In the home speaker segment, Google has really found a solid niche that has served to bring the Google Assistant into millions of homes in a simple, affordable way. Starting with the slightly-odd Google Home that began the Google-made smart speaker effort, Google has continued to hone and perfect its speaker offerings each year since. The Google Home mini was their first breakout speaker – mainly because of its small size and low price – and the Google Home Max showed that Google was able to build and deliver a premium sound experience even if the price was a tad high.
The caveats began to diminish with the Nest Mini as it kept the price low, the size on par with the Home Mini that preceded it, and increased the sound quality to good enough for most. With the permanent price drop of the Google Home Max to $299, Google had a solid speaker lineup missing just one thing: a middle ground. Enter the Nest Audio, a $99 speaker that is miles better at audio than the Nest Mini, not quite up to snuff with the Google Home Max, and an easy recommend at $99 for nearly anyone in the market for a smart speaker.