How to get the most out of Google Home using Bluetooth

 

Smart speakers have quickly become commonplace in the consumer tech space, and one of the most popular entries is the Google Home lineup. The Home Mini is an excellent buy for folks that want all of the Google Assistant’s power in an affordable package, the regular Home finds a nice middle-ground between value and sound quality, and the Home Max is an audiophile’s dream.

There’s a neverending list of things you can do with the Google Home, and believe it or not, one of its best features is its expansive use of Bluetooth.

You can use Bluetooth to stream audio from your Google Home to another speaker, send audio from your phone to your Google Home, and even connect your Google Assistant-equipped phone with a Bluetooth speaker to create your own makeshift Home device. If you need a helping hand on how to go about doing all this, you’re in the right place.

How to connect Google Home to other Bluetooth speakers

Although the Google Home Mini sounds quite good considering its small price tag, it can still be easy to wish it had more kick when jamming out to your favorite tunes. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to retain all of the smarts of the Home Mini (or any Home speaker) while amplifying the power of your music.

This is done by connecting your Google Home to another Bluetooth speaker, and the process for doing this is fairly simple.

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Go to the Hamburger menu, and select Devices.
  3. Tap the three dots on the Home speaker you want and choose Settings.
  4. Scroll down and tap Default music speaker.
  5. Turn on pairing mode on your speaker, tap Pair Bluetooth speaker, and select the one you want from the list

You’ll still need to talk to your Google Home in order to issue commands, but music, podcasts, and audiobooks will now play through your Bluetooth speaker instead of the Google Home itself. Responses to questions about the weather, your calendar, traffic, etc. will still play from your Home, but any media will default to the Bluetooth speaker.

If you decide you don’t want to use your Bluetooth speaker any longer, simply go back to the “Default music speaker” tab and choose your Home.

How to connect your phone to Google Home

Google’s Cast technology is used by most apps for easily sending music from your phone to your Google Home, but even so, not every single app has adopted this technology yet. Thankfully, good old Bluetooth still works just fine.

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Go to the Hamburger menu, and select Devices.
  3. Tap the three dots on the Home speaker you want and choose Settings.
  4. Scroll down and tap Paired Bluetooth devices.
  5. From here, choose Enable pairing mode, go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone, pair a new device, and select the Google Home.

With this done, you’ll now be able to see on your phone that it’s connected to your Google Home via Bluetooth.

Alternatively, you can simply say “Ok/Hey Google, Bluetooth pairing” and then jump into your phone’s Bluetooth settings and do it that way.

How to connect Google Assistant on your phone to a Bluetooth speaker

If you don’t have a Google Home but still want the same general experience of owning one, you can sort of replicate this as long as you have a Bluetooth speaker and a phone with the Google Assistant.

Assuming your phone and Bluetooth speaker are already paired with one another, you’ll want to make sure “Ok, Google” detection is enabled on your phone.

  1. Open the Google app.
  2. Tap the three lines on the bottom navigation bar, and go to Settings.
  3. Choose the Voice option and select Voice Match.
  4. Make sure the Say “Ok, Google” any time and Unlock with Voice Match toggles are enabled.

With this setup, you’ll be able to say “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google” at any point to your phone and have the Google Assistant pop up – even if your phone is locked. Once you issue your command, the audio will play through the Bluetooth speaker.

It’s not as seamless as having a legit Google Home, but it’s a process that works and can save a bit of money if you want a Google Home-like experience without actually spending any cash for one.

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