What's the Difference Between Google Home and Google Home Mini?

by Joel Manansala

If you've been into home automation and smart home devices for quite some time, chances are you're already familiar with Google Home and its smaller brother Google Home Mini.

Google Home is a smart speaker first released by Google in November 2016.

The idea was based on Google's vision of a smart home ecosystem that will integrate the already existing virtual assistant technology in smartphones and land among the top Google smart devices.

The device uses artificial intelligence to understand and respond to your voice commands.

Since its release, it's become one of the most popular smart speakers in the market, competing with other devices such as Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod.

A year after, Google released its more compact version, aptly named the Google Home Mini.

It was designed to offer the same functionality and capabilities as Google Home but in a smaller and more affordable package for an entry point into Google Home.

Before Reading This...

This blog is a comparison of two older Google Home speakers.

Google replaced the older models with the newer Google Nest Mini which has improved sound quality and better touch controls.

Google still offers the original Home Mini model at a discounted price, so you might want to consider it in deciding which of the two smart speakers to purchase.

Similarities Between Google Home and Google Home Mini

  1. Voice Commands. Both Google Home and Google Home Mini can be controlled using voice commands.

    Simply say "Hey Google" or "OK Google," followed by your command or question, and Google Assistant will provide a response.

    You can use voice commands to control your smart home devices, play music, set reminders, and perform other tasks.

  2. WiFi Connectivity. Both devices connect to your home WiFi network, allowing you to control them using the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet.

    This also enables you to use the devices to access the internet and stream music from your favorite streaming services.

  3. Compatibility with Smart Home Devices. Both Google Home and Google Home Mini are compatible with a wide range of smart home devices, including lights, thermostats, and security cameras.

    This allows you to control your smart home devices using voice commands or the Google Home app.

  4. Personalized Responses. Both devices can provide personalized responses based on your preferences and settings.

    For example, if you ask Google Home or Google Home Mini to play music, it will play music from your preferred streaming service, rather than a default service.

    The devices can also recognize multiple voices, allowing them to provide personalized responses to each user.

  5. Entertainment Options. Both devices offer a variety of entertainment options, allowing you to play music, podcasts, and audiobooks from your Spotify, YouTube Music, and other streaming platforms.

    You can also use the devices to stream TV shows and movies to your Chromecast-enabled TV.

  6. Controls. Both devices have a microphone switch that allows you to turn off active listening

Google Assistant Compatibility

Both Google Home and Google Home Mini are compatible with the powerful voice assistant Google Assistant, allowing them to perform a wide range of tasks using voice commands.

Differences Between Google Home and Google Home Mini

Design and Mounting

Google Home has a cylindrical shape and a sleek, modern design that stands about 5.62 inches tall and is about 3.79 inches wide.

The device has a fabric cover that comes in various colors, such as white, black, and coral.

At the top is a touch-sensitive surface that allows you to control the volume, play and pause music, and activate Google Assistant.

Google Home Mini, on the other hand, has a puck-shaped design and is more compact than Google Home, standing at about 1.65 inches tall and about 3.85 inches wide.

It's a small disk covered with a piece of fabric that comes in various colors, such as chalk, charcoal, coral, and aqua.

The Google Home Mini has physical buttons on the side of the device for controlling the volume and a switch to mute the microphone.

The two speakers can both be placed on a table or flat surface, but they can also be mounted on a wall or ceiling.

Google Home comes with a base that allows you to change the color and design of the speaker.

The base also has a screw mount that allows you to attach the speaker to a wall or ceiling.

If you want to mount your Google Home, you will need to purchase a separate mounting bracket that is compatible with the screw mount on the base.

Google Home Mini, on the other hand, has a built-in wall mount at the bottom.

In order to mount it, you'll need to use a screw or adhesive tape to attach the speaker to a wall or ceiling.

Sound Quality Comparison

Google Home has a larger speaker than Google Home Mini, which allows it to produce richer, more detailed sound.

It features a high-excursion speaker with a 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators, which results in a powerful and balanced sound.

It also has two far-field microphones for better voice recognition, allowing it to pick up your voice commands from across the room even with all the background noise.

The mini has a smaller speaker than Google Home, which means that it produces less powerful sound.

It features a single 40mm driver, which can still produce decent sound quality for its size.

However, the sound may lack depth and bass compared to the larger Google Home.

It also features a single microphone for voice recognition, which may not be as effective at picking up your voice from a distance.


Google Home comes with a power cord that plugs into a wall outlet.

It has a barrel jack connector that plugs into the power adapter.

Once plugged in, it remains connected to the power source and is always on.

Google Home Mini also comes with a power adapter that plugs into a wall outlet.

The difference is that it has a micro-USB port instead of a jack.

This means that the power adapter can be detached from the device, making it easier to transport or move around the house.

It also remains connected to the power source and is always on once plugged in.


While the two smart devices are no longer available on Google's official website, you can still find them at third-party resellers for a discounted price.

The original Google Home goes for around $100 while the mini is priced at less than $50.

Google Home vs Google Home Mini — Which is Better?

Both devices offer similar functionalities, but there are some differences in their size, sound quality, and price.

Choosing between the two will boil down to personal preference and needs.

If you have limited space, want a more portable device, or have a smaller budget, then go for the Google Home Mini.

But if you want a smart speaker with sound improvements and a more touch-sensitive surface for controlling music playback, Google Home may be a better option.

However, you might want to consider the newer Google Nest Mini or the Google Nest Audio as both have far better audio quality and a more stable connection than the two.

The Nest Mini features ultrasound sensing technology, which uses tiny inaudible chirps that bounce off nearby objects and reflect onto the microphones.

This is why the volume LED lights up when your hand is nearby.

If you want excellent audio quality, you can even connect two Nest speakers to create a stereo sound system.

If the choice is Google Nest Mini vs the other two speakers, might as well go for the newer Nest Mini.


Do you need Google Home to use Google Mini?

Yes, you do need a Google Home account to use Google Home Mini. When you set up Google Home Mini for the first time, you will need to connect it to your Google Home account in order to access its features and functionalities.

What is the purpose of a Google Home Mini?

The Google Mini was developed as the more compact and affordable version of the successful Google Home speaker.

Which Google Home is the best?

This will depend on your personal preference and needs. The original model is bigger with slightly more advanced features, while the mini is more compact and more affordable.

Can Google Home Mini make phone calls?

Yes, Google Home Mini can make phone calls. You can use voice commands to make hands-free phone calls as long as the device is connected to the internet.

Can Google Home Mini turn on my TV?

Yes, Google Home Mini can turn on your TV if your TV is compatible with Chromecast or has an HDMI-CEC feature. Chromecast also allows you to pull up a YouTube video over your TV.


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