Google Nest Audio
Google Nest x Yale Lock
Chromecast with Google TV

5 Best Google Home Devices of 2021

Make your home a Google Home
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Alison Barretta

If you want to build a smart home ecosystem but aren’t keen on the Amazon Alexa world, consider Google Home (also known as Google Nest). Google Home is known to be more intuitive than Alexa and provides the most accurate answers to voice search queries among all smart assistants. 

Want to turn your home into a Google Home? We’ve put together a list of the five best Google Home devices, taking into account user reviews, special features, and typical reasons why consumers would buy a smart device, such as media streaming and home security. 

5 Things to Know about Google Home Devices Before Making a Purchase:

  1. Price: Google Home devices are competitively priced, but it’s always best to have a budget in place to avoid overspending on features you don’t want or need.
  2. Google Ecosystem: If you frequently use other Google services like Gmail and Google Calendar, your Google Home device can become a bonafide virtual assistant.
  3. Automation: Over 50,000 smart home devices support Google Home, ranging from speakers and video doorbells to thermostats and light bulbs.
  4. Functionality: Use Google Home to streamline your morning routine, play games, learn a foreign language, and of course, search the Web. 
  5. Privacy: Similar to Amazon and its Alexa devices, Google has become more transparent regarding what its smart tech can or can’t do without your knowledge.    

After reviewing the suit of Google smart products, we rank the Google Nest Audio as the best overall Google Home device, a mid-range smart speaker that’ll satisfy Google Home newbies and veterans like. Keep reading for the rest of our top picks, which include an affordable 4K media streaming device and a smart thermostat that only needs a week to learn your routine.

If you find this helpful, you might also want to check out the Best Ring Video Doorbells, Best Home Security Camera System, Best Smart Speakers, Best Alexa Devices and Best HomeKit Devices.

Our Top Picks

See All Top Picks See All
Top Pick
Top Pick
Google Nest Audio
Best Google Home Device Overall

Google Nest Audio

Manufacturer :

  Google

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Doubles as a smart home hub
  • Google Assistant is very responsive
  • Improved sound and design over its predecessor

Cons

  • Touch controls are finicky
  • Harsh treble and weak bass

Product Snapshot

ur choice for the best Google Home device overall, the Google Nest Audio is a solid mid-range speaker that’s an excellent entry point to the Google Home ecosystem. 

The Nest Audio has a 75-mm woofer plus a 19-mm tweeter, boasting fuller and clearer sound than the original Google Home speaker. The built-in Ambient IQ adjusts the volume based on background noise, which is handy if you often stream music or podcasts while doing chores or cooking dinner. The Nest Audio can serve as a smart hub: simply link compatible smart home accessories in the Google Home app for hands-free control of your devices via Google Assistant. Privacy measures include a physical mic-off button and a Guest Mode that hides personal information like contacts and calendars from visitors to your home.

The Google Nest Audio is an improvement over its predecessor in every way, from richer sound to a subtle pebble-like design that comes in five colors. Despite the upgrades, it still falls short when it comes to providing balanced audio and intuitive touch controls. However, between the minimalist Nest Home Mini and the premium, feature-laden Nest Hub Max, the Google Nest Audio is a happy medium that’ll suit first-time Google Home users.

Specs

Dimensions
6.9 inches x
4.9 inches x
3.1 inches
Material
Enclosure: 70% recycled plastic
(Fabric, Housing, Foot, Small Parts)
Finish Type
Plastic, etc
Special Features
Built-in smart home hub
Ambient IQ sound adjustment
Privacy settings and Guest Mode

Where to Buy

Splurge
Splurge
Google Nest x Yale Lock
Best Google Home Smart Lock

Google Nest x Yale Lock

Manufacturer :

  Google

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Use Google Assistant to lock the door
  • Plays nice with other Google smart tech
  • Generate unique passcodes for family and friends

Cons

  • Expensive for what it is
  • Limited compatibility outside of Google 

Product Snapshot

The Google Nest x Yale Lock is a Google Home-compatible smart lock that features a keyless design and seamless integration with other Google devices via the Nest Connect bridge (included). 

