The original Google Home is dead and we don't need a replacement

Google Home controls
Google Home controls (Image credit: Phil Nickinson/Android Central)

Back at Google I/O 2016, we all got to see Google's answer to the Amazon Echo — a nice looking, fair-sounding, and awfully expensive bit of fabric and plastic called the Google Home.

It was cool because Google Assistant was cool. You could do things like asking about the weather or the current time in some other city, but it also could access your digital Google life and tell you about your calendar, remind you of upcoming events, or even do a web search and read you a condensed version from a Wikipedia page. It was more of a robot assistant than anything we had ever seen before, and it sold really well.

In 2020, that original Google Home is no longer being made and is hard to find through an online retailer unless you're buying used. Unlike other Google products that we actually miss, though, nobody needs to buy a Google Home in 2020 or beyond. That's because Google Assistant has become one of those ubiquitous features that you can find in all sorts of products.

Google Nest Mini sitting on a chair

Source: Nirave Gondhia / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nirave Gondhia / Android Central)

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a standalone smart speaker that has Google Assistant built right in, either. Heck, the Nest Mini is Google's own answer for a cheaper alternative that doesn't suck, and you'll like it every bit as much as you would its older and more expensive cousin. It works exactly the same — plop it on an end table or a counter, talk to it by saying "Hey Google," and it talks back. Or it can play music, podcasts, or even audiobooks.

More: The Best Speakers with Google Assistant

Or you can go the other direction and get a Google Assistant speaker with a display. The Nest Hub (opens in new tab) has a 7-inch display that can show you photos or video (or even a live feed from a smart camera system), and it costs less than the original Google Home did. Now that's what I call progress.

Google Nest Hub Smart Devices

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Heck, there are even all sorts of ways to get the full-blown Google Assistant experience without needing an old product staying on the shelves. Headphones? Check — Sony, JBL, Bose, and even Google itself offer Bluetooth headphones that work seamlessly with Assistant and require no button tapping or fiddling. Premium sound? You betcha, and you'll find companies like Sonos with it's Sonos Beam and Sonos Move ready to give you a better-sounding Assistant than Google's old fabric and plastic models could ever offer.

More: The Best Headphones That Support Google Assistant

None of this means your original Google Home is going to stop working or that you should toss it into a recycle bin somewhere. But if you're looking for a replacement or just want to try the smartest assistant for the first time, you have so many other and better options.

