How to Use Google Home As A House Intercom System

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

image of Google Home speakers
Google Home speakers can be used to broadcast messages throughout your home.

 Google

The Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max are a series of smart home speakers that work together. Did you know that when you have more than one Google Home speaker in your residence, you can use all of them as an intercom system? Using the Google Home speakers as an intercom lets you send voice messages from speaker to speaker while you are physically in your house.

Hey Google, Broadcast!

These instructions apply to all three types of Google Home speaker if they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and logged into your Google account. The latter is very important, particularly if you want to be able to send messages to your Google Home speakers from your Android phone or Apple iPhone.

Google Home Group
Google Home Group.

Let's say you want to ask your kids to check where the family pet is located.

First, you’ll need to wake up your personal assistant by saying “Hey Google, broadcast” or “OK Google, broadcast”. It’ll respond with “What’s the message?”.

The next phrase you say will be recorded and played over all the speakers on your network whether you have ten Google Home speakers, or just two. It will play back everything you say during the next few seconds, so if you yell, your family will hear it.

Tip: Unfortunately, you can’t target only one of your speakers. For example, maybe you need to wake your teenager but want to let the 8-year-old sleep in. . . sorry, you can't do that.

Your family members can respond by using the “OK Google, broadcast” command from their closest Google Home speaker. Only one person can broadcast at once. Therefore, it’s more of a home-based public address system than a true 2-way intercom, but we think you’ll get used to it.

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

Use Your Phone To Broadcast

If you have the Google Assistant app on your Android phone or Apple iPhone, you can 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.

Note: You can’t broadcast from your Google Home devices to your phone. It’s strictly a one-way conversation, so your family at home will need to call you on their personal phones or use Google Voice to call you back.

Google Assistant with Broadcast
Google Assistant Broadcasts.

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 the 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!”