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Smart Home

How to lower the volume of Cast devices when talking to Google Home

Sometimes Google Home can't hear you when you're casting to a Chromecast or speaker. A new feature fixes that.

One of Google Home's ($129 at Jet.com) best features is how well it interacts with other Google products. Specifically, it works really well with Chromecast, allowing you to power on any TV or stream your favorite movies or shows on Netflix or using just your voice.

There's a problem, however. If your TV or speakers are just loud enough, Google Home can have trouble hearing your commands.

Fortunately, Google recently rolled out a new feature to address that particular issue. Here's how to use it.

Lower Cast audio when talking to Google Home

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Sarah Tew/CNET

When the noise level of a room is extra high, like when you're watching a movie or streaming music, Google Home can definitely have trouble hearing the wake word. But usually, if you say it loud enough, you can get the speaker to hear the short wake phrase. In that specific scenario, the real problem lies with what you say after the wake words. Movie or music audio can jumble your commands, making it difficult for Google Home to understand what you're saying.

However, if that music or movie happens to be playing through a Chromecast device, you will notice them acting differently in the future -- if you haven't already.

The new feature is called Lower volume when listening, and it does exactly what you'd expect. After you say the wake word, the volume of the Cast devices will be lowered while Google Home listens to your command. Once you're finished with your command, the volume goes back to normal.

You will, however, still have to speak the wake work loud enough for Google Home to hear you. So if your Cast volume is too high to begin with, the new feature still may not help.

The setting is toggled on by default, but if you find the functionality to be disruptive, you can disable it.

  • Open the Google Home app on iOS or Android.
  • Tap the Devices button in the top right corner or tap the hamburger button in the top left and select Devices from the list.
  • Tap the action overflow button (three dots) in the top right corner of the card for your Google Home and select Settings in the dropdown menu.
  • Scroll down and tap on Lower volume when listening to uncheck it.

With the feature disabled, when you speak to Google Home, the volume of Chromecast devices will remain the same like it always has.

It's important to note that this feature currently has several limitations:

  • It doesn't work when you're casting to a group of Cast devices.
  • If you started casting using anything other than Google Home, such as your phone or computer.
  • It won't work when casting with Android TV devices with fixed volumes.
  • It doesn't work when casting using a TV or speaker with Chromecast built in and running a firmware version older than 1.25.
  • It's not compatible with movies or TV shows that use 5.1 surround sound.