Can a Google Home stand up to kitchen spills and bathroom sprays?


Best answer: Nope, the Google Home is many things, but waterproof is not one of them. If you want a Google Home you can use in water-prone areas like your shower singalongs or poolside parties, grab a waterproof Google Assistant-powered speaker like the JBL Link 20 instead.

Best Buy: JBL Link 20 ($150)

Drowning on dry land: The abusive history of my Google Home

When the original Google Home was announced back in 2016, I was practically drooling at the prospect of owning one. Most people were trying to figure out what they’d ever need a smart speaker for, but the second I saw that little air freshener, I knew exactly where I wanted my Google Home: in the bathroom, so it could control my music while I showered! The Google Home’s keen microphones could make out commands from across a crowded room, or over the sounds of a shower, and that made it a must-have for controlling my shower songs hands-free.

Back in 2016, if you wanted a speaker with Google Assistant, you had to use a Google Home. Now you have choices.

Of course, the Google Home is not waterproof. The housing of the speaker isn’t sealed enough to prevent water from getting inside; after all, the Google Home has those cute, swappable fabric and metal bases — as well as battery bases like the LOFT base seen at the top of this article. The power adapter also plugs into the very bottom of the unit, meaning that spills in the kitchen or bathroom could seep into the power adapter plug and potentially short out your Google Home, which would be a lousy way to lose a $130 speaker.

After a year and a half of sitting on my bathroom vanity through steamy showers, my Google Home still works, but the mics inside it aren’t quite as accurate at picking up my “OK Google” commands as it was when it was new. Back in 2016, if you wanted a speaker with Google Assistant, you had to use a Google Home, and so that’s what I used, but we have choices today. I use one a JBL Link 20 in the bathroom instead now, retiring my Google Home to my living room and giving it break from the steam.

These days, there’s plenty of Google Assistant speakers on the market, including several that have internal batteries and water resistance, so that they can be used or backing up my shower show tunes sing-along. While smaller speakers like the TicHome Mini are easier to hang on a shower hook to keep your tunes close, the JBL Link 20 boasts a bigger sound and lasts hours longer before it needs to go back on its charger.

Assistant anywhere

Bring Google Assistant to any part of your home, wet or dry!

This tall speaker is more rugged than the Google Home, but it also has a bigger sound and a 6,000 mAh battery for up to 10 hours of portable playpack. The IPX7 waterproof JBL Link 20 can bring Google Assistant to places Google Home cannot, like the backyard, basement, or bathroom.

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November 2, 2018 at 05:04AM