How to use Google Home broadcast as an intercom around the house

This Assistant feature let's you play walkie-talkie

How to use Google Home broadcast

If you've got several Google Assistant speakers dotted around the house - maybe a Google Home Mini upstairs and a Home Max in the living room - you can use them to communicate within the house. Read on to find out what you can and can't do when using broadcast to create a personal intercom system.

Can you use Google Home as an intercom?

You might have seen headlines saying things like 'Google Home is now an intercom'. Well, it is - sort of. You can broadcast a message from one speaker or your phone to all other speakers, and, with a recent Google update, you can now also reply in a two-way conversation.

So, if your flatmate or partner broadcasts that dinner's ready, you can send an audio message (and transcription) back to say you're coming and that's sent to the phone of the person who made the Broadcast. Subsequent replies only play on the speaker you responded from.

If you have a Smart Display, rather than a regular smart speaker, such as the Google Home Hub, there will be a Reply function when it receives a Broadcast.

The Amazon Echo, meanwhile, allows you to Drop In to a specific Alexa device from inside or outside the home or broadcast an announcement from one speaker to all other speakers. Drop In is like a call or two-way intercom and is used for Alexa devices within your app but you can also add friends and family.


How to use Google Home Broadcast to make announcements around the house

How to broadcast using Google Assistant

There's not much extra you need to set up to start broadcasting - most of it will probably have been set up when you got your smart speaker(s).

You just need two or more Google Home speakers on the same Wi-Fi network and with someone's Google account signed in on each of them. Oh, and they can't be set to Downtime via Digital Wellbeing, else it won't play the message. Anyone, including guests, can do a broadcast.

When you do a broadcast, though, it's worth noting that it will play on all speakers that are signed into the same Google account as the speaker you're speaking into - except the one you're speaking into, of course. You can also broadcast from Google Assistant on your phone, whether that's an Android or iPhone - just make sure you have both the Assistant and Home app downloaded and set up, and that do not disturb is off.


Google Broadcast commands to try

If you just want to use your Google Home as a PA system, there are a few ways you can do it.

  • Hey Google, broadcast breakfast is ready.
  • Hey Google, shout breakfast is ready.
  • Hey Google, tell everyone breakfast is ready.
  • Hey Google, announce breakfast is ready.

Google also has a few suggestions on what you could use its Broadcast feature for. For some weird reason, if you use these exact phrases, the message also broadcasts on the speaker you're broadcasting from.

  • Hey Google, broadcast wake up everyone.
  • Hey Google, shout it's time for dinner.
  • Hey Google, tell everyone it's time to leave.
  • Hey Google, announce I'm home.
  • Hey Google, shout sleep time.
  • Hey Google, tell everyone the show is about to start.
  • Hey Google, broadcast I'll be home soon (from Google Assistant on your mobile).

More Google Assistant how-to guides


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