Operating The Speaker
With the Sony you can use hand gestures to activate Google Assistant. So waving your hands a certain way is the same as saying ‘OK Google’. Other hand gestures will do skip, play or pause.
Not entirely sure how useful these gestures are going to be. The gestures need to be done in a certain way, and it may be more difficult to operate intuitively when you turn off the clock. With the display off you have to rely on where the power cable is to to gesture the right way. Perhaps this will be useful for some (e.g. the kitchen, or if you want to stop the player quietly). In most situations I’d prefer to use voice control over gestures.
Adjusting volume on the Sony is done the same way as Google, rotating your finger clockwise or counter clockwise on top of the speaker.
Never ever struggled with adjusting the volume on my Google Home. Unfortunately I am finding it extremely hard and frustrating to adjust the volume on the Sony.
You know where the circle is on the Google Home speaker because that’s where the notification LEDs are. Not so on the Sony. Do not understand what the problem is but there appears to be a lag when adjusting volume. I either cannot find where the circle is, or it’s not responding properly. Often it’d takes me multiple attempts to adjust the volume this way. The frustrations piled up and ultimately I have given up and fallen back to using my voice for volume control instead.
Perhaps with a bit of experience or technique I can get it to work. Hopefully Sony will release a firmware update to make this easier.
The one thing Sony did better over Google is the “I’m Listening” indicator. Sony uses a 4 LED array located just above the clock. This allows me to know quickly whether the Sony speaker caught my voice commands or not.
I like to mute the microphone when I want some privacy. The mute button is placed at the back of the speaker (Google Home too). Sony could have placed this button at a more prominent spot, unfortunately they did not.