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Google Nest Mini vs. Apple HomePod Mini
We love the HomePod’s speaker quality and features, but you’ll have an easier time building a smart home with Google’s ecosystem.
The Google Nest Mini and the Apple HomePod Mini are both smaller (and cheaper) iterations of their counterparts: the Google Nest Audio and Apple HomePod. Both are smart speakers you can use to control your smart home with voice commands. The Nest Mini uses Google Assistant, and the HomePod Mini uses Siri.
We think both devices are a good value for the money. The HomePod has better sound quality and features, but it’s also twice the price. And it’s hard to beat Google’s extensive compatibility with third-party smart devices.
Which one you should choose might come down to the devices you already have and which automation protocols they’re compatible with.
Watch the video above to see Steve’s full review of each device’s design, music features, sound quality, and smart-home functions.
Google Nest Mini
The Google Nest Mini will look great in any smart home. The buttons are hidden under the speaker mesh, and you can choose from four color options. Coming in under $50, this little speaker is half the price of the HomePod Mini. It’s also regularly on sale, so you can get one for every major room without breaking the bank.
The Nest Mini is compatible with all the major music streaming services, though we liked the audio quality on the HomePod Mini better.
Google’s automation compatibility really makes the Nest Mini shine. There are 10,000 smart devices on the market that are compatible with Google’s ecosystem. You can use the Nest Mini to control your security system and smart devices with just your voice—that easily beats out HomeKit’s limited automation options.
If you’re bummed about the Nest Mini’s weak audio quality but you’re committed to Google’s ecosystem, check out the full-sized Google Nest Audio. It’s the same price as the Apple HomePod Mini, and we love how it sounds.
Apple HomePod Mini
We should mention up front that you do need an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad to set up the HomePod Mini. If you’re an Android user, you’ll likely be better off with the Google Nest.
That said, if you’re already in Apple’s ecosystem, you’ll love the way your devices easily integrate with the HomePod Mini. If you’re playing music or a podcast on your iPhone, you can tap your phone to the HomePod, and your audio will automatically switch to the speaker. If you want to leave the room, you can ask Siri to switch your audio to another device or simply tap the speaker with your phone again.
Of these two mini speakers, we think the HomePod has the better audio quality. The sound is fuller and crisper on the HomePod Mini than on the Nest Mini, especially at louder volumes.
The HomePod’s biggest disadvantage is HomeKit’s limited automation compatibility. There are about 450 third-party smart devices that work with HomeKit. That’s more than enough for one smart home, but you’ll have a harder time finding compatible devices than you would with Google Nest. But you can rest assured that Apple has vetted those devices to fit its high standards for data privacy.1
Recap: Which should you buy?
If you’re a die-hard Apple fan, we recommend snatching up the Apple HomePod Mini. It sounds better than the Google Nest, and we love the modern features that make it so easy to use.
But if you already have lots of smart devices, you’re more likely to be able to pair them all to Google Assistant than you are to HomeKit. Plus, the Google Nest Mini’s low price is nothing to scoff at.
Price: Google Nest Mini. The Nest Mini is half the price of the HomePod Mini, and it goes on sale frequently.
Speaker quality: Apple HomePod Mini. The HomePod Mini consistently has a fuller sound than the Nest Mini. Plus, we noticed the Nest Mini tends to blow out at higher volumes.
Smart home automation: Google Nest Mini. The Google ecosystem works with 10,000 smart devices! HomeKit can’t keep up with its measly 450.
Privacy: Apple HomePod Mini. Apple is dedicated to keeping your data secure, which is an important feature to look for in a smart speaker.
- Apple, “Privacy,” 2022. Accessed May 11, 2022.