Do you have a Google Home device? Do you have a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth capabilities, or a music streaming account?
Then you have a ready-to-use (and easy-to-use) speaker, as well as the tools you need to control it.
While usually one thinks of Google Home as a smart assistant ready to take commands and help manage your household, the Google Home can also serve as a humble smart speaker, cranking out tunes in surprisingly good quality for such a compact device.
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How to use a Google Home as a Bluetooth speaker
To use your Google Home as a speaker, first put it in pairing mode. You can do this in two ways:
- Say, “OK Google, Bluetooth pairing.”
- Open the Google Home app on your smartphone, tap the Google Home device you want to pair, and then select “Paired Bluetooth devices.” In this menu, select “Enable Pairing Mode.”
Once you put your Google Home into pairing mode through either of these methods, you can then connect it to your smartphone like you would any other Bluetooth device.
So, on an iPhone:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Select “Bluetooth” in the first group of options.
3. Give your iPhone a moment to search for devices, and then select your Google Home (if you've renamed it, it'll appear with that name) from the “Other Devices” section.
4. The two devices will take a moment to pair. If they won't connect, move the devices closer.
And on an Android:
1. With two fingers, swipe down from the top of your screen.
2. Tap and hold the Bluetooth icon. If it's not on this screen, swipe left to see all your Quick Access options and tap it there.
3. Give your Android device a moment to search for devices. Depending on what phone or tablet you have, you may need to tap a button that says “Pair new device” or “Search for devices.”
4. When your Google Home appears in the list of Bluetooth devices (if you've renamed it, it'll appear with its new name), tap it.
5. The two devices will take a moment to pair. If they won't connect, move the devices closer.
Once you pair your devices, the Google Home will act just like any other Bluetooth speaker and play all the audio your phone, whether it's coming from YouTube, Spotify, Safari, or another app.
How to use a Google Home as a speaker by connecting it to your streaming accounts
You can also connect your Google Home directly to one of your music streaming accounts — this includes services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and more.
When you set up your Google Home, you'll usually be asked to connect to all of your streaming accounts. But in case you weren't, or your decided to skip that step, here's what you can do.
1. Open the Google Home app.
2. On the homepage, select “Settings.”
3. Under the “Rooms, groups, and devices” heading, tap “Add…”
4. In the new menu, under the “Add services” heading, you'll see three options. Depending on what sort of audio you'd like to listen to, select “Music and audio,” “Videos and photos,” or “Radio.”
5. On each screen, you'll be presented with a list of streaming services that your Google Home can connect to. Tap each one you want and log into your account, and then confirm that you want to give your Google Home access to that service.
Once you've done this, you can use your Google Home as a speaker with just a command.
For example, you can say, “OK Google, play Spotify” to hear music from Spotify. You can also get more specific — for example, “OK Google, play 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen on Spotify.”