Next Google Home Mini may have a 3.5mm audio port and wall mount
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have become wildly popular thanks to their cheap prices and connections with their respective smart home ecosystems. I snagged 4 Google Home Minis thanks to an insane Walmart deal, and I also bought a Google Home Hub (now called the Nest Hub) earlier this year. Google practically hands out the Home Mini like candy, so I’m not too surprised to hear that it’s been successful enough to warrant a successor. According to a new report, that successor will drop the “Home” branding to be called the “Nest Mini,” but the new device will have a few new features to justify the upgrade.
A source speaking to 9to5Google revealed 4 areas of improvement over the 2017 Home Mini. The first big upgrade is the inclusion of a built-in wall mount, though that could mean that the new smart speaker will simply have a groove on the back so you can hang it like a picture frame. You can buy a wall mount for around $15 on the Google Store, but many people (myself included) don’t bother because the Home Mini is already so small. I don’t know about you, but if this new Nest Mini does come with a built-in wall mount, I’ll pick up a few to mount around the house.
The next upgrade is in the speaker quality. 9to5Google‘s source says the second-generation Home Mini (Nest Mini) will produce better sound with higher volume and better bass. The 2017 Home Mini isn’t that great at being a wireless/Bluetooth speaker, though it’s serviceable if you treat its audio as just background noise while working. If the Nest Mini has a 3.5mm stereo jack as 9to5Google believes, then it might be better suited for music playback than the current generation smart speaker. It’s unclear whether this audio jack is for audio input or output to external speakers, but we’re hoping it’ll be used for both.
Lastly, 9to5Google‘s source says the device will have “some kind of proximity awareness.” As the publication notes, the larger Nest Hub Max has a sensor that can detect motion, but it’s unlikely that the sensor on the Nest Mini will be used for anything truly sophisticated given its likely price point. Currently, it’s believed that the sensor will be used to reveal the current volume when the user approaches the device.
When it comes to the design, the Nest Mini won’t be a major departure from the Google Home Mini. It’ll likely have a similar round shape and small size. Although there are supposedly new colors in the works, no details have been shared about what the new colors will be. The Nest Mini’s price is currently unknown, though it’s safe to assume that Google will stick to a price point around $50 as they did with the 2017 Home Mini. We’ll learn more about the device when it launches, possibly alongside the Google Pixel 4 later this year.
Featured image: the 2017 Google Home Mini