Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio

We compare features, sound quality, price, ease of setup and everything else you need to help you make a decision
Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio
Published: 9th Dec 2020
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By SHN Team

We are the SMARTHOME news team, with over 30 years of combined experience in publishing, tech and no Read More...

Table of contents

1. Which Is Better: Apple HomePod Mini or Google Nest Audio?

2. Overview of Apple HomePod Mini

3. Overview of Google Nest Audio

4. Quick Comparison of the Key Differences/Standout Points

5. Step-by-Step Comparison of HomePod Mini and Google Nest Audio

a) Cost: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

b) Design: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

c) Features: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

d) Ease of Setup: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

e) Sound Quality: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

f) Voice Assistant: Siri vs. Google Assistant

g) Compatibility with Other Devices: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

h) Does HomePod Mini Work with Other Apple Devices?

i) Compatibility with Third-Party Services

j) Multi-Room (Joining Multiple Devices): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

k) User Profiles and Personalization: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

l) Companion App

m) Technical Support

6) List of All of the Wins, Ties, and Losses

7) Verdict: Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio

9) FAQ’s

 

<<<< Scroll to see full table>>>>

HomePod Mini

Google Nest Audio

Price

$99

$99

Size

84mm (height);

99mm (diameter)

17mm (height);

124mm (width);

78mm (depth)

Speakers

One full-range driver and dual passive radiators

75mm woofer and 19mm tweeter

Microphones

4

3 far-field and 2-stage mic mute switch

Audio Beamforming

No

No

Wireless

802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Thread

802.11b/g/n/ac, (2.4 GHz/5 GHz), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast

Design

Compact circular design

Large pill-sized shape

Streaming

Major music streaming services support

Major music streaming services support

Smart Integration

Siri and Apple HomeKit

Google Assistant ensures broad smart integrations

Voice Control

Yes

Yes

Private Listening

Yes

Yes

Free Headphones

No

No

Guest Mode

No

No

Stereo setup

Yes

Yes

Cost

Apple.com

Target

B&H Photo

Best Buy

Google

Power Planet Online

Best Buy

 

Which Is Better: Apple HomePod Mini or Google Nest Audio?

The main advantages HomePod Mini has over Next Audio include features such as intercom, handoff, stereo pairing, superior audio quality, and the HomeKit. It also has a more compact design than the Google Nest Audio.

Overview of Apple HomePod Mini

Overview of Apple HomePod Mini

Starting at only $99, the Apple HomePod Mini is currently the most popular and cost-effective way of getting top-quality speakers for personal and professional use.

Even more so if you consider yourself to be an active Siri user or a general fan of Apple’s innovative and smart home ecosystem. Let’s see some of the main points to better understand why so many people simply love Apple’s newest smart speaker.

What Is HomePod Mini?

The Siri-enabled, small smart speaker, HomePod Mini is Apple’s long-awaited speaker, meant to bridge the gap between the competition with the same price tag as Google Nest Audio. Since Apple didn’t do so well with their previous small smart speaker, HomePod, the brand wanted to make up for its poor performance on the market.

The company is back with the HomePod Mini, a more affordable, smaller smart speaker that brings all the Apple goodies to the user – the HomeKit as the preferred smart home service and Siri as the preferred smart assistant.

What Does HomePod Mini Do?

HomePod Mini has the latest Apple’s innovation, the U1 ultra-wideband chip. This allows this smart speaker to detect any nearby iPhone or Apple device and interact with it using vibrations, sounds, and animations. The chip allows the smart speaker to detect the distance between two or more devices more accurately than Bluetooth or other similar technologies.

Costs at the Time of Review

At the time of this review, the cost of the Apple HomePod Mini was $99.

What’s in the Box?

When you buy Apple HomePod Mini, you get one smart Siri-enabled speaker and a plug-in power cable.

HomePod Mini

  • TechRadar: 4
  • Tom’s Guide: 4
  • Engadget: 84%
  • CNET: 8.2/10
  • Digital Trends: 8/10

Overview of Google Nest Audio

Just like Apple, Google decided to step up its game and launch a new product on the market – the Google Nest Audio smart speaker. Even though this smart speaker is a newcomer to the smart speaker market, it’s already making huge waves among its target audiences. Here’s a short overview to see what hides behind the adorable pill-like appearance.

What Is Google Nest Audio?

Costing only $99, Google Nest Audio is a smart speaker that uses the Google Assistant. It is compact in size, making it easy to fit into a variety of different places in your home. It’s an improvement over Google Home and is much faster to respond to voice commands.

