Google Nest Mini Same old design but much better sound

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Google, a pioneer in mobile operating systems, is still trying to crack the smart speaker market. According to Canalys, Google lagged behind Alibaba and Baidu in the global smart speaker market this year. Canalis further stated that market leader Amazon sent 10.4 million smart speakers, while Google sent only 3.5 million units.

Despite a strong brand reputation and superior AI technology at Google Assistant, the company is struggling to make a mark. Google’s top brass has found a solution to ship more devices. The first step is rebranding its smart speakers with Nest and the second is delivering better sound output.

Google Nest Mini is part of the Google Home Mini rebrand, which came out in 2017. The Nest Mini is similar to its predecessor, but Google has vastly improved speakers. The Home Mini came as a competitor to the Amazon Echo Dot lineup, but it went away without much fighting.

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The one thing that failed the Home Mini was its sound output and Google fixed it with its second generation smart home speaker. Therefore, the question now is whether Google has narrowed the difference in sound quality. Second, is the Google-branded smart speaker the best-selling alternative in the Amazon Echo range? let’s find out.

Google Nest Mini Price in India

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Let’s start with a clear deterrent for smart home devices – price. Google Nest Mini is available through Flipkart for Rs 4,499. It is costlier than the third generation Echo Dot, which is available for Rs 3,499.

Unlike Amazon, Google does not offer any smart home starter pack or bundle with its smart speakers. Amazon Echo Dot comes with a smart bulb for just Rs 99. I don’t think that even if the sound quality has improved on the Google Nest Mini, the price is reasonable.

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Google Nest Mini: Design and Sound Quality

As mentioned, the Google Nest Mini has the same design as its predecessor. When Google Home Mini was launched in 2017, it was a really good looking smart speaker. By not tweaking the design, Google did the right thing. However, Google has done a really unique thing with the Nest Mini.

The device includes a wall mount so that you can hang it on your wall without any extra accessories. This not only adds to the overall aesthetics of your home, but also helps Google provide better sound. I put Nest Mini on a table for the first time and the sound was not so great. However, once climbing the wall, it made my room better than before.

This is the real difference between Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Dot. The Nest Mini has an upward firing speaker while the Amazon Echo Dot has a side-firing speaker. As a result, the Echo Dot feels much better when placed on a table. The Nest Mini gets better as soon as you mount it on the wall. Honestly, this is a hack that Google has played to its advantage.

As soon as you mount it on a wall, the Nest Mini is better at separating different sound stages. It also uses the surface to echo the sound and it sounds darker than when it is set on a flat surface. I have yet to find out whether it will go into my house or not, but I will stick it on the wall as a practical solution.

Google Nest Mini really comes alive when you start playing music. I have a proper music system at my home, but recently I have found myself listening only on my Bose Soundlink color. This compact and portable speaker has become my choice when listening to music in a closed space. The Google Nest Mini is, according to me, as good as my Bose, if not better.

The delivery of the sound is clear and there is a very good state between the song and the instruments. This is much better than the Echo Dot when it comes to running low, medium or high frequencies. Say that I am listening to Chandelier, which is about Sia’s unique vocal quality and range, I would love the Nest Mini more than the Echo any day. In fact, the Nest Mini is many times better than my Echo Spot.

The reason is quite simple – the Amazon Echo Dot and other entry models are designed for sounds. They are best suited for use cases such as listening to podcasts or news bulletins. On the other hand, the Nest Mini is fully geared to music.

If you play Africa by Toto on Echo Dot, it will sound really cool because it is inspired by the voice. On the Nest Mini, it sounds good but not particularly exciting. But by Farah Sanders you should try to achieve freedom, and you will immediately start moving to the saxophone. It can do this in such a small form factor is a real achievement for Google engineers.

Nest Mini is a great sounding speaker in this segment but what makes it even bigger is the choice of material. It is covered in a circular cloth, which in India comes in a chalk or charcoal color. Google says it has stripped clothes from plastic bottles, a small step in the creation of ecological products. The speaker uses a barrel plug instead of the microUSB seen on its predecessor.

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