Google Home Mini
$49 (approx. `3,150), store.google.com
Aww, isn’t it cute? Google’s teensy little Home, pitched in both size and price to compete directly with Amazon’s Echo Dot, one-ups its puck-shaped competition in the style stakes, and it’s got audio built in too. It’s like a technologically adept cloth pebble, with a string of four hidden RGB lights in the top, hidden touch buttons on the edges of the cloth, and a physical switch for deactivating the microphone array.
For its size, the Home Mini belts out some perfectly reasonable and somewhat surprising tones with muscle, and voice recognition is good. Like the larger Google Home, though, this is no replacement for a more competent speaker system, and there’s no audio output, either 3.5mm or Bluetooth, so if you’re looking to connect a stereo to your network you’ll also need to invest in a Chromecast Audio. But as a first step into the world of google assistant, or a second pair of ears for a new room, it’s perfect.
THE FINAL WORD
Small it may be, but there’s nothing subtle about the Home Mini’s sound, and it’s an absolute bargain at the price.