Cost at the Time of Review

At the time of this review, the cost of the Google Nest Audio smart speaker was $99.

What’s in the Box?

When you buy the speaker, you get a Google Nest Audio smart speaker and a proprietary power cable.

SMARTHOME News Rating

N/A.

Average Review Rating for Other Sites on Google

Google Nest Audio

  • SoundGuys: 8.2/10
  • What Hi-Fi: 3/5
  • Engadget: 87%/100%
  • TechRadar: 3.5
  • CNET: 7.8/10

 

Quick Comparison of the Key Differences/Standout Points

When it comes to the key differences between Apple HomePod Mini and Google Nest Audio, the HomePod Mini has a slightly better performance in terms of design, connectivity, and features.

The key differences include:

  • HomePod Mini has better volume control and more drivers, as well as a neodymium magnet.
  • HomePod Mini has a subwoofer and a noise-canceling microphone, more microphones, and magnetic shielding.
  • Google Nest Mini supports a remote smartphone.

Step-by-Step Comparison of HomePod Mini and Google Nest Audio

Step-by-Step Comparison of HomePod Mini and Google Nest Audio

Now that you have a basic knowledge of some of the differences between Apple’s and Google’s new smart speakers, let’s delve deeper into the step-by-step comparison between the two to see how they stack up against each other in various aspects.

This is a detailed comparison between the Apple streaming ecosystem and the Google streaming ecosystem to provide you with all the details you need to make an informed purchasing decision. Read on to find the differences between these smart speakers.

Cost: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

Winner (Cost): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner (Cost): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

When it comes to cost, the two speakers are identical. Both cost $99. The only difference is that the HomePod Mini started shipping on November 16, while the Google Nest Audio has been readily available for a while.

Design: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

The newest smart speaker from Apple, HomePod Mini, comes in an apple-like, perfectly spherical shape, which is quite an improvement on its cylindrical predecessor. The design is elegant, which is no surprise, as Apple has always excelled at manufacturing attractive devices.

The speaker is just 3.3 inches tall, making it perfect to fit into just about any space or take it with you on any occasion. Available in both space and white gray, this will be a nice addition to your Apple collection.

Google Nest Audio

The Google Nest Audio brings you a brand new pill-like appearance, which is far from unattractive. While not as elegant as the apple-like shape of HomePod Mini, it is simply different. What matters is that you can put it pretty much anywhere, and it fits well with most home decor.

One advantage that Nest Audio has over its Apple counterpart is that it comes in five different color options:

  • Sky
  • Sand
  • Sage
  • Charcoal
  • Chalk

The Nest Audio has a more pronounced design because of its heftier size. It’s almost twice the size of the HomePod Mini.

Winner (Design): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: HomePod Mini

If it’s elegance you’re after, our warmest recommendation would be to go with HomePod Mini. It works quite well with other iOS devices while being more compact in both shape and size. However, it’s fair to emphasize that Nest Audio offers a wider color range.

Features: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

360° Audio

Fill your room with 360° audio to achieve the most enhanced sound from nearly every angle.

Computational Audio

Thanks to the Apple S5 chip, HomePod Mini supports computational audio that helps produce fine-tuned, perfectly balanced sound with crisp high frequencies and massive bass.

Bass Extension

HomePod Mini uses force-canceling passive radiators to bring an extended bass response to better fit your audio needs.

Noise Cancelation

The Apple HomePod Mini has four microphones that work together perfectly, achieving the highest level of noise cancelation. In other words, regardless of how loud your environment is, you won’t have to turn down the volume to give voice commands.

Stereo Pairing

Take your sound experience to a whole new level by connecting two or more HomePod Mini speakers in the same room to achieve a stereo sound for right and left channels and create an immersive soundstage.

Siri Voice Assistant

Siri voice assistant offers reliable assistance 24/7. Whether you want to play a song, manage your smart home accessories, or anything else, simply ask Siri.

Intercom

The intercom feature allows you to establish a line of communication with your family members. If you’re using more than one smart speaker, you can communicate with other users in your home. Intercom is also compatible with other Apple devices.

Easy Connection

The HomePod Mini has the Home app that allows you to get set up and stay connected regardless of where you are. Simply set up your speaker, automatically add it to the Home app, and start personalizing your HomeKit devices using voice commands. You can also manage your HomeKit features remotely.

Touch Controls

Use touch controls to further personalize your smart speaker, control volume, activate Siri, skip tracks, play or pause music, send or receive messages, etc.

