If you’ve been eyeing a multi-room Sonos, you might want to hold off. Google Home has a new trick up its sleeve that can turn any old Bluetooth speaker into a connected part of a multi-room audio setup.
The feature is part of a new software update that brings Bluetooth connectivity and control to the Google Home family of devices — i.e., the Google Home, Google Home Mini, and the Google Home Max.
Once tethered to your Google Home, you’ll be able to ask Google Assistant to play music on your other speakers either by itself or part of a larger group.
The trick here is that Google Home devices are just using Bluetooth to funnel music from its connected streaming services to the Bluetooth speaker. Which means your speaker needs to be on at all times to receive the music and it doesn’t necessarily imbue the Bluetooth speaker with Google Assistant’s intelligent voice recognition software, obviously. If you want to make a request to change the song, you’ll have to be within shouting distance of the Home.
It’s a Google House Party!
Despite a few quirks with the system, this is still a major upgrade for the Home, enabling you to form multi-room systems piece-by-piece with old Bluetooth speakers at a far cheaper price than a Sonos system.
So, when can you get your multi-room Google house party underway?
According to a Google spokesperson, the update is rolling out now with some speakers getting the functionality before others. (Read: Not ours for some reason.)
Oh, and if the idea sounds familiar, it might be because Amazon already offers this function through its Amazon Echo speakers.