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Google Nexus Q Media Streaming Player Preview

Google Nexus Q Media Streaming Player

Google Nexus Q Media Streaming Player


  • Product Name: Nexus Q Media Streaming Player
  • Manufacturer: Google
  • Review Date: July 03, 2012 09:45
  • MSRP: $299.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Diameter: 4.6 inches (116mm)
  • 2 pounds (923 grams)
  • Die-cast, precision machined zinc bottom housing
  • Injection-molded, interactive balanced top dome with precision bearing and satin touch coating
  • Rotating top dome volume control
  • Capacitive touch sensor for mute
  • 32 RGB perimeter LEDs
  • 1 RGB LED for mute indicator
  • OMAP4460 (dual ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs and SGX540 GPU)
  • 16GB NAND flash memory
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Google Play Music
  • Google Play Movies and TV
  • YouTube
  • Micro HDMI (Type D)
  • TOSLink Optical audio (S/PDIF)
  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Micro AB USB (for service and support)
  • Banana jack speaker outputs
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • 25W class D (12.5 watt per channel)
  • Integrated 35W switching power supply
  • World-ready 50/60Hz 85-265V AC input
  • Automatic shutdown for audio amp supply when not in use

It's been (semi)widely known that Google was getting into the media streaming box business. This week they leaked a page on their Google Play website for the Google Nexus Q streaming media device. The Google Nexus Q is a $299 is a 'social streaming media player' that streams movies and music directly from the cloud to your living room. It runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and comes with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage. It's a lot bigger than it looks in the photos (4.6" in diameter) but is still relatively small. With the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet, you can use the Nexus Q to send high definition content to your television and home theater speakers. Since everything is cloud-based, the Nexus Q promises no downloads waits or syncing - everything is instant.

Since Google's Nexus Q uses the Google Play Music app, you can grab your Android phone and purchase and/or play video and music instantly and even upload up to 20,000 of your own songs for free. And, a nice tip of the hat to Mac and iTunes users, the Music Manager also uploads your iTunes or Windows Media Player library to Google Play so that your collection is available anywhere, anytime.

Nexus Q rear

Thousands of movies and TV shows are available instantly from Google Play on your Nexus Q. You can just browse or search on your phone or tablet and stream whatever you want to watch to your HDTV. The Nexus Q uses either a wired (recommended) or wireless b/g/n Internet connection to connect it to the cloud and it supports Bluetooth. But what's more amazing is that even "guest" users on your network can stream music in your home, provided they have an Android phone or tablet and a connection to your Wi-Fi network. Of course, you can always shut them down and turn off guest mode to override the system.

Nexus Q tablet

The Nexus Q is also flexible in how it outputs audio. For one, Google claims it has an "audiophile-grade" 25-watt amplifier built-in so you can hook your speakers right up to it. But if you want to tie it into an existing system or AV receiver, you can use either optical TOSlink or HDMI as well. Once the system is playing back content, you can raise and lower the volume from your Android phone or tablet... or you can physically  turn the top half of the Nexus Q. To mute the system, you just touch the capacitance-sensitive top LED.

Nexus Q player switcher

Of course, the Nexus Q also has some "bling" to it. 32 LEDs ring the circumference of the player, and they shift and change color in time to the music... kind of like those obnoxious car stereos we love to hate on. Presumably this is all defeatable, and you can choose your favorite effect in the event you want to make the Nexus Q a focal point of your home entertainment system.

You can also use and connect multiple Nexus Qs to zone your house with sound. You just select the devices you want to play music on from within the Google Play apps or YouTube. Google shows the Nexus Q as shipping in 2-3 weeks.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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