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Google Nest Audio: The Sonos Killer?

Posted by Einder Dhillon on

Technology has entered our homes. It is more personal than ever, almost like a member of the family. It matters that you pick the right addition for your family home.

The latest in home system technology brings us two powerful smart speakers. Google Nest Audio and Sonos One are two of the best choices on the market today. But among them, who reigns supreme?

Design

The Nest Audio’s soft, pillow-like design exudes cozy comfort. The five color options of chalk, charcoal, sage, sand and sky allow it to blend in perfectly with your interior theme and personal decor. There is a lightness to the minimalistic design of the Nest Audio that makes it warm and welcoming.

The Sonos One is a sturdy and strong speaker with a cylindrical shape. Almost twice as heavy as the Nest, it is durable and well-built with a grille finish around the sides. The color options are only black or white. The Sonos One is designed to embed itself like a pillar in your home with its balance and ruggedness.

Both speakers are well-designed machines in their own right. However, the color options of the Nest Audio with its light size makes it much more versatile and easier to place in your home. It will settle in your home with a touch of subtlety - you won’t even know it’s there until you call for it.

Winner: Nest Audio


Sound Quality

The Nest Audio’s sound quality is a huge improvement from its predecessor, the Google Home. The dual-driver system helps the vocals and higher pitches to shine through on tracks with a heavy bass. Google engineers specifically minimised the use of compressors to preserve a dynamic range, allowing quiet or loud moments to retain their contrast even if the volume is low or on full blast.

The Nest Audio comes with one woofer and one tweeter, with a directional speaker that projects the sound at a specific location. Overall, the sound coming from the Nest Audio is full and sharp, with a clear contrast that makes it pleasant to listen to at any volume.

The Sonos One has large speakers with 2 digital amplifiers that boosts its overall volume capacity. With one tweeter and one mid-woofer, there is a clear high frequency response with a powerful bass that makes its presence felt. The speakers on the Sonos fill up the room with its wide soundstage and high-quality drivers. The heavy presence of the speakers emit a full-bodied, rich sound.

The size of the Sonos One gives it an advantage in sound quality. The Nest delivers a well-balanced and resonant sound but is outmatched by the Sonos with its sheer bulk.


Winner: Sonos One


Response Quality

The Nest Audio’s responses to your questions and commands will be lightning fast because of the high-speed processing chip and machine learning technology installed by Google. Your Google Assistant will be faster and smarter than it has ever been on any speaker. The three far-field microphones do an excellent job at detecting your voice commands. A feature called Ambient EQ adjusts the Assistant’s voice based on the background noise in the room.

The Nest Audio’s computational capability, powered by Google, makes it so that your Assistant will hang onto your every word, and respond in quick fashion to all your commands.

The Sonos One has six microphones installed inside it. However, users have reported some issues with the mics picking up voice commands and the sensitivity can be a little off at times. Despite its size and number of microphones, the Sonos Ones microphone quality and the subsequent responses leave a lot to be desired. This is most likely the Sonos’ achilles heel, it’s biggest shortcoming.
This category has a clear cut winner. The Sonos One cannot compete with the computational powers that Google possesses. Also, the one microphone on the Nest Audio is better at picking up commands than its counterpart working with six.
Winner: Nest Audio

Price

Google Nest is priced at USD99.9 while the Sonos One is going for USD199.99.

There is not much to say in this category. The Google Nest is half the price of its counterpart. It is the more accessible and cost efficient option. If you are a newcomer in the home system arena, the Google Nest is the perfect smart speaker to get started with. 

Winner: Nest Audio


Overall

Both devices have much to offer. The Sonos One’s strength lies in its sound quality. Its size and design give off a booming room-filling sound. If sound is all that matters to you, and if you don’t mind digging a little deeper in your pockets, the Sonos may be the right choice for you.

The Nest Audio, though, is the clear cut winner here as the best smart speaker system on the market right now. It offers great value at a reasonable price. It is a powerhouse system wrapped in a cushy, comfortable exterior. For its size, the audio quality packs a punch. Being powered by a giant like Google has its advantages, as is clearly seen in the Nest’s vastly superior response time. It may not have the best sound quality, but as a smart speaker system, it clearly reigns supreme. Simply put, it is the best option out there.

If you want a speaker system that can do it all, The Nest Audio will look right at home in your household. Now who’s ready to say hi to their newest family member? 

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