Accessibility Features

  • Touch accommodations
  • Siri
  • VoiceOver
  • HomeKit and Home app
  • Intercom

 

Google Nest Audio

Google Assistant

Control your compatible smart speaker, turn features on and off, use your Google Assistant to play music, search for other compatible devices, set up the Google Home app, and more.

Wireless Streaming

Stream your favorite songs, radio stations, music, and more.

Full Sound

The Nest Audio smart speaker has a dedicated tuning software, tweeter, and woofer that allow it to produce deep bass and crisp highs. Enjoy a full and rich sound with every use of your smart speaker. The speaker can also adapt to your surroundings, making music sound better.

Stereo Pairing

Achieve a true stereo sound by pairing two or more Nest Audio speakers together.

Additional Features

  • Three touch areas
  • Capacitive touch controls
  • High-performance ML hardware engine

Winner (Features): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: HomePod Mini

With full Siri functionality and an array of useful features, your HomePod Mini allows you to establish full control over all your compatible Apple devices.

Maintain communication with other family members, use wireless networks to manage and personalize your HomeKit-compatible devices, and use Siri to control your smart home accessories, get sports scores, weather, traffic, play music, and so much more.

For only $99, you get a fully integrative smart speaker that’s compatible with your Apple ecosystem.

Ease of Setup: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

Setting up your HomePod Mini smart speaker isn’t only simple, it’s also automated. All you need is an iPad or iPhone connected to Wi-Fi near your device when you turn it on for the first time.

Agree to use your voice assistant, Siri, to control your speaker’s features and sync your iCloud and Apple Music settings to further personalize your user experience.

You can stream directly from your Apple devices and your speaker is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Google Nest Audio

Google Nest Audio

Setting up your Nest Audio smart speaker is almost effortless. Simply download the Google Home app and follow the instructions for setting up your speaker. After the initial set up, you’ll receive in-app instructions that allow you to further personalize your speaker. While the speaker has Chromecast built-in, it’s much easier to use it via Wi-Fi.

Winner (Ease of set up): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: HomePod Mini

Both speakers are very easy to set up and use. They support all major streaming services like Pandora, Audible, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and others. The only difference is that the HomePod Mini supports streaming from AirPlay apps and devices.

Sound Quality: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini is small, meaning it has a smaller tweeter and woofer. However, it’s also equipped with dual passive radiators and a full-range driver for crisper and clearer high frequencies and deeper bass.

It’s also packed with additional features, including computational audio for tuning in real-time and 360-degree sound. The biggest downside of this smart speaker is its size; it lacks the size to provide the same level of sound quality as the original HomePod.

Google Nest Audio

The Google Nest Audio is larger, and the speaker is designed to provide clear audio without any noise, fuzz, or distortion. With a 75mm mid-woofer and a 19mm tweeter, Nest Audio is capable of providing fantastic audio performance and a high level of adaptability to whatever music genre or content it’s playing.

Its additional features, like Ambient IQ and Media EQ, only improve and enhance the listening experience. Ambient IQ auto-adjusts the volume based on the sounds of your surrounding environment while Media EQ automatically fine-tunes the speaker to achieve the perfect sound settings with each listening.

Winner (Sound Quality): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: Google Nest Audio

Even though the HomePod Mini has more useful features than Nest Audio, the sound from the latter is simply more room-filling, robust, and clearer, especially when it comes to deep bass performance.

While size does matter here, it’s Nest Audio’s smart built-in AI features that allow for an increased level of dynamical audio adjusting and optimal audio performance.

The combination of a high-performance ML hardware engine and a quad-core 1.85 GHz A53 processor beats anything from the HomePod Mini.

Neither speaker will leave you hanging, but if it’s high-quality sound you’re after, Nest Audio should be your option number one.

Voice Assistant: Siri vs. Google Assistant

Siri

The HomePod Mini is equipped with smart home control options and it comes with the Apple voice assistant, Siri, built-in. While Siri doesn’t have such a wide range of integration options compared to its counterpart, Google Assistant, it works perfectly with all other devices and features in the HomeKit ecosystem.

What makes Siri so great is the option to talk to her, check your messages, talk to other family members in your home, and connect various smart home accessories and devices like bulbs, switches, and so on. If you want to achieve a more robust and stereo audio sound, simply pair two or more HomePod Mini speakers using Siri.

Google Assistant

Nest Audio comes with Google Assistant, Google’s virtual assistant that is considered the most capable smart voice assistant to date. It has a much higher level of compatibility than Siri, works with a wider range of smart home applications and devices, has amazing language recognition, and features a wide array of integrations.

