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Troubleshoot sound detection for speakers and displays

Troubleshoot Nest Aware sound detection for your Google Nest or Home speaker or display if you experience the following:

  • Your speaker or display does not detect the sound of a smoke, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking when it occurs. 
  • Your speaker or display incorrectly detects a sound as a smoke, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking.

If your speaker or display didn’t detect a sound

Note: Your speaker or display can’t use sound detection when it’s playing audio. So, if your device plays music or tells you the weather, it won’t be able to detect sounds from smoke, carbon monoxide alarms, or glass breaking.

1. Check that power and Wi-Fi are on

Your speaker or display must be connected to the power source in order to work. If the Wi-Fi is down in your home, your device cannot notify you when it detects the sound of a smoke, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking.

  • Make sure that the power is turned on in your home and that your speaker or display is plugged into a wall outlet. If there are power issues for your home or outlet, contact your energy service provider for assistance.
  • Make sure your speaker or display is connected to your Wi-Fi network. If your device is turned on but still says it’s disconnected, troubleshoot Wi-Fi connection issues.

2. Check that the microphone is turned on

The microphone on your speaker or display needs to be turned on for it to detect the sound of glass breaking, smoke, or carbon monoxide alarms.

You need physical access to your speaker or display to turn the microphone on or off. You can’t use the Home app to change the microphone setting. Your device will tell you when you successfully turn your microphone on or off.

3. Check your device's firmware version

Your speaker or display can't use sound detection if its Cast firmware version is older than:

  • 1.44.199633 for Nest Hub Max
  • 1.44.191160 for all other speakers and displays
  • 1.46.209330 for Google Nest Wifi point

Your speaker or display should update automatically as the new firmware becomes available.

To learn how to check your speaker or display’s firmware version, visit our Google Nest or Home speaker or display firmware versions page.

4. Remove clutter around your device

Your speaker or display may not detect sounds as easily if the area around it is cluttered. Make sure your device is placed on a clear surface. Don't cover or enclose your speaker or display.

5. Place your speaker or display in the same room as the alarm or window glass

Your speaker or display should be placed in the same room as your smoke, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass window. If they’re in different rooms, your speaker or display may not pick up sounds from the alarm or window breaking.

6. Avoid closed doorways that block sound from the alarm to the device

If your device and smoke or carbon monoxide alarm are in different rooms, you should keep doors and entryways in between the rooms open. That way, the sound from the alarm is not blocked from your device’s microphone as much.

If your speaker or display incorrectly identifies a sound

1. Move your device away from other things that sound like alarms or glass breaking

Things that sound similar to a window breaking, a smoke, or carbon monoxide alarm may be detected by your speaker or display and cause false notifications.

  • If you drop a plate or drinking glass in your home, your speaker or display might detect the sound it makes as a window breaking.
  • Something that plays a loud, high-pitched sound for an extended period of time (like an alarm clock or timer) in your home may be detected as a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Loud outdoor noises like security alarms on cars or back-up beepers on trucks may be detected as smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

To fix the issue:

  • Move your speaker or display away from the source of the false alert.
  • If the sound comes from outside, consider to close your windows in the room your device is in.

2. Turn off sound detection for a specific device

If moving your speaker or display doesn’t help, you can turn off sound detection in the Home app.

Note: To turn off sound detection notifications for Nest Hub Max’s camera, use the Nest app.

Turn off sound detection in the Home app

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Settings  on the home screen.
  3. Choose Nest Aware.
  4. Select Sound detection.
  • If you want to turn off sound detection for your home, toggle the switch next to Sound detection.
  • If you want to turn off sound detection for a specific device, look under “Devices,” then toggle the switch. 
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