Review and introduction of Google Nest mini
According to JBQ, Google Nest mini is the second generation miniaturized and voice-activated speaker for your home. It replaces the Google Home Mini in the Google Assistant hardware lineup. If you want to know if this little speaker lives up to its big aspirations, we’ve got a song for you. This is Android Authority’s Google Nest Mini review.
About this Google Nest Mini review: I used the Google Nest Mini review unit for over a week. Google provided the Google Nest Mini review unit to Android Authority for the purposes of this review.
Update, August 2022: We’ve updated this review with the addition of an FAQ section that answers the most frequently asked questions about the Google Nest Mini and more.
Google is doing its best to put its voice assistant in more places. It’s now on every new Android phone and available through apps and APIs for iPhone and thousands of other devices. The original Google Home Mini was a good assistant, but it wasn’t the best speaker. Google knows that the vast majority of smart speaker users rely on them to play music, and the competition is fierce. A handful of audio companies have started selling their own Google Assistant-equipped speakers — most of which beat Google’s in terms of sound quality.
Google decided to improve the music experience offered by its powerful mini and made other improvements along the way. Did Google succeed?
The Google Nest Mini is an updated and rebranded Google Home Mini. In 2019, Google consolidated its smart home products under the Nest brand. So, Google Hub became Nest Hub, Google Wifi became Nest Wifi, and so on.
The Mini is almost identical to its predecessor, but there are some notable changes.
The Mini is almost identical to its predecessor, but there are some notable changes. The dimensions and factor of the original shape are transferred. It includes a microphone mute switch on the side edge. Nest Mini is available in more colors including charcoal, chalk, sky and coral. Google says the fabric covering the top half of the new speaker is made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, while about 35% of the chassis is made from recycled materials. It is responsible for the environment.
Perhaps the biggest physical change is the charger. Where the original relied on a micro USB cable for charging, Google has switched to a dedicated pin-style DC plug for the Nest Mini. I wish Google would leave micro USB intact or better yet switch to USB-C. USB-C has become the real charging port of the mobile world.
Finally, there’s a small cutout on the back so you can hang the Mini on a wall if you want. Since the device must be plugged in, the cord must be run into the wall. It’s not the best look, but now there are third-party accessories that can fit the charger, cord and the Mini itself into one unit.
How do you use Nest Mini?
JBQ says, Nest Mini takes just a few moments to set up and requires a phone like the Google Pixel 6 with the Google Home app installed and a local Wi-Fi network. You have to go through several steps, such as adding a speaker to the room, naming it, and recording your voice. After doing so, simply talk to it.
Google says the Nest Mini has three spatial microphones that listen to its surroundings and analyze sounds. The Mini is even better than the original when playing loud music. I didn’t find it more or less responsive, but it responded to my requests even when the music was set to maximum volume.
Four lights on the top let you know when the Mini is activated and waiting for instructions, and also provides a meter for volume. Tapping the left side of the chassis decreases the volume and tapping the right increases it. The microphone mute switch is on the back. To turn off the microphone, slide the switch to reveal an orange background. You will hear an audible warning and the overhead lights will turn orange. Orange equals no microphone.
Nest Mini has a machine learning chip that helps speed up performance. Google says the Mini can learn your most common music requests or smart home commands for faster response times.
Does the Nest Mini sound good?
Surprisingly, yes. Google claims the Mini has twice as much bass as its predecessor, while keeping the highs and mids clear. I tested all kinds of music on it and was fairly impressed.
The speaker preserves the details of your favorite songs with clarity that must be heard to be appreciated. Distortion at high volumes is minimal. Google designed the Mini to play loud.
I pounded some heavy metal into the mini and turned the volume all the way up. The only thing that was distorted about the sound were the guitars that were strummed on the recording itself. I also tried some acoustic, jazz, orchestral, and EDM tracks, and they also sounded clean and tight. You won’t be able to turn your room into a fast-paced nightclub, but the Mini is more than capable of filling an average room with pleasant sound.
Google designed the Nest Mini to play loud.
The original Mini was mediocre at best for listening to music. The result is much better. I did an A-B test of the two and the Nest Mini noticeably outperformed the Home Mini.
I really like some advanced features. For example, you can create speaker groups (two or more) and ask them to play the same song. It can fill your house with music if you want. I set up a group of all the speakers on the first floor of my house and it worked surprisingly well. You can also pair two Minis to create stereo music playback. You have to set them up through the Google Home app. It is very simple.
Then there is the moving music. Listening in the bedroom, but want to go downstairs? Just ask Assistant to transfer songs to the speaker of your choice and the Mini will do the rest.
What else can the Nest Mini do?
Lots. Beyond the real-world questions (Hey Google, how far away is the moon?), the Nest Mini can be used as a communication tool. If you choose to set up Duo, the Mini will act like a phone. You can call anyone and have conversational speaker style. In addition, you can call your Mini remotely. Using the Google Home app, simply tap and call the Google device you want to access. If you have a hub, you can have a live video chat.
Then it’s play. Place the Nest Mini and other Google Nest products to use as an intercom device. You can command playback from any Google Assistant-enabled speaker, or use the Google Home app on your phone to send alerts to other devices in your home. My favorite is playing the show at night to let my girls know it’s time for dinner. You should not climb the stairs anymore.
All Google Nest products can do these things, and the Nest Mini does them as well as any other.
Google Nest Mini review: The verdict
The Google Nest Mini is available for purchase from Google and other retailers for $29 — a significant reduction from the $49 launch price. I call it stealing.
If you already have a Google Home, Mini, or Hub, there’s no reason to replace it with a Nest Mini. Yes, the new speaker sounds better, but if you’re happy with what you have, it’s not worth the extra cash. If you’re buying your first home speaker with Assistant, make sure you get the Nest Mini and not the older Home Mini. The older version should no longer be available, but check the box.
If you already have a Google-powered speaker that you like, there’s no reason to replace it with the Nest Mini.
Is there an alternative to the Google Nest Mini?
you are the best. Want a bigger sound? Get the larger Google Nest Audio ($99). This much larger speaker pushes out more sound and has advanced features like the ability to adjust its sound output for the room it’s in. There’s also the Google Nest Hub ($99) if you want all of Google’s smarts in one smart display. .
If you’re looking for something a little more functional than a standalone speaker, you have options like the Lenovo Smartwatch 2 ($39). It has a fair-sized display that shows the time, weather, and other data in addition to all the standard smart speaker gadgets.
Not into Google based stuff? Amazon has your back. The closest competitor to the Google Nest Mini is the Amazon Echo Dot ($39). This Korean shaped speaker packs Amazon Alexa smarts and produces solid sound.
Finally, the Google Nest Mini (2nd generation) is a nice little smart speaker. It’s hard to set up, fits everywhere, responds to voice input, and looks good when it’s set up. Given its low price, it’s practically a steal and a good entry point into the world of assistant-equipped gears.
Buy Best Headphone to play an lesson to music.