Listening to white noise is a common method for helping some users slow down and get some sleep but recent changes to the sounds played on Nest-branded smart speakers appear to do anything but that. That’s based on widespread reports detailing a mass of complaints from users on a variety of platforms. Google isn’t one to shy away from change, often rightly so, but this one appears to rub users in just the wrong way.
What did Google change about the white noise played on Nest devices?
The bulk of the complaints can be boiled down to just a few apparent issues. Namely, that the noise is no longer loud enough or that it’s muffled and that the loop for the noise has been shortened.
While the former problem isn’t necessarily a big deal — turning up the volume is easy enough — the latter is likely the primary source of disruption.
The previous white noise sounds used on Nest devices ran on a loop lasting approximately one hour. That’s plenty of time for users to relax without being distracted. But the new audio loop reportedly runs at just ten minutes. Meaning that users are being interrupted by a noticeable restart in the noise. And likely just as they’re beginning to relax enough to fall asleep.
You may need to turn to a third-party app or alternate sounds
Now, the search giant’s smart home division does offer plenty of other relaxing sounds to fall asleep to. For instance, users can ask Nest speakers to play “relaxing” or “nature” sounds. Or users can get more specific, asking for water, a babbling brook, forest, country night, ocean, rain, or river sounds. Thunderstorm noises are also available, of course. And there are even options for an oscillating fan, running water, or a fireplace.
For those who need the original white noise sound, that’s available for download thanks to Redditor Ldrrp. Or, of course, there is a myriad of great white noise generators and sleep helping apps to be found in the Play Store.