One of the best features of Google Home when it comes to audio is one that I suspect many have not heard of or used. It is called Home Grouping and it allows you to put your Home and Chromecast audio devices into a logical group inside the Home app. Once done, you can give the command to play music on that group and it will play across all of your Home devices. It is a great feature and is easy to setup.
First, make sure you have the latest Google Home app on your phone. Next, make sure that your phone and the Home, and the Chromecast devices you want to add to your group are all on the same network. In other words, you can’t do this while you are on a business trip or on holiday. You have to be home to do it. Finally, make sure all of your Home device and Chromecast devices are turned on so they can be found. With that, let’s get to the How To.
In the Google Home app, tap on the Devices icon in the upper-right corner of the home page. This will show you the list of all of your Home and Chromecast devices on your network. Navigate your way to the first audio device (this won’t work on video-only Chromecast devices, only Audio Chromecast or Home devices) and the tap the overflow menu (the three vertical dots) in the card for that device. The second option on the menu will be Create group which is what you need to tap.
This will open up the group creation page where you can select all of the devices that you want to be in that group. You can also rename the group if you want from the default Home Group. Remember, only audio devices can be selected so if you don’t see your Chromecast connected to your TV on the list, don’t worry. You aren’t suppose to see it. 🙂 Once you have the speakers you want in the group and optionally have renamed it, tap Save.
It will take 5-10 seconds or so to show up but in your Device list in the Google Home app, you will now see a card for your group. On that card, using the overflow menu, you can add or delete speakers from the group as well as delete the group as a whole. If you do that, it will not delete your devices but just this logical group that you have created.
Now that you have created a group, if you are wanting to play music across all of them, you have to give Google Assistant the name of the group instead of a particular device. For example, if I say, “Hey Google, play Enya on Clinton’s Home Group”, then music from Enya will be played across all of the speakers in my group. But, if I say, “Hey Google, play Enya on Office Home” then it will only play on the Google home in my office.
Essentially, you need to replace your group’s name with a particular device name to pause or stop music as well as to skip a track or repeat a track. The same is true for controlling the volume across the group. For example, if I say “Hey Google, turn down the music” and I’m in my office, it will only turn down the volume on the Home in my office. But, if I were to say, “Hey Google, turn down the volume on Clinton’s Home Group.”, it will turn the volume down on all of the devices in the group.
Finally, if you are casting music from an app to your Home group, adjusting the volume in that app will adjust the volume across the speakers in that group. For example, if I’m casting Google Play Music or Spotify from my phone to my group, I can use the volume rocker on my Pixel XL and it will adjust the volume across all the speakers. This is something you’ve been able to do with a single device anyway so you are probably familiar with the functionality. Just know that if you are casting to the group, it will adjust the volume across the group.
By-the-way, when you create a Google Home group, you will see it as a casting option in your audio apps that can cast.
Enjoy this little How To and enjoy having music fill your house across all your Google Home devices.