Google Assistant is the main selling point behind the Google Home, but Assistant can't really help you if there's audio blasting in the background and it can't hear you. To alleviate this, Google Home will now automatically lower the volume of any music or video playing on speakers or TVs that it's casting to when a user is speaking to Assistant.

The idea is simple - to make it easier for Assistant to hear you when you speak to it and for you to more easily hear Assistant when it replies back, Home will now automatically lower volume from casted devices when Assistant is activated. However, it won't work when the following conditions are true:

  • If you’re casting music on a group of Cast devices. 
  • If you started casting content on a TV or speaker using a mobile phone and not your voice.
  • When casting content on an Android TV device with fixed volume (e.g. Nexus Player)
  • When casting content on a Chromecast built-in speaker or TV, or Android TV running Chromecast firmware version older than 1.25. Here's how to check your firmware version.
  • For TV shows and movies when playback is done at 5.1 surround sound.

Google's support page says that this feature is live now, but of Artem's four - yes, four - Homes (one of which is on preview firmware), none of them have this capability yet. But if you do and would like to turn this functionality off for whatever reason, you can do so by following these steps:

  • Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home device.
  • Open the Google Home app.
  • In the top right corner of the Home screen, tap Devices to see available Google Home devices.
  • Scroll to find the device card for the Google Home you'd like to adjust.
  • In the top right corner of the device card, tap the device card menu Settings.
  • Under "Lower volume when listening", tap the checkbox or slide the slider off.

Let us know if you guys are seeing this feature in the comments below.

We're not sure when it happened, but this behavior is now live. Test it out for yourself. Here's a screenshot of the relevant setting for 'Lower volume when listening':