Google Nest Mini Render

Google Nest Mini

It's small, but it still packs the same punch as the original, and even comes in a color to match just about any room.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Ours is great and the perfect fit for the room we use it in where we don't want smaller or bigger or a display. Yes we have many other devices in different rooms so I understand the options.
  • I can understand that we don't necessarily need it, but it will leave a hole in Google's own line up. Neither the Mini or the Nest Hub can compare to the sound output of the original Home.
  • Agreed. The speaker on the Home is far superior than the Nest Hub or Mini, so I'll keep all of them around.
  • We refuse to use Google's garbage. Heck, we randomly won an Amazon Show 8 and even it just sits on the counter as a colorful clock, getting no use for anything else.
  • Such a troglodyte! Google Assistant paired with smart home electronics like lights, outlets, doorbells, thermostats, locks, and TVs is awesome. A speaker is only the start, you need the rest of the items and they will only get better.
  • "Such a troglodyte" Yes, indeed. Bobby is the of the few W8 fanatics still around. His every view is primitive, ill-informed and based on intense bitterness formed by his disgust over MS abandoning the reviled W8.
  • @DRDiver Are you lost Bobby Wade. WC is down the road and to the left. You have often stated your love of W8 and your disappointment in MS as they ran away from that appalling bad OS.
    What the hell are you doing on AC attacking Google?
  • By counter, do mean kitchen? Makes a heck of a timer, if it is there anyway.
  • So then why are you on a blog dedicated to Google platform products?
  • Your opinion in this article is totally off and has a obvious narrow minded, uninformed point of view. Home is not useless as it has MUCH BETTER SOUND than minis or the Hub are capable of providing. They also respond to touch/volume control way better than the Next Minis. I can say this with confidence as we have 2 Google Homes, 3 Hub Displays and 3 minis in our home so I can say this with 100% confidence. The difference in sound quality and decibel level is quite obvious, and is the next step down form Hub Max if you are comparing these products. Also your POV is quite narrow in only looking at these only as personal assistants. Our Google devices are networked around the house and provide music all over the house, operates our Phillip Hue light devices inside and out, and also serves as a central intercom system so there is no yelling around the house so that you can be heard upstairs, downstairs, in the garage or out in the back yard. It is quite a shame that they have discontinued Google Home as it was quite superior to the Nest Minis.
  • "I can say this with confidence as we have 2 Google Homes, 3 Hub Displays and 3 minis in our home so I can say this with 100% confidence." Yeah, but how confident are you in your statement?
  • I agree. Although I've replaced two of my three Homes with display versions (one from Google, one from Lenovo), I still have an original Home in my office, where I'm never going to look at a display. And the sound IS better than that of the Mini. (The Mini is good, but just not as good.)
  • Our Google Homes all have the rechargeable base from Ninety7. We use them out on the patio for parties. The kids take them to the trampoline and jam out while bouncing. We can always call them in for dinner using the Broadcasts too. They're still great and a lot less than the Sonos Move, even including the rechargeable bases. I'd struggle to find a replacement with equal sound. Ditch the Mini, keep the Home, I say.
  • Is this the same Google Home that is still available from Google's store,which is easy to order online and is still in stock so is not dead? The one that shops are still selling because it's still in stock? That one, yes. So... where did you get the idea that it's dead?
  • It'll probably be available until it's sold out.
  • The Google Home is not available via the Google Store. It hasn't been for about two weeks.
  • True enough. It still has a page under the Nest devices, but it says "no longer available".
  • Imagine getting this angry about some product. The writer sounds like the Google Home beat him as a child.
  • I have two of these in my dining room and they sound wonderful as a stereo pair. Especially with the max in the living room and a hub and mini in the kitchen.
  • Did you REALLY need a clickbait title? Saying it's "dead" suggests that it will soon stop working, or has stopped working. A less click-baity title might have been "The original Google Home is no more, and..."
  • 1. The Google Home was meant to compete with the Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo is still available. Third generation. $99. Google doesn't have a product to compete there. 2. Related to #1: the Nest Mini competes with the Echo Dot. The Nest Hub competes with the Echo Show. And Amazon has their own lineup of third party Alexa-powered products. The Google Home Max (and I suppose the Nest Hub Max) competes with the Echo Studio. Some of which support BOTH Alexa AND Google Assistant. But Google DOES NOT have have a device that offers the combination of affordability and GOOD sound. The Echo sounds good enough to be "just a speaker" and Amazon even lists it as a soundbar. Meanwhile, NO ONE would buy a Nest Mini solely on its merits as a speaker. It sounds WORSE than an Anker or Doss Bluetooth speaker that costs half as much. I don't bash Google that much here because unlike some of their other areas - tablets, Chromebooks, Android TV, Android Wear, Android Things, Google Daydream, Google Glass - they weren't "first." (Yes, I list Google as "first" with tablets because Android tablets actually provided such productivity features as expandable storage and ports for peripherals long before the iPad did). Amazon got there first with an outstanding compelling product that was great for their ecosystem. Google had to play catch-up and do so back when Assistant was - like everything else in the Google of that era - just something else to enable their search/ads business instead of a more standalone product AND they had difficulty coming up with a product that "just fit" into their business, technology and market strategy the way that the Echo does for Amazon. If anything Google has done the reverse ... they've gone back and retrofitted all their existing products around Assistant which is the reason why they FINALLY circled back around to Android TV after neglecting it for 6 years (they need a cheap device with an Assistant button on the remote to compete with the Fire Stick) and are putting more effort into making ChromeOS more usable (to compete with the Alexa-powered Fire tablets). So yes, the original Google Home is dead. But people who care primarily about SOUND do need a replacement. Especially since they aren't going to get one from Samsung or LG, who have their own smart home platforms to push. The Nest Home devices are great control panels for your other smart home devices and for YouTube. The Mini devices are good trinket type gadget things when/because they are cheap, and to be honest $50 is too much for such a limited device (they really SHOULD be $35). But if you want something for your Spotify - er Google Play/YouTube Music - playlists your best bet is STILL a Chromecast or Android TV connected to an audio device that is actually capable.
  • If you need Google Assistant and great sound, there are none google alternatives from JBL that work well and sound great.