8

It's my understanding that Google Home devices all have a soft switch for their microphone; i.e. no physical circuit is broken when you turn it "off".

Is it particularly difficult to open it up and maybe add a bit of wiring to convert it to a hard switch?

6

Google home devices have many microphones, used for "beam shaping" (listening to the best mic), and noise-cancellation. This means you'd need a multi-channel mux, or several independent switches. Also, these mics tend to be surface-mount, so there's no wire you can intercept, making it very tough to modify without proper tools (stereo microscope, reflow oven, etc).

I think you're better off unplugging the power and waiting for it to boot.

  • Thanks for the info. What I was really hoping to do was find an easy way to make the stupid things a bit more secure whether or not the device is "listening" is currently just a function of how honest the software is. Essentially, the equivalent of putting a bit of masking tape over your laptop camera. – D Hydar Jun 25 '18 at 18:57
  • the only work-around i can think of would be to add earbud drivers pointing at the mics to "drown out" ambient sound using pink noise or a reversed podcast (talking) loop when needed. – dandavis Jun 25 '18 at 19:18

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