How to Play Relaxing Sounds on Google Home

You can now rest easier using Google Home. The smart speaker (as well as any other Google Assistant-enabled gadget) can now play an assortment of ambient noises, from fireplaces to rainfall to white noise. It's fairly simple to activate this feature, but you need to know what to say.

If you want Google Home to choose the relaxing sound to play, say "OK Google [or 'Hey Google'], help me relax," or "OK Google, play ambient noise."

If you want to choose something more specific, say "OK Google" or "Hey Google," followed by the following phrase:

  • Play white noise
  • Play Relaxing sounds
  • Play Nature sounds
  • Play Water sounds
  • Play Running water sounds
  • Play Outdoor sounds
  • Play Babbling brook sounds
  • Play Oscillating fan sounds
  • Play Fireplace sounds
  • Play Forest sounds
  • Play Country sounds
  • Play Ocean sounds
  • Play Rain sounds
  • Play River sounds
  • Play Thunderstorm sounds

Google is sure to add more as time goes on, so you can also ask "What other ambient sounds do you know?"

Currently, Google Home's ambient sounds collection is much more limited than Alexa's (Amazon's assistant offers literally hundreds of ambient sound skills), and Google Home will only play the ambient sounds for an hour. There's no way to have Google Home loop the sounds, or have it play for a longer period, as you can with Alexa. Still, it's a much-welcomed addition, especially for those who have trouble falling asleep.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.