Google Speaker Groups feature that allows users to pair multiple speakers/displays/Chromecasts and cast audio to create surround sound is probably one of the best qualities of the Google Home ecosystem and a good reason to place multiple devices in your household. However, since that Sonos patent fiasco, things got substantially worse and users report that Google Speaker Groups are not working.
For some users, music frequently stops playing for no apparent reason. For others, only certain devices that are part of the group play audio while others remain silent. Add other issues with Speaker Groups, like ghost groups with ghost devices that you can’t control or delete, and the decline of these products probably seems obvious. Luckily, there are some things you can do to fix this.
Table of contents:
- Restart all speakers and sync your devices
- Check the network
- Remove and recreate the speaker group
- Reset the Google Home app
- Keep only speakers in the group
- Reset the devices and set up the speaker group again
Speaker Groups not working when casting
If your Google Home Speaker Groups are not working when casting or issuing a voice command, you can try restarting all speakers (or displays, Chromecasts, etc.). Also, make sure that all included devices are connected to a stable network.
If that does nothing, reset the Google Home app by clearing local data, remove and recreate the speaker group, or reset all devices to factory settings and give it another go. All the solutions were recommended by the Google Home community on Reddit or Google Nest Community forum. If you know of alternative solutions, make sure to share them in the comments below.
1. Restart all speakers and sync your devices
The first thing you can do is restart all devices that are in the group by unplugging them from the power source. Alternatively, you can open each device separately in Google Home, tap on the gear icon to bring Settings, and then select Reboot from the 3-dots menu. Once all devices boot again, say “Sync my devices” to resync all devices in your home. Open Google Home on your smartphone and ensure that all devices from the speaker group are online before casting/issuing a command to play audio on the speaker group.
If that didn’t help, make sure to check the network. Although the Speaker Group reproduction isn’t perfect and it’s Google’s fault, local network issues are quite common.
2. Check the network
If you have a lot of smart devices, you’ll need a good enough router, AP, or mesh setup to make everything work without a hiccup. If you’re sure that your router is well-equipped to deal with multiple smart speakers/displays and a plethora of other network-dependent electronic devices in your home, you can still try some network-related troubleshooting steps.
Here are some network-related troubleshooting steps worth trying:
- All your devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Reboot (restart) your wireless router and your smartphone.
- Switch to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band over 5GHz and try again.
- If possible, use a Static IP address for third-party speakers that are part of the speaker group. You can set that up in router settings.
- Disable the Airtime fairness option in the router, if available.
- Disable router VPN.
- Disconnect some devices you aren’t actively using from the network to alleviate some pressure from the bandwidth.
- Ensure that all devices are relatively close to the router.
3. Remove and recreate the speaker group
If a certain Speaker Group isn’t working as intended, you can try deleting and recreating it from scratch. Have in mind that all devices under a speaker group need to be active. If there’s an inactive device, the group might not work at all and won’t play music/other audio content.
Here’s how to remove and recreate the speaker group in the Google Home app on your smartphone:
- Open Google Home.
- Under Devices, tap on the speaker group and then tap on the gear icon to open Settings.
- Delete the speaker group.
- Now, tap Add+ and select Create speaker group.
- Select the devices you want to use and name the group.
- Tap Save.
- Check if the issues persist.
4. Reset the Google Home app
The Google Home app is frequently at the center of the problems, being the main companion for all smart Google devices and the ecosystem as a whole. Some users suggest that Google Speaker Groups were not working because of the Google Home app and a quick app reset (clearing local data) fixed the issue. You can give it a try yourself.
Here’s how to clear data from Google Home on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Select Google Home.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Clear data and confirm.
- Open Google Home and try casting audio to a speaker group.
Alternatively, you can navigate to the Play Store and uninstall Google Home and then install it again. Or, use an APK to sideload an older version (rollback Google Home) and check for improvements.
On iOS, you should reinstall the app. Just tap and hold on to the Google Home icon, tap Remove App, and then Delete App. Install the app from the App Store after that and check if Speaker Group works as intended.
5. Keep only speakers in the group
In theory, you can use a variety of Google smart devices in the same speaker group. For example, you can combine two Google Home Mini speakers, a Google Nest Hub display, Chromecast (2nd Gen and later), and a Sonos soundbar in the same speaker group for simultaneous audio reproduction. However, some users noticed that adding non-speaker devices and third-party devices (non-Google speakers) into a group causes issues.
For that reason, we recommend using only Google-made speakers for the time being. It seems that the majority of issues started after the legal ruling in favor of Sonos for the wireless speaker technology patent. Since then, the issues started and, for some, they are still quite prominent. Not the user’s fault but it is what it is.
6. Reset the devices and set up the speaker group again
Finally, the only remaining thing that comes to mind is resetting all included devices to factory settings, setting them up anew, and then re-creating the speaker group. You can learn how to reset Google Home/Nest devices on the dedicated Google Support webpage. To set up devices you’ve just reset, open Google Home, then tap Add+, and, under Set up a device, tap New Device. Don’t forget to enable Location and Bluetooth on your smartphone. Follow further instructions and repeat the procedure for all other devices.
Then it’s only left to follow the instructions in step 3 to delete and then recreate a new speaker group in Google Home. Hopefully, you’ll manage to make it work.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions in the comments section below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.