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Google Home update leaves some speakers unusable

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Nathan Ingraham/Engadget

Smart speakers' frequent under-the-radar updates are usually convenient, but they're creating a lot of headaches for some Google device owners. Google has confirmed that it's fixing a problem with firmware updates that have bricked Home and Home Mini speakers. Some people have had success by temporarily unplugging the power cable or performing a factory reset, but others haven't been so lucky -- numerous owners have reported that their devices are completely unusable. If you're affected, you'll see the speaker's four lights stay lit.

This doesn't appear to affect the Home Max, displays like the Home Hub or Nest-branded speakers.

It's not clear when there might be a fix. However, it's a serious problem for those unfortunate owners affected by the glitch. While it's a relatively minor hassle to get a speaker replaced under warranty, many Home and Home Mini devices are out of warranty. You might be forced to pay for a replacement even though Google is responsible for knocking your speaker out of commission.

The good news is, Google is replacing affected devices regardless of whether they're in and out of warranty until the fix is issued.

Update (at 11:48 p.m. ET on 10/22/2019): This post was edited to clarify that Google will be replacing affected devices regardless of whether they're under warranty.