While Siri supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, Google Assistant only supports dual-band Wi-Fi. However, its biggest advantage over Siri is that it works well with both iOS and Android devices. If you have more than one Nest Audio device, you can achieve multiple device playback. Pair your assistant with Nest Aware for an additional layer of home security.

Winner (Voice Assistant): HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: Google Assistant

Google Assistant comes with such a range of AI options and abilities that neither Alexa nor Siri can match it. Aside from being the best smartphone assistant, Google Assistant is also more accurate than Siri. In the overall battle of performances, Google Assistant wins over Siri by a long shot.

Compatibility with Other Devices: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

Aside from pairing it with other mini smart speakers, you can also use your HomePod Mini speaker with any device from your HomeKit ecosystem and other devices from the Apple and iOS family, including iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch. The HomePod Mini also works with smart home devices and AirPlay 2M, as well as AirPlay apps and devices.

Google Nest Audio

The biggest advantage Nest Audio has over its Apple counterpart is its compatibility with both iOS and Android devices, including an array of Nest devices as well as a home security setup with Nest Aware.

Winner (Compatibility with other devices): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: Google Nest Audio

While both speakers work with all the most popular streaming services, Google has an advantage over Apple simply due to the fact that it works well with both iOS and Android devices.

If you already have your own Apple ecosystem, you can choose to remain loyal to Apple and purchase the HomePod Mini. However, if it’s a higher level of tech-savviness that you’re after, Nest Audio is clearly a better choice.

Does HomePod Mini Work with Other Apple Devices?

Aside from being compatible with 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple devices, and Apple AirPlay 2, it also works with any other device from your smart home and Apple ecosystem. Take the sound from your Apple TV to a whole new level with your very own HomePod Mini smart speaker.

Compatibility with Third-Party Services

Can you get Spotify on HomePod Mini?

The HomePod Mini smart speaker supports all the major streaming services like YouTube Music, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon, Pandora, and others.

Can you get Apple Music or Amazon Music on Nest Audio?

Yes, you can get both Apple Music and Amazon Music on your Nest Audio smart speaker. To get Apple Music, simply use Bluetooth to connect to iTunes Music or Apple Music. If you want to get Amazon Music, cast the music from the Amazon Music app on your Android device to your Nest Audio speaker.

Multi-Room (Joining Multiple Devices): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

Will HomePod Work with HomePod Mini?

Yes, you can effortlessly and seamlessly pair your HomePod and Mini speakers to get stereo sound. HomePod Mini is designed to serve as a Home hub. In other words, you can set up an entire Siri-enabled smart home using nothing but your Mini smart speaker.

Will Nest Hub Work with Nest Audio, or Are They Standalone?

Thanks to the added music-specific voice controls, particularly the feature that allows you to take your music with you while you move from one room to another. If you want to move the stream from your Nest Audio speaker to a Nest Hub, simply use this voice control to do it. So, yes, both Nest Hub and Nest Audio are compatible.

User Profiles and Personalization: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

HomePod Mini

User Profiles and Personalization HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

Since the HomePod Mini comes with a built-in voice assistant, Siri, the level of personalization is amazing. Ask Siri whatever you need to get a seamless user experience each and every time. You can ask Siri to make phone calls, get the latest news, manage your calendar, find out about the weather, and further personalize your HomePod experience.

Apple has gone one step further and provided a multi-user option that allows your family to use the Mini smart speaker according to their needs. Siri does an excellent job of responding to your personal requests, as well as customizing the music selection according to your personal tastes.

Google Nest Audio

Since Nest Audio works with iOS, Android, Nest Aware, Nest Hub, and pretty much any other smart home device, personalizing your Nest Audio smart speaker is a walk in a park.

Simply plug in your speaker, connect your device to the Wi-Fi network, open the Google Home app, choose the option to set up your device, and follow the instructions. Use the dual-band Wi-Fi features to switch between Android and iOs devices.

Winner (User profiles and personalization): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: Google Nest Audio

Nest Audio wins this round simply because it works well with both iOS and Android devices, whereas HomePod Mini works only with the devices within the Apple ecosystem. While it’s true that both speakers offer a wide range of options for a full level of personalization, Nest Audio simply offers more features for a higher level of personalization.

Companion App

HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini doesn’t have a companion app aside from the Home app that allows you to manage and customize all of the settings for your smart speaker.

Google Nest Audio

Google Nest Audio is compatible with the Chromecast streaming platform. Google has integrated the Nest Audio speakers with its Chromecast streaming platform to allow the user to play music across a wide range of different devices.

