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Google Launch “Best Chromecast Yet” & ‘Nest Audio’ Smart Speaker

Google has launched two new additions to its home entertainment range, comprising its “best Chromecast yet” and the ‘Nest Audio.’ The new smart speaker claims to be 75% louder than the original Google Home.

The ‘Chromecast with Google TV’ (A$99) pledges an all-new Google TV entertainment experience, and boasts a radical revamp of its internal and external design.

The product is available to pre-order locally from today, and will land at retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, OfficeWorks and The Good Guys from October 15.

‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sky’ colour options will be exclusively sold via the Google Store.

The HDMI dongle accompanies a physical remote control – it’s “most requested feature” – and offers a full smart TV interface, similar to that seen on other Android TVs.

The next-gen dongle supports 4K HDR (up to 60 frames per second) and Dolby Atmos, with the remote control offering voice command functionality via Google Assistant.

Using voice commands, users can query the weather, control smart home products (e.g. smrt lights), request assistance for something to watch, play their favourite artist via YouTube Music, and more.

The remote boasts dedicated buttons to YouTube and Netflix, with programmable buttons to control TV volume, input and power.

The product still operates as a traditional Chromecast receiver (for casting media and photos), whilst offering access to a variety of apps and video streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Disney+).

Users will gain access to 400,000+ movies and TV shows, and can query Google Assistant to see results across several apps (e.g. YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Stan, 9Now and ABC iview, among others).

Nest Audio

The new Nest Audio smart speaker pledges robust sound, and is capable of being positioned as the centre of a user’s home sound system when connected to a Google Home, Nest Mini or Nest Hub.

The Nest Audio is available to pre-order in Australia for $149, and will land at retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Officeworks and Vodafone from October 15.

The smart speaker claims to be 75% louder and offer 50% stronger bass than the original Google Home.

A custom designed tweeter and optimised grill offer music playback without distortion, whilst minimising the use of compressors to preserve dynamic range.

A Media EQ feature prompts the Nest Audio to automatically tune itself to whatever is being listened to (e.g. podcasts, music), with Ambient IQ adjusting volume according to background noise in the home.

Users can engage with multi-room control to dynamically group multiple cast-enabled Nest devices in real-time.

The product boasts an even faster Google Assistant, and users can also it to offer a variety of music choices based in personal genre preference and other recommended options.

Further information and full product specifications are available on Google’s Blog here.