Is there a way to talk to the Google Voice Assistant at a reasonable price? Yes, and it is called the Google Home Mini. The Amazon Echo also has a smaller sibling which costs considerably lower. This is the same, but some would wonder if the essential features are compromised. You just have to pay $50 to get this smart device, which is way cheaper than the original Home. Well, at least it already comes with the Google Assistant. The biggest downgrade is probably the speaker, quite understandable because it shrinks in size, too.
The Google Home Mini looks much simpler than the Home. It’s covered in fabric-texture on top, while the bottom is made of matte plastic. Imagine a doughnut, it looks exactly the same without a hole in the center. The fabric seems like counterproductive, but it is actually conductive. There are controls hiding behind it. Just touch any area where the controls are located, the Mini speaker will respond immediately. There are also LED lights that show different settings and a micro USB port around the side. You can charge the battery via the port.
The Google Home Mini can play music just like its big brother. However, due to the lack of quality speaker, it is not the best for this purpose. It can be loud, but certain aspects like bass don’t really stand out. There are many speakers with better sound quality at lower prices. We must remember that it is a smart speaker first and foremost. So if you want to buy it, buy it because you want to work with the smart Google Assistant. To achieve better audio, hook it up with a Chromecast audio which costs $35. The Amazon Echo Dot actually has this problem, but it comes with a 3.5mm jack, so is no need to buy a dongle to connect it to an external speaker. Though music playback is lacking, the voice recognition is still great. You can talk from across the room and the speaker will still respond. It can do various stuff, such as playing music, videos, and establishing integration with IoT.
Before you buy a Google Home Mini, you should know what exactly you’re going to do with it. As said before, the audio is decent at best. So even if it can play music, it still can’t do much due to the average speaker. Smart Home enthusiasts will likely benefit more than anyone else. This smart device can be used to turn lights on and off, control dimmers, etc. However, to enable this feature, it needs to be assigned to additional Smart Home equipment. The Home Mini can also set reminders. This is beneficial for those who are forgetful.
The speaker can also be used to talk to people over the phone. It’s loud enough to act as a hands-free speaker. And of course, the main attraction is its ability to answer questions. The Home Mini can provide highly accurate answers. Just ask anything, like weather or unit conversions. Even random questions are likely to get accurate feedback. That’s about it, the device is impressive as a desk buddy. But for an audiophile, there are more interesting choices out there.