Google Nest Audio – REVIEW

The Google Nest Audio was revealed back in October and we have been testing it recently. It is larger than the original Google Home and feels more sturdy.

When revealed, the Nest team stated that the speaker is 75 percent louder and 50 percent more bass and I can confirm that it is definitely louder and the bass is certainly stronger. It is quite a subtle speaker, blending into the background on a side table. The speaker is fitted with a 19mm tweeter, 75mm woofer and Quad Core A53 1.8 GHz processor allowing for a smarter assistant that makes the whole hands-free experience an experience like no other.

There are no physical buttons on the front of the device, there is the microphone mute switch at the back. The speaker has three capacitive buttons on the top for volume and play/pause. In testing, these buttons were only used once or twice as speaking to the device had the same effect and could be done from across the room. As with other Google audio products, the Nest Audio works perfectly as part of a pair or if you have multiple products (Home mini etc) you can have a smart home with music in multiple rooms.

When listening to Rosa Parks by Outkast and Exogenesis Symphony Part III by Muse, the tracks are clear but nothing that truly shouts above the rest of equally sized speakers. You won’t be disappointed by the sound if you use it as a background speaker, filling the room with sound when doing other things like cooking or relaxing, but if you want bassy, party levels, you might want to look elsewhere.

If you are a smart speaker fan, wanting to have a speaker that has crisp sound but also has the benefit of having Google Assistant embedded this is a must have, especially for the price. However, if pure sound is what you are after, there are some better options out there. Think JBL, Sonos or Bose.

REVIEW: JBL Flip 2

JBL Flip 2 box and speaker
JBL Flip 2 box and speaker

In the market for a bluetooth speaker? look no further. JBL have the answer with their speaker known as the Flip 2.

Like most modern gadgets, the Flip 2’s packaging is minimal, the box simply contained the speaker and its sturdy neoprene carrying case. Upon further inspection, the carrying case held the charger and instructions to the bluetooth speaker. To be fair JBL could have done without the instructions. It’s that easy to use. Press the on/off button on the side of the speaker, hit the bluetooth button and pair with your device and bang! you are ready to go.

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I am one of those difficult people who decided to run an Android phone whilst all my other tech is an Apple product.  This tends to bring about connectivity problems. The JBL Flip 2 has had no problems whatsoever, seamlessly connecting to my phone, Macbook and iPad.

What is great about this little speaker is that you can stand it up or lie it down depending or where you want to place it. six inches in height and crafted in beautiful metal and white rubber, it is very easy to mistake the design as part of the new Apple Mac family which is a compliment in its own right.

Another trick it pulls out of the hat, is that this speaker is also a speakerphone, great for an office or simply if you don’t want to hold your phone to your ear as you go about your business.

Testing it with two tracks, Outkast’s Rosa Parks and Muse’s Symphony part 3 where both tracks offer completely different levels of bass, treble and mid tones, the Flip 2 worked wonderfully for such a small speaker. At the beginning of Rosa Parks, there is a faint beat which is normally lost on headphones and some speakers however the JBL worked wonderfully. This speaker sounds a lot larger than it actually is and can compete with some of the top end speakers out there.

The downside that I have found with this speaker, is the battery life. It lasts 5 hours which is great but depending on the volume that figure may drop. I have found if you can plug it just do that and leave the wireless playing for when you really need it.

So go try it out and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Spec Sheet:

Transducers: 40mm x2

Amplifier power: 2x6w

Frequency response: 100Hz – 20KHz

Signal to noise ratio: 80dB

Input connections: AUX/ Bluetooth

Battery: 5hrs listening time

Charge time: 3 hours by adapter