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Google Home Re-Adds Simultaneous Control for Multiple Speakers

Google has re-enabled the ability for Google Home users to control the volume for multiple speakers or devices at once using the app for Android or voice via Google Assistant, reintroducing a feature that the company took away in the wake of a legal battle with Sonos.

Additional ways to access Group Volume Control are on the way, Google says in a blog post. One of which is directly on an Android smartphone lock screen and smart displays like the Google Nest Hub.

The change appears to be related to the Sonos lawsuit in which the speaker manufacturer accused Google of using patented smart-speaker technologies without Sonos’ consent.

A jury in June 2023 ruled in favor of Sonos, ordering Google to pay the company $32.5 million for patent infringement, but a judge last October reversed that decision, ruling that Sonos’ patents in question were not enforceable.

Upon that reversal, Google said it reversed a change it made where certain devices can only belong to one speaker group at a time in the Google Home app. The company cited the recent decision.

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Google first changed the Speaker Group functionality in January 2022, forcing users to adjust each speaker individually instead of using the group volume controller.

Users can now control group speaker volume in the Google Home app or by using their voice with Google Assistant.

Here’s more from Google:

In the Google Home app for Android

Open the app.

Start a playback session.

Tap on the mini-player.

Tap on the output selector and add/remove speakers dynamically or select from one of your preset Speaker groups.

You can now control the volume for the selected devices at once.

Using voice commands

You can also use your voice with Google Assistant to play music and control the volume for the entire Speaker group.  For example, just say “Hey Google, turn it up” (volume increases by 10%) or “Hey Google, set volume to 40%.”

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