In short: A number of Google Home users are experiencing slower response times with Google Assistant when they start with "Ok Google" or "Hey Google". A few staff members of AndroidHeadlines are also experiencing this issue. After some deep-diving, some users are finding out that one or more of the microphones on their Google Home are dead or just not working. And with a microphone or two not working, it makes it tougher for Google Assistant to hear you and wake up for your next command. If you go into the "My Activity" in the Google Home app, you can hear recordings of your commands to Google Assistant. And users are finding that the majority of the recording is static, as you can see (well actually hear) in the YouTube video below.
Background: There are two far-field microphones included in the Google Home (as well as the Mini and Max variants), so when one dies, or is simply not working as well as it was before, it becomes a pretty big deal. These far-field microphones are capable of hearing you from across the room, and even over things like a TV playing. Though with one of the microphones not working, all the Google Assistant is going to hear is static, which isn't a good thing for users.
The impact: What this means is that you're going to have to deal with a slower response time from Google Assistant. Some are saying that the response time is much slower – to the point where they question whether Google Assistant actually heard them. But you also have the option to RMA the Google Home through Google. Though depending on when you bought it, the device may no longer be under warranty. Though that will really only affect the Google Home and not the Home Max or Home Mini. It's an unfortunate thing for the Google Home, but it is a reminder that hardware does fail after a while, and hopefully Google is able to do something to negate this with the next Google Home smart speaker – which could be announced on October 9.