Google Home vs Google Home Mini: Which should you buy?

Google Home vs Google Home Mini

Google has recently entered the market with a range of voice-controlled smart speakers. Yet another savvy addition to a smart home; if you purchase either device and pair it with an $80 Optus nbn™ plan (min. cost 24 months $1,920 excl. cost of Google Home or Google Home Mini) it’s basically like a hub for all your home’s smart devices.

You may have heard of Google Home and its offspring Google Home Mini and wondered what is the difference other than their sizes? So if you are going to invest in these smart home additions we give you a rundown on which device might be right for your needs.

Google Home

At first glance, it looks like a tall speaker but it’s much more. It essentially performs voice-based tasks. You need to use the correct wording to trigger it (which is ‘OK Google’) - which offers a list of commands via Google Assistant, tapping into Google’s powerful search engine.

Google Home is a smart speaker purpose built with Google Assistant in mind. It features two microphones that will identify your voice even if there is background noise. Don’t want it to pick up any commands? Hit the mute button on the back on the back of the speaker. There’s no buttons, knobs or switches but its touch sensitive; you swipe your finger in a circle at the top of the speaker to turn the volume up or down.

Google needs to be plugged into an electrical socket however you can use the Google Chromecast Ethernet adapter as well.

What can Google Home do?

  • Listen to music.
  • Use voice activations to do calculations and translations.
  • Set an alarm or use a timer.
  • Check the weather forecast, get an update on traffic or check how long it will take to get to a destination.
  • Set a reminder or check your Google calendar.
  • Sync your smart home devices to enable you to use Google Home to control them.
  • Create a shopping list or get metric conversions for recipes.
  • Get a run down on local restaurants or businesses.
  • Play trivia games.
  • Play content using Chromecast devices.

Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini is smaller and doesn’t include as many functions as the Home.

You can still play music, answer trivia questions, sync all your smart home gadgets and do most things the Google Home allows you to do.

The Google Home Mini charges with micro-USB and you can mute using a switch. Adjusting the volume on the Google Home Mini is pretty simple; you just tap on the left or right edge of the front of the speaker.

What’s the difference?

Both devices hold their own but the difference is with the sound quality. The Google Home Mini offers 360-degree sound - but don’t expect bass heavy sound. With Google Home, you’ll get clear sound but it won’t overwhelm the room.

Which should you buy?

It depends on the size of your home; for larger houses you could spread out a couple of Google Home Mini’s. For an apartment or smaller area, a Google Home is a more practical option as the microphone can easily pick up everything and it’s the right balance of sound for a reduced area.


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