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Google Nest challenges Sonos with new multi-room audio tools

Google is improving the multi-room audio options for its Nest speakers and smart displays as it looks to challenge the likes of Sonos for whole-home music and media playback.

In a blog post on Tuesday, the company announced an update that’ll introduce dynamic speaker grouping, while owners of smart displays like the Nest Hub will get a new interface for granular multi-room audio control. You can see that in the image above. Google says the updates will help bring Nest speakers together as a whole-home audio system.

“If you have more than one Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display, tap the icon in the bottom left corner of the screen when any audio content is playing, and you’ll easily be able to add or remove your other devices throughout your home,” Google writes in the post.

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The firm says the new interface (which will also available within the Home app soon), as well as the Assistant voice controls, enables easy stream transfer to move media between compatible devices.

Chris Chan, the product manager, says easy stereo pairing for two Nest Mini or Home Max devices will bring left and right channel support and room filling audio. Naturally, the multi-room controls are compatible with the likes of YouTube Music, Spotify and Pandora and more.

Chan writes: “The multi-room control interface will start rolling out to all Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max and other compatible Assistant-enabled Smart Displays today, and the same functionality will be coming to the Google Home app later this fall.”

Google’s update comes after Sonos launched the next-gen S2 app for its speakers. It offers support for high resolution audio including Dolby Atmos, as well as delivering the latest feature and security updates.

Will you be considering a Nest speaker or display as your next smart home purchase? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.