It's been more than a couple of years since Google added a broadcast functionality to its Home speakers, but the feature was an all-or-nothing approach. You could either send the message to all speakers in a home or none at all. After two limited test rollouts, Google has now finally formally announced the option to broadcast to a single speaker or room, an improvement we've wanted for more than two years. The feature is rolling out on Assistant-enabled speakers and displays around the world, though they must be set to English for now.

To use it, say, "Hey Google, broadcast to [speaker name or room name]," followed by your message (or use one of Google's defaults). This should get that message sent only to the devices you specified, instead of it going off in all rooms, but it might take a while until rollout reaches you — don't try this at night, as you might accidentally broadcast to all speakers and smart displays.

The feature was previously spotted by a 9to5Google reader in June, and our own David Ruddock was able to confirm it too. Back then, neither 9to5's writers nor I could get it to work as intended. For me, saying "broadcast to living room hello" resulted in "to living room hello" being played across my entire house. The "to" part of the command was clearly not being properly parsed. On Reddit, a user reported that out of five people in the same home, only one is able to use this, while the others couldn't get it to work despite saying the same command on the same speaker. This should soon be a thing of the past as the official rollout is now underway.

That was back in February of 2020, when several Reddit users, as well as our tipster Brian, reported that their Google Homes had started telling them that they can broadcast to a specific speaker. This happened after they broadcast a message, at which point the speaker spelled out the tip. Even then, it was a limited rollout and most users, including our tipster, later reported that the feature stopped working.

Spotted again

The post has been updated to include a second limited rollout of this feature, following the one from February 2020.

Google officially announced the feature. We've updated the post accordingly.

  • Thanks:
  • Brian