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Your smart speaker will soon be able to talk over your shouting kids

Nest Mini and Nest WiFi
Nest Mini and Nest WiFi (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Nest speakers will automatically adjust the volume and EQ of things like podcasts and audiobooks based on the room noise.
  • All of the adjustments will be made on the device without the need to send any info to the cloud.
  • The Ambient IQ feature will be rolling out to Nest Mini, Nest Wifi, Nest Hub, and Nest Hub Max starting today.

If you've ever been at home listening to your favorite podcast and had to constantly adjust the volume because the kids keep coming in and out of the room making all sorts of noise — then you feel my pain. Thankfully so has Google, and they are introducing Ambient IQ to the Nest family of speakers to help solve this problem.

In a post on the support page for the Google Nest, Google explains how Ambient IQ will change not just the volume but also the EQ of spoken media based on the sound in the room. Much like how Ambient EQ automatically adjusts the brightness and temperature of your photos on Nest Hub devices. While listening to something like a podcast or an audiobook you can set the ideal volume level and then your Nest speaker will listen to the ambient sounds in the room and adjust the output accordingly.

Using the onboard microphones, your Nest speaker will change not only the loudness but also other key frequencies of your audiobook to ensure you can best hear the vocals over the TV, vacuum, or other noise — arguing siblings. All of these adjustments are made on the device so that none of the sounds being taken in are going to the cloud.

The new Ambient IQ only adjusts spoken word audio and not music. While at times the music automatically adjusting volume around additional noise could be beneficial, you may not want that to happen — like if you have the music on for background purposes at a social gathering. This new feature is rolling out to Nest Mini, Nest Wifi, Nest Hub, and Nest Hub Max starting today.

Chris Wedel
Senior Editor - Smart Home
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.