How to Use Google Home as a House Intercom System

Your Google Home isn't just for music, news, and checking the weather

What to Know

  • From the nearest Google Home speaker, say, "OK Google, broadcast." It will say, "What's the message?"
  • Speak your message. It will be recorded and played over all the Google Home speakers on your network.
  • Use the Google Assistant app on your Android or iPhone to broadcast messages to all Google Home devices on your Google account.

This article explains how to use your multiple Google Home speakers as an intercom system in your house using the "OK Google, broadcast" command. Instructions apply to Google Home, Mini, and Max smart speakers connected to the same Wi-Fi network. We also include instructions on using your Android phone or iPhone to broadcast.

Hey Google, Broadcast!

In this example, we'll use the "OK Google, broadcast" command to ask the kids to check where the family pet is located. You'll need to be logged in to your Google Account to use this command.

  1. Wake your personal assistant by saying “Hey Google, broadcast” or “OK Google, broadcast.” It’ll respond with “What’s the message?”

  2. Speak your message. For example, say, "Kids, have you seen the dog?" Your message will be recorded and played over all the Google Home speakers on your network.

    The broadcast will play back everything you say during the next few seconds, so if you yell, your family will hear it.

  3. Your family members can respond by using the “OK Google, broadcast” command from their closest Google Home speaker.

    Only one person can broadcast at a time.

  4. If your Google Home is playing music or news, saying "OK Google, broadcast" will mute the audio while you're talking to the speaker. It will also interrupt any music playing on the other speakers in your home. This way, your message won't be competing with whatever your family is listening to.

Unfortunately, you can’t target only one of your speakers. If you want to communicate with a specific device, you'll have to set up Google Duo.

Person in kitchen broadcasting to another person in the home
Michela Buttignol / Lifewire 

Use Your Phone to Broadcast

If you have the Google Assistant app on your Android phone or Apple iPhone, ask Google to broadcast messages to all of the Google Home devices connected to your Google account. You don’t even have to be connected to your home Wi-Fi to use this function.

How to Set Up Family Broadcast

If you create a Google Family Group, you can communicate with everyone in your household wherever they are. Just give a command like “Hey Google, tell my family we're having dinner at six.” They can then respond back from any device with the Google Home app, even including their phones.

To set up a Google Family Group:

  1. In the Google Home app, tap your profile icon in the upper-right corner.

  2. Tap Assistant Settings.

  3. Tap You under Popular Settings.

    Profile icon, Assistant settings, and You highlighted in Google Home app
  4. Tap Your People.

  5. Tap Create Family Group.

    Your People and Create Family Group in Google Home app

You can also set reminders using the Family Bell feature and have an alarm play across all your devices.

Fun Canned Announcements to Try

You can use certain key phrases to let Google Assistant speak the announcement instead of using your voice. For example, “Hey Google, broadcast dinner is served!” will sound a virtual dinner bell and announce dinner time to your family.

Using canned responses is a great way to avoid having to use your own voice for repeated announcements. Try saying “It’s time for bed” and “wake up everyone” right after you say "Hey Google, broadcast." When you're in the car on the way home, try using the canned phrase “OK Google, broadcast I’ll be home soon!”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my Google Home devices talk to each other? Your devices don’t connect directly to each other. Instead, the devices communicate through the Nest service. For example, when one device detects an intruder, it sends an alarm to the Nest service, which then turns on your security camera and streams the video to your phone.
  • Can I talk room to room with Google Home? When you want to drop in on a single Google Home speaker, connect Google Duo to your Google Account. With Google Duo, you can use your smartphone to call any of your Google Home devices. When the device rings, someone must answer the call before you can talk through the device.
  • Can I play or broadcast music on multiple Google Home devices? Yes, but first, you must create a speaker group in the Google Home app. Then, to use your voice to stream music from your Chromecast-enabled apps, say, for example, "Play classic rock on speaker group."
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