Use the Google Home app to link your TVs and smart speakers together and achieve a much higher quality of stereo sound. Just make sure that your mobile device and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi connection.

Winner (Companion app): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: N/A

This was a very hard decision, but we managed to get to the bottom of it – this round is a tie between the two smart speakers. Even though Nest Audio has a companion app while the HomePod Mini doesn’t, it’s still a tie simply because this is where the two speakers are completely equal.

Nest Audio has Chromecast, which allows the user to play audio on TVs; HomePod Mini works well with all iOS devices. Therefore, both speakers offer the same level of personalization.

Technical Support

HomePod Mini

Apple has quite an effective support system. In case you have a problem with your device or smart speaker, head over to Apple Support, and get both support and service from the Apple experts. You can also visit AppleCare products to get additional expert technical support and service options from Apple.

Google Nest Audio

In case you need technical support for your Nest Audio smart speaker, simply visit Google Nest Help. Head over to their Speakers and Displays section and choose the Troubleshoot an Issue option to quickly and expertly solve any issue at hand.

Winner (Technical support): HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio

 
 
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Winner: N/A

This round is also a tie, as both Apple and Google have incredibly responsive and customer-centric support. Their customer and technical support services are at your disposal 24/7/365. If you experience any issue with either of the smart speakers, the tech support experts will handle it quickly and efficiently.

List of All of the Wins, Ties, and Losses

  • Cost: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: N/A (tie)
  • Design: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: HomePod Mini
  • Features: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: HomePod Mini
  • Ease of set up: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: HomePod Mini
  • Sound Quality: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: Google Nest Audio
  • Voice assistant: Siri vs. Google assistant – Winner: Google Nest Audio
  • Compatibility with other devices: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: Google Nest Audio
  • User profiles and personalization: HomePod Mini vs. Nest Audio – Winner: Google Nest Audio
  • Companion app – Winner: N/A (tie)
  • Technical support – Winner: N/A (tie)

Verdict: Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio

Verdict: Apple HomePod Mini vs. Google Nest Audio

Choose HomePod Mini if you’re a fan of Apple devices and you prefer Siri as your voice assistant. This smart speaker will be a nice and cost-effective addition to your Apple ecosystem.

Choose Google Nest Audio if you’re an active Android user and you prefer a bit more flexibility when using your smart technology devices. Nest Audio also provides a slightly better sound quality when compared to HomePod Mini.

Our Personal Choice of Which is the Best Product

While we have to agree on both smart speaker options being top-of-the-line hardware for both personal and professional use, we also have to point out that we’d have to give Google Nest Audio the upper hand.

Apple has really stepped up its game with the HomePod Mini speakers, adding amazing features and integration options, but its huge disadvantage is that the user has to be an Apple fan to use this smart speaker. On the other hand, Nest Audio works well with both iOS and Android devices, and it also offers a slightly better sound quality.

You won’t go wrong with either of the two, but we’d go with Nest Audio all the way. It offers a better and more solid audio performance with rich bass and crisp highs, you can pair it with other speakers and devices, Google Assistant offers its amazing and intuitive AI potential to make the user experience even better, and the speaker fits into any space due to its compact size.

There’s one more advantage that Nest Audio has over HomePod Mini – the option to delete voice command history on demand.

FAQ’s

Can I use My HomePod Mini without Wi-Fi?

Once your HomePod Mini is configured, it won’t require an additional Wi-Fi access point. However, you can’t set up your smart speaker without access to the internet and Wi-Fi. Since you need to set up the speaker to use it, the answer is no.

Can I use my Nest Audio without Wi-Fi?

No, you can’t use Nest Audio without Wi-Fi. It requires the connection to set it up and connect it with your other smart home devices.

Does Nest Audio have a battery?

At the moment, Nest Audio doesn’t come with a battery. However, Google has announced plans to make the speaker portable with a built-in battery.

Does HomePod Mini have a battery?

Yes, the HomePod Mini can be powered by a battery pack or any other accessory. It also features a USB-C connector.

Can you use Apple HomePod as a computer speaker?

Yes, you can. You just have to make sure your computer and HomePod Mini are on the same Wi-Fi network.

Can you use Nest Audio as a computer speaker?

Yes, you can. Nest Audio has Chromecast built-in. This allows you to cast directly from your computer to the speaker.

Is HomePod Mini wireless?

No, HomePod Mini isn’t wireless. It uses a USB-C connector and has a battery.

Is Nest Audio Mini wireless?

Yes, Nest Audio is a wireless smart speaker.

 

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