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I *finally* figured out how to remote trigger Google Home’s white noise routine

Issue details: “OK Google, play white noise” triggers a specific built-in Google routine I want on a speaker that’s usually next to my sleeping wife (we’ll call the speaker “master bedroom home”.) Unfortunately without being fairly loud, that Google is prone to not hear me and loudly announce that it’s here to help, play the sound of an elephant, and otherwise wake my wife up.

Updated in December: They fixed it

I’ve attempted to ask another speaker to “play white noise on master bedroom home.” this triggers a playlist, not the white noise routine. Same with setting up a recurring routine, it seems to play a playlist, not activate the white noise routine.

Just to clarify for those who don’t know – “play white noise” puts on a 12 hour repeating hiss track. “play white noise on <device>” puts on a playlist that includes 3 minutes of Pink Noise, a lullaby, rain, 45 seconds of an outro to some TV show, an Israeli band, and basically not what I want to attempt to sleep to.

I got Google support involved a while back and after we reached the point of them trying to reset my network and refusing to read the ticket and once again claiming it was my issue (your product, Google.) I dropped it.

Last night I decided to experiment some. Still no way to straight up trigger that I can find, however I discovered you can start white noise on a Google Home Hub, tap the Chromecast/Cast icon in the bottom left, it pulls up a status screen of what’s going on and shows that the white noise routine is playing, and then you can choose which speakers will be playing on.

At that point I was able to start it up on “Master Bedroom Home” and viola… white noise. Only wasted 6000 words in a support chat, 3 articles, etc.

The same probably can be done from the Home App, and I’m going to investigate a follow up command to see if I can start broadcasting from Speaker B to Master Bedroom Home in a routine.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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4 thoughts on “I *finally* figured out how to remote trigger Google Home’s white noise routine

  • Avatar of Nate Decker

    I feel your pain with Google failing to understand the nature of the problem. I feel like there are fundamental flaws in the operation of Google Assistant (in some cases, regressive feature “updates”). These “smart” speakers offer convenience, but are still a dramatic source of frustration on a regular basis. I report issues as I encounter them via the “Send Feedback” command and sometimes it does seem that the things I report actually get fixed. I’d like to think that reporting actually makes a difference.

    • I haven’t had any successful interactions with support for a while. Been pulling teeth doing my own troubleshooting just to try and explain to the frontline Google support what the issues are. The new norm seems to be for them to position the problem as your problem (their device, their network, their coding, your problem).

      Family bell, man, that is one badly implemented routine – yes, let’s have a scheduler that acts like an alarm but doesn’t stop for the word “stop” like the other alarms do… and responds to “OK Google stop” by prioritizing stopping other things.

      They do fix things eventually, but getting them recognized, even submitting detailed feedback is difficult. I’ve attempted to voice submit feedback somewhere around 12 times and it’s worked maybe 5… I’ve had to use a remote phone control to submit an issue in detail in the Home app because they won’t take an email or a web based bug report.

      Really, nothing like talking for two minutes, detailing the problem, and then hearing “something went wrong”

  • Avatar of Erika Smyser

    I came across this while looking for a solution to a different action I want to use (is there really no notification sound other than “Play a delightful chime?”
    I haven’t tried this with routines just voice but it may work for you.
    Action 1 “Play white noise.”
    Action 2 “Move to Master Bedroom Home.”

    You may get confirmation like “okay, I’ll play it on Master Bedroom Home” which is a little annoying but better than safari noises or pushing 10 buttons.
    I wonder if a “Cast White Noise Routine on Master Bedroom Home” would work or if you could set another routine to trigger that routine. An action adjusting speaker volumes of the speakers you want the routine to play on before the other actions seems to be a successful work around for the voice triggers only using the device they were given to.
    There’s also the add delay between actions option which allows you to do the action on any device but the delay has to be a minimum of 1 minute.
    Maybe this will help someone who stumbles in here 10 months from now.

    • Back in December 2021 they fixed the issue (this was from March 2021) – I can now say “play white noise on master bedroom home” and it will. I mentioned after the first paragraph they fixed it. I probably need to update that with more words but that was a quick update a while back.

      What are you attempting to do?


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