker of choice; you can't talk to Google Assistant via the paired Bluetooth speaker. At least not yet.

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