By Sam R

Google has implemented a new technology into their smart home speakers. No, I am not talking about their Google Assistant, I am talking about Google Smart Sound technology. As the name implies it is a technology that makes the sound of the speaker better in your room and with the songs you are playing. This technology sets it apart from the Amazon Echo line of speakers and makes the sound better than it would be without the technology.

Is equalization adjustment for rooms necessary?

One of the most important things about a speaker sounding good is the room it is placed in. The furniture, the construction of the room and the materials in it are all-important to how a speaker sounds. In most cases, this is more important than the speaker itself is. You cannot make a bad sounding speaker sound better necessarily but any speaker can sound good in one room and not so good in another. Therefore, room acoustics matter when you are tuning your speakers for your home.

Unless you are an audio engineer, and even if you are, this is not an easy process. What the google home speaker does is listen to a calibrated music file or audio file, it knows what it is supposed to measure from its microphones when it is playing, but when it is different, it can adjust the equalization of the speaker to match a target that is known to sound good.

So when you first turn on the speaker, the system does this and sets the speaker equalization for that speaker. This is called Room Tuning.

Tuning a speaker for a room is important and without it a good speaker can sound bad. This is why the same speaker sounds good in your friend’s house and not so good in your home.

What else effects sound quality?

The next thing that effects sound quality is the type of music that is being played. Rock music is different from Jazz music and they are both different to Classical or Crooners music. So the equalizer to make sure these types of music sound as good as possible should be different with each type of music.

Most phones that have an audio player built in allow you to pick an EQ for each song if you want, but this is manual and tedious. Google has taken this step out of your hands and made it automatic and easy.

Google Smart Sound Technology explained

This is where Google’s Smart Sound Technology comes in. It automatically adjusts for the speaker in the room and it automatically adjusts the EQ again depending on the type of music it is playing.

This is a great use of DSP technology to improve the sound quality of a small speaker. Even the Google Home Max is small when you compare it to a large professional loudspeaker. Thus, by using DSP you can improve the sound of the small speaker. Many companies do this and some even do it to adjust for room acoustics but the cost of the speaker is very high and the technology is complicated. Google has done a good job making it easy. It just happens if you enable it in the app.

Conclusion

This technology makes the MadeByGoogle Smart Home Speakers better than Sonos or Amazon Echo or other small Bluetooth speakers. Google engineers did a good job implementing this technology and had the foresight to see it as important.

If you want, Smart Home Speakers that sound great than you cannot do better than the technology included in the MadeByGoogle Home Speakers. This technology is only available in the Google Home Speaker and the Google Home Max Speaker. The Google Home Mini does not have this technology built into it. Since Google Home Mini is their lowest cost and smallest speaker, I do not see this an issue.

I highly recommend you purchase a Google Home or Google Home Max for your Google Assisted Smart Home and enjoy the music that will be rockin’ your home soon after.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Hi Sam. Thanks for that very informative review. I had no idea it had become so advanced.
    Would you still recommend the Google Home system if all my music is on iTunes on my home computer, which is not an Apple? My smart TV is a Sony with a Sony Home theatre system.

    • Reply

      Hi Greg,
      Thanks for the question. Both the Google Home speakers and the Amazon Echo Speakers do not seamlessly work with iTunes which is a pity and pretty narrow sited by both companies. You can use googles cloud based server for music and upload all your music to it, sync it with iTunes library and play lists but you have to put the music in the cloud and pay for a yearly service from Google. I think the cost is $25 or so per year. Amazon does the same thing. Neither company wants to integrate with a rival. I suspect that in the next year or two this will change but for now you cannot easily do this. You could stream from your computer to google home or Alexa on blue tooth but the voice recognition will not work. If playing your iTunes library is really important to you, Apple is coming out with a HomePod Speaker soon that uses Siri as its AI system that will work with iTunes but HomePod is more expensive than Google Home or Amazon Echo Speakers and they may not have as many 3rd party products that link to their network. Apple is more selective about approving 3rd party devices and they are a year or two late to this game. Sorry for the bad news but right now what you are asking for is not an easy solution.

  2. Chad

    Reply

    I am continually amazed at just how much technology we have that controls our homes. After reading your review, I just wanted to throw out one other way to help control sound in your home.

    If you are experiencing echoes and your walls are bare, then put up some decorations. I know that in one classroom in high school one wall had square pads placed on the wall. I asked and it was explained to me that these pads absorb the sound so it doesn’t echo. That way the teacher could teach effectively.

    Just a suggestion in case the google device doesn’t help with echoes.

    • Sam R

      Reply

      Chad you are right there are many things in a room that can make it difficult to get good sound. Hard Floors, Walls and even large windows all reflect sound and adding any type of soft material to absorb the first sound wave and the reflection is good and it helps. 

      Googles Smart Sound Technology can not help in all situations and an acoustic consultant could really address difficult environments but this new Google Technology sets it apart from other speakers and it is a good thing.

      Your suggestion is a good one and appreciated. You can even use acoustic panels to create great artwork in the room. Check this picture out where a professional did that and it is like WOW…..

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