Nest Talk and Listen Is Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips

Indoor nest camera on table with booksIndoor nest camera on table with books

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Nest cameras and Nest Hello doorbells allow you to Talk and Listen through them using the Nest app on your phone, tablet or computer. As a big fan of Smart Home products and DIY troubleshooting, I have learned a lot of information about how to fix the Nest Talk and Listen feature if it isn’t working properly. 

Troubleshooting tips vary depending on the Nest device and the particular issue a user is having with the Talk and Listen feature. The main issues that users seek help with are not being able to hear audio on either end of the conversation and delayed audio. 

To guide you through the troubleshooting process, I have shared everything I know about how to solve each common Talk and Listen audio issue based on the type of device you have. There are also several other features of Nest cameras and doorbells that you may be interested in. 

Troubleshooting Tips for Nest Talk and Listen

The first step to troubleshooting is to make sure you are using the Talk and Listen feature correctly. 

The Nest Cam Indoor and Cam Outdoor function similarly to an intercom in that you cannot talk and listen simultaneously. After you press the “Talk” button and say your message, you must press the “Done” button before the recipient of your message can reply. The recipient will hear a chime before you begin speaking and again when it’s their turn to reply. 

The Nest IQ cameras and Nest Hello doorbell work more like a phone where you can talk and listen simultaneously. Simply press the “Talk” button to begin a conversation. The person on the other end will hear a chime. Talk and Listen freely, and press the “Talk” button again when you are done. 

People Can’t Hear You Through the Nest Cam 

Confirm the audio input source of the device you are speaking to. If your phone, tablet or computer is connected to a Bluetooth speaker or headset, make sure you speak directly into that device. 

The speaker volume on Nest cameras is not adjustable, so be sure to install your camera or doorbell in a place where people can stand close enough to easily hear it. 

If the person you are speaking to is standing close to your Nest device, and they still cannot hear you, check your cellular and/or Wi-Fi connections. The talking and listening devices both need to have stable connections. Here are some tips to fix an unstable Wi-Fi connection:

  • Restart your router.
  • Check your internet upload and download speeds using this online test. Perform the test next to your Wi-Fi router. If your upload or download speeds are less than 1 Mbps, call your internet service provider to upgrade to a faster internet plan.
  • Perform an internet speed test next to your Nest device. If the speed is significantly lower next to the device, move the device closer to the router. If moving the device is not possible, you can purchase a Wi-Fi extender here.

Many Talk and Listen users with Samsung phones have reported issues with the person in front of the Nest Cam not being able to hear them. This is because the Nest app on Samsung phones uses the ambient sound microphone rather than the speaker microphone. If you are using Talk and Listen on a Samsung phone, consider using headphones or speaking directly into the microphone on the bottom of your phone.

You Can’t Hear Any Audio

If you can’t hear someone’s reply to you on Nest Cam, double-check to make sure you pressed the “Done” button after speaking.

Check the audio output setting on the device that you use the Ring app on to confirm where your audio is going. For example, you may have a connected Bluetooth device that is receiving the audio from your Nest camera. Vice versa, if you are currently using a headset, confirm that the audio output is set to that device and not the built-in speaker on your phone, tablet or computer. 

Once you have confirmed the correct audio output, make sure the volume for that audio source is turned up. 

If you have a Nest Cam Indoor or Outdoor, you can also adjust the microphone sensitivity. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose the camera you want to adjust in the Nest app.
  2. Select the settings icon.
  3. Select Microphone. 
  4. Select Microphone Sensitivity.
  5. Drag the slider to adjust the microphone sensitivity. 
  6. Test out Talk and Listen to find the microphone sensitivity level that works best for you.

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Outdoor and the Nest Hello doorbell do not have adjustable microphone sensitivity. 

Delayed Audio 

When using Talk and Listen on the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor, there is a slight delay in the audio because it has to switch which device is speaking and which is listening as they cannot do both at the same time.

If you feel that the delay is too significant or you are experiencing audio delays on the Nest IQ Cam or Hello doorbell, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Close and reopen the Nest app. 
  • If you are using a headset or speaker to Talk and Listen, try speaking directly into your phone, tablet or computer. Check the audio settings to ensure that audio input and output are set to the built-in speaker and microphone on your device. 
  • If your Nest device is connected to a Wi-Fi extender, try connecting it directly to your home’s Wi-Fi network instead. Follow these steps:
  1. Select the settings icon in the Nest app.
  2. Select Home info.
  3. Select Home Wi-Fi help.
  4. Choose the Nest device you want to change. 
  5. Select Update setting.
  6. Choose your home’s Wi-Fi network. 

Nest Cam and Hello Doorbell Features

Nest offers several other neat, customizable features. For example, if you are not interested in using Talk and Listen and want to use your Nest device only for video, you can turn the microphone on and off anytime using the Nest app. 

You can also turn off audio recording while leaving the microphone on for Talk and Listen. 

  1. Select the settings icon.
  2. Select Microphone.
  3. Select Audio recording.
  4. Switch Audio recording off.

Nest Aware

Google Nest Aware is a monthly subscription service that streams your Nest device’s video and audio to a cloud and provides customizable alerts. This table shows which alerts are available for different devices with Nest Aware:

Nest Cam Indoor and OutdoorNest Cam IQ Indoor and OutdoorNest Hello Doorbell
Intelligent Motion DetectionYesYesYes
Intelligent Sound DetectionYesYesNo
People SpeakingYesYesNo
Familiar Faces DetectionNoYesNo
Dog BarkingYes YesNo
Close-Up Tracking ViewNoYesNo
Customizable Activity ZonesYesYesYes
Package DetectionNoNoYes

Nest Hello Quick Responses

My personal favorite Nest products feature is the pre-recorded messages available on the Hello doorbell. Quick Responses allow you to reply to someone who comes to the door without speaking to them directly. This may be helpful if you are on a phone call, in the middle of a workout, or lulling your child to sleep. 

There are three Quick Responses:

  • “Just a sec. We’ll be right there.”
  • “Hi there, no one can answer the door right now. We’ll be notified you stopped by.”
  • “Hi there, you can just leave it. Thanks.”

To use a Quick Response when your doorbell rings, tap the Responses icon in the doorbell notification and choose the response that works for you. 

You can only send a Quick Response after your doorbell rings, and the responses are not customizable. 

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