Instead of a key, you’ll access this smart lock via a keypad. You can set up unique passcodes for family members and guests to use, which eliminates the hassle of having to hand off or hide spare keys. Use the Nest or Google Home app to remotely lock your door and receive alerts whenever someone tries to tamper with the deadbolt. You can even link a Nest video doorbell or camera to the Google Nest x Yale Lock and create a total smart home security setup. (You can also connect the smart lock to a Google Nest speaker for real time updates.)

One caveat here is smart home compatibilityor lack thereof. The Google Nest x Yale Lock works wonderfully with other Google-made tech, especially with the recent addition of Google Assistant voice commands to lock the door and check whether it’s locked. However, if you largely subscribe to Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit, you’ll lose access to the majority of the Google Nest x Yale Lock’s benefits. Thus, we recommend this smart lock for homes that are deeply rooted in Google’s ecosystem.

Specs

Dimensions
4.6 inches x
2.6 inches x
0.8 inches (outside)
7 inches x
2.8 inches x
2 inches (inside)
Material
Brass
Metal
Finish Type
Polished
Special Features
Keyless Design
Remote Lock/Unlock
Works with Nest Cams and Doorbells

Where to Buy

Best Value
Best Value
Chromecast with Google TV
Best Google Home Streaming Device

Chromecast with Google TV

Manufacturer :

  Google

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Comes with a voice remote
  • Personalized content recommendations
  • 4K HDR streaming at an affordable price

Cons

  • Google TV interface occasionally lags
  • 4K content not available on every app

Product Snapshot

We recently crowned the Chromecast with Google TV as the best streaming device you can buy. It packs a lot of functionality into its small form at an affordable price. 

This version of Google’s popular streaming device includes a voice remote, but you can also link a Google Assistant-enabled speaker to call up shows, movies, and music. The easy-to-navigate Google TV platform does a fine job of aggregating content recommendations based on your viewing history so you can get right back to bingeing your favorite series. As for video and sound quality, Chromecast supports 4K HDR streaming along with Dolby Atmos audio, which is impressive for a streaming device at this price range. Potential cord-cutters will be pleased to know that Chromecast supports live TV through YouTube TV and Sling TV (subscriptions required for both).

Chromecast with Google TV is an easy and affordable way to bring more 4K content into your home (It recently added Apple TV to its lineup.) However, it’s still somewhat inconsistent as 4K streaming isn’t available for every app, and the Google TV interface itself is sometimes prone to lagging.

Specs

Dimensions
6.4 inches x
2.4 inches x
0.5 inches (device)
4.8 inches x
1.5 inches x
0.7 inches (remote)
Material
Plastic
Finish Type
Plastic
Special Features
Voice Remote
Live TV Support
Personalized Home Screen

Where to Buy

Best Google Home Thermostat

Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)

Manufacturer :

  Google

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Compatible with 95% of HVAC systems
  • Hands-free control via Google Assistant
  • Learns heating/cooling routines in a week

Cons

  • Remote sensors sold separately
  • Nest’s most expensive thermostat

Product Snapshot

The third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat is the Google-owned company’s most ambitious offering yet, adding several new features while maintaining its learning capabilities.

The most noticeable change here is a larger, sharper display than previous Nest thermostats. It’s also compatible with more HVAC systems than its predecessors and will monitor your heating and cooling systems and alert you of any potential maintenance issues. And of course, as its name implies, the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn your routine and adjust its heating/cooling schedule within the span of a week, with no additional programming required. (In the rare moment you must adjust the temperature, you can do so via the Nest app or a Google Assistant-enabled speaker.)

The latest Nest Learning Thermostat is not only simple to use, but it also has a sharp, intuitive design that comes in multiple finishes. In addition to Google Assistant, the Nest Learning Thermostat also works with Amazon Alexa devices, although it’s incompatible with Apple HomeKit. Unsurprisingly, Nest’s top-tier thermostat commands a premium asking price, but it’s well worth the investment for this mainstay on most best smart thermostat lists.

