In March of this year, Google announced a feature that would alleviate some of the complaints regarding its smart assistant-enabled talking speaker – Google Home. If you read our review on the Amazon Echo Dot, you’ll remember that many consumers loved the functionality but felt stuck because the audible features of the unit were so quiet.
Similar complaints were also voiced regarding the Google Home. Prior to the March update, the Google Home could only be connected to an external speaker via a 3.5 mm auxiliary jack. Many felt it acted only as a hub for smart home connectivity as opposed to acting as a standalone Bluetooth speaker.
Now, Google Home can pair with Bluetooth speakers. This expanded functionality proved to be essential to the role of Google Home as a valuable smart home device.
How to Pair Google Home with a Bluetooth Speaker
If you know the basics of how to set up Google Home and how to connect Bluetooth, you shouldn’t have too much trouble adding an additional Bluetooth speaker.
First, you should ensure that your external Bluetooth speaker is powered on. If your speaker has a pairing mode make sure you set it to that. On your mobile device, open the Google Home app. Tap on the top right corner and navigate to the “devices” page. The icon looks like a speaker and a monitor.
Find the Google Home device you’d like to use and tap on the icon in the top right corner of that section. It looks like three dots to open more options. Navigate to the settings for that device. Scroll to “paired Bluetooth devices.” Lastly, add your external Bluetooth speaker.
Once your Bluetooth speaker is paired with your Google Home, it is accessible for use as the default speaker. The last step is just to set it as the default speaker. This is accomplished through the “device settings” menu. Go back to that menu and click “default speaker.” Lastly, select your newly paired Bluetooth speaker.
This process is largely the same across both Androids and iOS operating systems.
What Are The Benefits of a Google Home Paired With a Bluetooth Speaker?
Having an external, third-party Bluetooth speaker allows your Google Home to utilize a higher-quality speaker than the one it comes standard with. One important note is that Google Home commands must still be directed at the Google Home unit despite being connected to an additional speaker, as it contains the built-in microphone.
This also allows for multi-room audio functionality. Many users have reported that the Google Home is sensitive enough to voice-commands that it can be manipulated from other rooms. Cameron from How-To Geek reiterated this concept.
“…it almost allows you to add voice control to any Bluetooth speaker. Let’s say you have a single [Google] Home in the kitchen, but you want to control music in the living room. We all know how sensitive Home’s ears can be, so now you should be able to ask Home to play some tunes and poof—there it is on your paired Bluetooth speaker in the living room. You can also control the volume of the Bluetooth speaker by using the Home’s volume control—just like if the speaker were paired with a phone.”
There are actually even steps you can take to improve the sensitivity of the integrated microphone like moving it away from certain appliances.
You can advance the multi-room audio capabilities even further by adding a second Bluetooth speaker to the mix. That’s right, if you’re looking to complete your home audio system using the Google Home you can add “groups” of speakers to your Google Home app.
The Ability to Pair Google Home with Bluetooth Speakers Helped Google Home Catch Up to Its Competitors
While Amazon Alexa users have been able to add Bluetooth speakers for multi-room audio for quite some time now, the functionality for Google Home is definitely a welcomed improvement.
The market for smart-home technology is increasing daily. Every day it looks like the market for this type of products won’t stop growing. Google is trying to get a slice of the pie, and the improved functionality of Google Home certainly helps their case.
If you have a Google Home already, give this a try! If you don’t already have a Bluetooth speaker to connect your Google Home to, you’ll be relieved to know there are a wide variety of products available at all different price ranges. You can even get a high-quality Bluetooth speaker for under $50 if you know where to look.