Alexa and the Amazon Echo used to be the “King” when it came to Smart Home speakers. That’s because, for the most part, it was the only type of Smart Home speaker that you could pick up — the Alexa-powered ones. That is, until Google came around and offered the Google Home and Google Home Mini. The Google Home and Google Home Mini are similar in function to Amazon’s offerings in that they are Smart Home speakers; however, the major difference is that Google’s offerings are running on Google’s own Google Assistant software, not Alexa.
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So if you’re already an Android user and use Google products on the regular, the Google Home and Google Home Mini might sound more attractive to you. That said, which one do you get? What are the major differences between the two? Follow along below to find out. Let’s get started!
Google Home is the first product that we’re looking at. As we mentioned, Google Home is pretty similar to the Amazon Echo in core functionality, but instead of using Alexa, you’re using Google’s own Google Assistant software. With Google Home, you say “OK Google, play [x] playlist on Spotify” or “OK Google, call mom.” You can say other things like “OK Google, what’s on my agenda for this week?” or “OK Google, remind me to setup for the party on Friday evening.”
Google Home is the larger variant of the Google Home Mini, which means there’s some substantially better hardware inside. Google Home comes equipped with better microphones for improved discernment when searching for the “OK, Google” hotword. Not only that, but it has the higher-end speakers built inside so that you can listen to music at a more premium level. The Google Home should have no problem being your go-to speaker for your parties, as it has the perfect blend of loudness and clarity capabilities. Even at its highest volume, the Google Home is able to blast your favorite tunes with clarity.
The other difference with the Google Home comes down to design — the Google Home is a much larger product overall, which requires more space on surfaces. Price is another major difference here, with the Google Home coming in at $129 — that’s a whole lot more expensive than what you can snag a Google Home Mini for.
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Google Home Mini
As you might’ve already realized, the Google Home Mini is a Google Home, but in a much smaller form factor. The smaller form factor, and slightly lower-end hardware, means that you can get a Google Home Mini for $49, as opposed to the full-size Google Home’s $129. Google also regularly runs sales, which can bring the Home Mini down to as little as $29.
The other glaring difference, is obviously, design. The Google Home Mini is substantially smaller than the Home, not quite the form of a hockey puck, but certainly close in size. This enables you to put the Home Mini in more crowded spaces, if you need to.
As we mentioned briefly, the Google Home Mini also comes with some lower-end hardware. That means that your speaker output just isn’t going to be as good as the Google Home. It can still output quality sound, but you just won’t get the crisp and clear sound that you would expect out of the larger model. Microphones are still really good at searching for and recognizing the “OK Google” hotword.
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As you can see, there are some pretty major and obvious differences between the Google Home and the Google Home Mini. Google wants you to have a Home product in every room in your house, but that’s not feasible for everyone with the Google Home costing around $129. So, that would be $129 for every room you want a Google Home in.
Enter, the Google Home Mini — the same product as the Google Home, but in a much smaller profile — with lower-end hardware — where it can be had for half the cost, possibly even less depending on a sale.
One of the neat things about both of these products is that they can work with the Google Chromecast. Connect it up on your wireless network, and you can tell your Google Home to “cast” things to your Chromecast device.
So those are the big differences. Both are excellent products, but which one are you planning on picking up? Let us know in the comments section below — we’d love to hear from you!