Google Home Now Pairs With Bluetooth Speakers

Google has finally made the Google Home smart speaker compatible with other Bluetooth speakers. It’s a plus for audiophiles and makes the Home Mini much more viable for some users.

Until now, if you wanted to listen to music or podcasts with the Google Home’s voice control, you either had to stick with the built-in speakers on the device, relay it via a Chromecast Audio to a speaker system, or have the music play via Chromecast on a TV connected to a decent soundbar or sound system.

The problem was that you either had to live with a somewhat fiddly set-up with extra costs, or with the audio limitations of the Google Home speaker. (Whether that is a problem is a personal preference.)

You can now set up any Bluetooth device to play music from Google Home. To do so you need to put the Bluetooth device into pairing mode, then open up the Google Home app on your phone or tablet, select the Google Home device and choose the settings menu, then pair the Bluetooth device and set it as the default speaker.

It appears the setup is that the Google Home device will continue to give voice responses such as answering questions, but if you start audio playback such as music, it will divert to the Bluetooth speaker. Unfortunately it seems you can’t easily switch back and forth between the two speakers (other than unpairing and re-pairing them), though if you switch off the Bluetooth speaker the audio reverts to the Google Home.

If you’ve already got a high quality Bluetooth speaker, this could be a welcome improvement (or a workaround for getting multi-room audio.) If you’re in the market for a Google Home device, it could also remove the main limitation of the lowest-priced model, the Mini, which doesn’t have good audio quality.

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