Specs

Dimensions
3.3 inches x
3.3 inches x
1.2 inches
Material
Metal
Finish Type
Polished Steel
Special Features
HVAC Monitoring
Remote Control via App or Voice
Automatic Temperature Adjustments

Where to Buy

Best Google Home Smart Lights

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit

Manufacturer :

  ‎CQMTO
‎CQMTO

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Each bulb features millions of colors
  • Hands-free control with Google Assistant
  • Includes a bridge that can support up to 50 lights

Cons

  • Can get pricey as you expand
  • Programming routines could be easier 

Product Snapshot

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit comes with everything you need to introduce smart bulbsand their wide range of customizationsinto your home.

Included are three color A19 LED smart light bulbs plus a Hue bridge that can manage up to 50 lights. Choose from an astonishing 16 million colors to create the right mood any time, and create lighting schedules based on when you wake up, enter or leave your home, and go to bed. Link a Google Home device to your Philips Hue smart bulbs for hands-free control via Google Assistant, whether you want to dim or brighten the lights or change colors. 

Once you’ve set up your Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit, you can expand it further with additional Hue smart accessories like a dimmer switch or motion sensorall of which are compatible with Google Home devices. This Philips starter kit isn’t necessarily cheap, and adding extra accessories will compound those costs, but it’s still a great introduction to the world of smart lighting.

Specs

Dimensions
2.4 inches x
4.4 inches (bulbs)
12.9 inches x
7.6 inches x
3.7 inches (bridge)
Material
Glass
Finish Type
Glass
Special Features
16 million color choices
Custom light schedules
Voice-activated controls

Where to Buy

Compare

Best Google Home Device Overall
Best Google Home Smart Lock
Best Google Home Streaming Device
Best Google Home Thermostat
Best Google Home Smart Lights
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Doubles as a smart home hub
  • Google Assistant is very responsive
  • Improved sound and design over its predecessor
  • Use Google Assistant to lock the door
  • Plays nice with other Google smart tech
  • Generate unique passcodes for family and friends
  • Comes with a voice remote
  • Personalized content recommendations
  • 4K HDR streaming at an affordable price
  • Compatible with 95% of HVAC systems
  • Hands-free control via Google Assistant
  • Learns heating/cooling routines in a week
  • Each bulb features millions of colors
  • Hands-free control with Google Assistant
  • Includes a bridge that can support up to 50 lights
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • Touch controls are finicky
  • Harsh treble and weak bass
  • Expensive for what it is
  • Limited compatibility outside of Google 
  • Google TV interface occasionally lags
  • 4K content not available on every app
  • Remote sensors sold separately
  • Nest’s most expensive thermostat
  • Can get pricey as you expand
  • Programming routines could be easier 
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
6.9 inches x
4.9 inches x
3.1 inches
4.6 inches x
2.6 inches x
0.8 inches (outside)
7 inches x
2.8 inches x
2 inches (inside)
6.4 inches x
2.4 inches x
0.5 inches (device)
4.8 inches x
1.5 inches x
0.7 inches (remote)
3.3 inches x
3.3 inches x
1.2 inches
2.4 inches x
4.4 inches (bulbs)
12.9 inches x
7.6 inches x
3.7 inches (bridge)
Material
Material
Material
Material
Material
Material
Enclosure: 70% recycled plastic
(Fabric, Housing, Foot, Small Parts)
Brass
Metal
Plastic
Metal
Glass
Finish Type
Finish Type
Finish Type
Finish Type
Finish Type
Finish Type
Plastic, etc
Polished
Plastic
Polished Steel
Glass
Special Features
Special Features
Special Features
Special Features
Special Features
Special Features
Built-in smart home hub
Ambient IQ sound adjustment
Privacy settings and Guest Mode
Keyless Design
Remote Lock/Unlock
Works with Nest Cams and Doorbells
Voice Remote
Live TV Support
Personalized Home Screen
HVAC Monitoring
Remote Control via App or Voice
Automatic Temperature Adjustments
16 million color choices
Custom light schedules
Voice-activated controls

FAQ

Is there a monthly fee for Google Home?

No, Google Home devices are free to use. All you need is a Google account to set up and operate.

Is Google Home the same as Nest?

Nest is the smart home brand acquired by Google in 2014. In 2019 Google rebranded its smart home division to reflect the Nest moniker.

Is Google Home better than Amazon Alexa?

That depends on what you’re looking for in a smart home device. Google Home is smarter and more intuitive but Amazon Alexa has a broader range of skills.