Google Home now lowers the volume of casting audio when using Google Assistant

If you’ve ever tried to ask your Google Home a question when it’s casting audio to a TV or speaker, you’re probably aware that it can have trouble understanding you when the audio is too loud. I’ve run into this countless times, so I’m happy to report that Google is now working to make this a much more seamless operation.

Now, when your Google Home is casting videos or music to a TV or speaker, the Assistant will automatically lower the volume so it can better understand what you’re saying. For instance, if you’re casting a YouTube video to your television from your Google Home and want to ask it a question (such as “turn the volume down”), your TV will lower when you say “Ok Google” and stay at that level until you’re done talking to the Assistant. This feature should now be enabled by default.

Related: How to sign up for the Google Home Preview Program

I’ve been able to make this work on my Google Home running on preview firmware version 97091, though it sounds like some users don’t have access to the feature yet. If you’d like to see if it’s live for you, navigate to the devices section in your Google Home app, and you should see an option called Lower volume when listening.

However, this feature won’t work in all cases. Here are the list of exceptions for when Google Home won’t lower the volume:

  • If you’re casting music on a group of Cast devices.
  • If you started casting content on a TV or speaker using a mobile phone and not your voice.
  • When casting content on an Android TV devices with fixed volume (e.g. Nexus Player)
  • When casting content on a Chromecast built-in speaker or TV, or Android TV running Chromecast firmware version older than 1.25. Here’s how to check your firmware version.
  • For TV shows and movies when playback is done at 5.1 surround sound.

This should make talking to your Assistant much easier. Are you seeing this feature yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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