Another day, another Nest bug. Customers are complaining that their Nest Doorbell and Nest Cam’s two-way audio feature called “Talk and Listen” doesn’t work well with Samsung phones. While incoming audio works well, outgoing audio is too quiet for visitors to understand.
Two-way audio is an extremely important feature for smart doorbells and outdoor cameras, especially during a global pandemic. It allows you to respond to strangers, friends or family who are at your doorstep, even if you are not at home.
So it’s easy to imagine why this is such a frustrating problem. Several users on a Google support forum said they wanted to return their affected Nest products because “Speak and Listen” was one of the features they were most interested in.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure a fix will come any time soon. This problem dates back to at least 2019, and while I can’t verify it, some customers claim they first reported the bug in 2017. A Google rep acknowledged the issue in an October 2021 thread, but couldn’t say to affected customers that “we are still collecting data on this issue.”
We don’t know what’s causing the problem, although all Nest Cam and Doorbell models are affected, including newer battery-powered units. And although some Samsung phone owners say that “Talk and Listen” works well with their device, it seems that all Samsung phones are vulnerable.
So what can customers do if Nest two-way audio is too quiet on their Samsung phone? Normal troubleshooting steps, like formatting your devices, don’t seem to work. So, the Google support representative suggests using another device for “Talk and Listen” until the issue is resolved. (Not the most helpful suggestion, I know.)
We contacted Google for a comment on this story. I will update this article if the company responds or if new information comes to light. (Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your Nest products aren’t working properly with your Samsung phone.)
(h/t) Simon and other Nest customers struggling with this issue.