At this level, the capabilities of Alexa and Google Assistant are well-known. To rapidly recap, you may ask each audio system to manage units in your house, play audio, reply questions, provide you with data out of your private accounts (e.g., Google Calendar) and hyperlink as much as third-party providers that make these audio system much more succesful.
Given how mature each platforms are, the true query when evaluating the Nest Mini to its predecessor is how its new speaker sounds. Google says the Nest Mini has twice the bass as the unique, one thing not terribly simple to measure. It does produce fuller sound than the unique, however that is not saying a lot. Once I reviewed the House Mini two years in the past, I mentioned that it was “severely missing within the bass division and usually lacks the readability you’d need for listening to music.” Harsh however true.
The Nest Mini, however, is rather more nice. Doubling the bass does not imply a ton when the unique speaker had almost no bass to talk of, however the Nest Mini’s sound profile is mostly higher balanced and fewer shrill. I did not take into account the House Mini a viable choice for listening to music, however I would be completely proud of the Nest Mini for informal playback in a small room. It is definitely higher than blasting music out of your telephone’s built-in speaker, which is what too many individuals do lately. Certainly, placing apart my music snob sensibilities for a second, the Nest Mini will in all probability be high quality for big swaths of the inhabitants. It is surprisingly loud and retains its readability even at larger volumes, and that is about all you may ask for from a tiny $50 speaker.
I can say the identical concerning the Echo Dot. The Dot undoubtedly has higher bass efficiency than the Nest Mini, however on the expense of some precision within the mids and highs. Issues can sometimes sound a bit muddier on the Dot, nevertheless it has a extra nice thump. One factor is for positive: The Echo Dot that was launched final 12 months (and whose design is carried by means of to this mannequin with the clock) is considerably higher at music playback than the older fashions. Older Echo Dots sound horrible, full cease, whereas the brand new one redefined what I assumed such a small speaker was able to.
When doing a little head-to-head comparisons, I assumed the Nest Mini dealt with extra complicated preparations higher. A tune like “Graffiti” by Chrvches has main bass, numerous high-frequency synth work, and a singer who hits some fairly excessive notes. Mainly, there’s rather a lot occurring right here — and in that crowded soundscape, the Echo Dot got here throughout a bit muddy. However on a extra stripped-down observe like “Appointments” by Julien Baker, the Echo Dot got here throughout with a fuller, extra true-to-life illustration of the sparse vocals, piano, and electrical guitar. The identical might be mentioned for a extra sturdy, simple rock tune like Loss of life Cab for Cutie’s “To the Floor.”
Microphone efficiency can be value mentioning, and the excellent news is that each audio system are fairly responsive, even when blasting music. I needed to communicate barely louder than I anticipated to get each to answer, however as soon as I adjusted I used to be capable of get the audio system to concentrate and not using a downside. Google says that the Nest Mini has improved mics, however I am unable to actually inform the distinction. The excellent news is that both means, you should not have a tough time getting the Nest mini or Echo Dot to listen to you.