Google has reportedly changed Google Assistant’s white noise audio track, and folks who rely on it to fall asleep are extremely unhappy about it.
Users in the Google Nest community forums are complaining that Google quietly swapped its Assistant’s old white noise track with a new file that is quieter and shorter. “Noticed last night the sound had been changed,” writes the author of the original post. “Sounds like a new file and it’s not only quieter the audio loop is a lot shorter.”
Google wants its Nest devices to be treated as sleep aids — it even introduced a sleep-tracking feature in the Nest Hub last year. Currently, the Nest Hub offers more than a dozen ambient tracks that you can command to help you chill out or fall asleep. They range from general “relaxing sounds” to more specific themes, like a babbling brook. There’s even an oscillating fan sound, which is useful for travelling when you lack an actual fan that offers the same calming effect.
The new white noise track appears to loop every 10 minutes instead of every hour. If they’re not turned off, ambient sounds will continue to play for up to 12 hours.
There is no official changelog from Google on the new white noise ambiance, but it seems different enough that it’s even disrupting children’s sleep routines.
“My toddler has noticed the sound change and now wakes during the night,” a tired parent wrote. “Please revert back to the original noise. It was so much nicer.”
The post calling out the change has gathered more than 150 replies, plus a separate Reddit thread. I’ve reached out to Google to ask whether the company has changed the audio (and why) and will update if I hear back.
One user managed to scrub the original white noise sound and upload it to Google Drive for public use, though it requires a bit of setup beforehand if you wanted to loop it through the night.