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Change Nest camera and doorbell audio settings

Google Nest cameras and doorbells let you see and hear what’s happening nearby. You can turn the microphone off or on, change the microphone sensitivity, and set up audio notifications.

Turn the microphone on and off

When the microphone is on, your Nest camera’s microphone picks up sound in the area around your camera. If your camera has event video history or 24/7 video history, your camera’s audio is recorded in your video history as long as the microphone is on. 

When the microphone is off, audio is not streamed or recorded. It is off by default during setup.

If you have more than one Nest camera, you can turn each camera’s microphone on and off independently.

Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, tap your camera.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Audio.
  5. Next to “Microphone,” tap the switch to turn it on or off.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, tap your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Microphone, then tap the switch to turn it on or off. 

Note: When you turn off the microphone, you won’t be able to go back in your video history and turn on sound during times the microphone was off.

Adjust the camera volume (Home app only)

For the following Nest cameras and doorbells, you can adjust how loud your voice is when you speak into your phone with Talk & Listen:

  • Nest Cam (wired)
  • Nest Cam (battery)
  • Nest Doorbell (battery)

For other Nest camera and doorbell models, the camera’s speaker volume is not adjustable, but it should be loud enough to be easily heard by someone near the camera. If you’ll be using Talk and Listen a lot, make sure to install your camera in a place where your voice can be heard.

Note: This setting will not affect how loud the visitor’s voice is in the app when speaking through your camera.

Follow the steps below to adjust your camera’s volume:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Audio.
  5. Under “Camera volume,” drag the slider left or right to decrease or increase the volume of your camera.

Adjust microphone sensitivity (Nest app only)

Cameras with adjustable microphone sensitivity

The following cameras have a manually adjustable microphone sensitivity:

  • Nest Cam Outdoor
  • Nest Cam Indoor
  • Dropcam Pro, Dropcam

If you’re having trouble hearing sounds in your camera’s video stream, or if your camera repeatedly picks up unwanted noise, you can manually adjust sensitivity for these cameras.

Other Nest cameras and doorbells automatically adjust their microphone sensitivity using echo cancellation and noise suppression.

Follow the steps below to manually adjust your camera’s microphone sensitivity:

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Microphone. Make sure the microphone switch is turned on in the app, or you won’t see the “Microphone sensitivity” setting.
  5. Tap Microphone sensitivity then drag the slider to change the mic setting.

Turn audio recording on or off

Here’s what to expect when you turn audio recording off for your camera:

  • Audio will not be saved with your camera’s recorded video. This means that any footage saved in your video history while audio recording was turned off will not have sound.
  • You’ll still be able to get audio in your camera’s live video stream.
  • The app will not send you any sound alerts.

Follow the app instructions for your camera or doorbell below to turn audio recording on or off.

Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, tap your camera.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Audio.
  5. Next to “Audio recording,” tap the switch to turn it on or off.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, tap your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Microphone. Make sure the microphone switch is turned on in the app, or you won’t see the “Audio recording” setting. 
  5. Tap the switch next to “Audio recording” to turn it on or off.

Note: When audio recording is off, you can still listen live, but you won’t receive any sound alerts.

Get alerts when your camera detects sound

Your camera or doorbell can send notifications when it detects certain sounds.

For example, if the doorbell rings or your dog starts barking, you can get an alert even if the activity isn’t in your camera’s view.

Camera alerts

Turn the Talk and Listen tone on or off

With Talk and Listen, you can talk to people near the camera and hear their responses.

To help Talk and Listen conversations flow better, your Nest camera or doorbell can use a tone to let people know when you’re about to speak and again when you’re done speaking. This helps prevent people from speaking over each other.

Note: For both the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor, Talk and Listen works like a walkie-talkie: only one person can speak at a time. If the tone is off, it may make conversations more difficult.

Follow the instructions for your camera or doorbell below to turn the Talk and Listen tone on or off.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, tap your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Talk & Listen tone Nest cam talk listen tone.
  5. Tap the switch to turn the tone on or off.

Doorbell chime settings 

Note: The electronic chime will only work with Nest doorbells that are wired to your home’s doorbell system. Battery-powered doorbells cannot use the electronic chime.

Adjust how long the electronic chime rings (Home app only)

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your doorbell.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Doorbell.
  5. Under “Length of ring,” slide the node left or right to decrease or increase how long the chime plays.
Use Quiet Time to mute the indoor chime

If you don’t want to be disturbed during a certain time, you can use Quiet Time to keep your doorbell chime from ringing when someone pushes the button on your Nest doorbell.

Here’s what you can expect to happen when a visitor rings your doorbell while Quiet Time is on:

  • Your doorbell will make its usual doorbell sound outside, but the chime inside your home won’t ring.
  • If visitor announcements are enabled, your speaker or display will not announce that someone’s there.
  • The app can still send a notification to let you know that someone’s at the door.

Follow the app instructions for your doorbell below to turn Quiet Time on.

Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, tap your doorbell.
  3. Tap More near the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select Quiet Time .
  5. Choose how long you want the indoor chime and visitor announcements to be off for.
  6. Tap Set.

You can always cancel it early by selecting your doorbell in the app and tapping End Quiet Time near the bottom of the doorbell view screen.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, select your doorbell.
  3. Tap Quiet Time Quiet time button.
  4. Select how long you want the indoor chime and visitor announcements to be off for.
  5. Tap Start.

You can always check how much time is left or cancel it early by going back to the Quiet Time setting.

Turn the indoor chime on or off

If you want to temporarily mute your indoor chime for up to a few hours, you might want to use Quiet Time instead. If you don’t want to be disturbed for an extended period of time, you can turn your indoor chime off instead.

Follow the app instructions for your doorbell below to turn the indoor chime on or off.

Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, tap your doorbell.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Doorbell.
  5. Tap the switch next to “Indoor chime” to turn it on or off.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, tap your doorbell.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Indoor chime On/Off, then tap the switch to turn it on or off.

Note: Once Quiet Time has ended, your doorbell will resume its current indoor chime settings.. So if you turn the indoor chime on and then off again while in Quiet Time, the chime will not automatically turn on when your Quiet Time countdown ends.

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