$99 Speaker Showdown: HomePod Mini vs. Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio

Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly, competitively priced. At $99, the ‌HomePod mini‌ can better compete with affordable smart speakers from companies like Google and Amazon.


The ‌HomePod mini‌ has been praised for its high-quality sound at its price point, so we thought we'd compare it to Google's Nest Audio and Amazon's Echo to see how it measures up in terms of sound quality, design, and smarts. In the video and the photos below, the ‌HomePod mini‌ is the white speaker, the Amazon Echo is the black speaker, and the Google Nest Audio is the gray speaker that's taller in size.

homepod mini amazon echo size
First and foremost, the Nest Audio is priced at $99.99, and the Amazon Echo has an MSRP of $99.99, but it's currently on sale for $70, so all three speakers are available at about the same price points. We may not see the ‌HomePod mini‌ drop in price to Echo level anytime soon given that it was just released, so Amazon has an edge when it comes to pricing.

nest audio homepod mini comparison
The Nest and the Echo are larger than the ‌HomePod mini‌, but all three have a similar mesh fabric design. The Nest Audio has a tall, flat design, while the Echo and ‌HomePod mini‌ have a round shape.

The Echo has easy to use physical buttons, while the Nest Audio has capacitive touch controls that aren't exactly intuitive when you're first starting to use it. The ‌HomePod mini‌ has a little touch area at the top that supports touch gestures and lets you know when Siri's been activated.

amazon echo homepod mini side by side
There is no built-in microphone muting function on the ‌HomePod mini‌, while both the Nest and Echo have mute switches so you can prevent them from listening to conversations if desired. The Echo has a 3.5mm headphone jack that can connect to other devices, something lacking on the ‌HomePod mini‌ and the Nest.

When it comes to power, the ‌HomePod mini‌ is the only one of the bunch that has a USB-C connector and a separate power adapter, which means it theoretically can be run off of a battery pack with a USB-C port.

homepod mini
As for sound quality, there's not as much difference as you might think and all three sound close to the same. At similar volumes, the ‌HomePod mini‌ has a more balanced sound with nothing blown out, but the Echo and the Nest deliver more bass (perhaps a little too much) and can reach higher volumes due to their larger sizes. Audio equipment inside each speaker is listed below.

  • Amazon Echo: 76mm woofer and two 20mm tweeters.
  • Nest Audio: 75mm woofer and one 19mm tweeter.
  • ‌HomePod mini‌: Full range driver and dual passive radiators.

The Nest Audio and the Amazon Echo win out over the ‌HomePod mini‌ if you're looking for volume because they can better fill a room with sound. You can pair two ‌HomePod‌ minis together to ramp up the volume, but that requires another $99 investment. Even with a much smaller form factor, the ‌HomePod mini‌ isn't too far off from the larger speakers, and the ‌HomePod mini‌'s sound continues to be impressive for such a tiny device.

amazon echo
All of the speakers are considered smart speakers and work with ‌Siri‌ (‌HomePod mini‌), Google Assistant (Nest Audio), and Alexa (Amazon Echo). The speakers can be used to control smart home devices, answer questions, place calls, get news updates, check calendars, and more, so for the most part, regardless of speaker, it's going to do what most people want in a smart speaker.

The ‌HomePod mini‌ is limited to controlling HomeKit-enabled devices and it is not as open or compatible with as many devices as the Amazon Echo or the Google Nest. If you don't have a significant HomeKit setup, the smart home features of the ‌HomePod mini‌ are going to be useless.

nest audio
Alexa and Google Assistant can do more than ‌Siri‌ and have long been considered to be better at answering queries and completing tasks than ‌Siri‌. Alexa in particular is great for custom home automation workflows, but Apple's ‌Siri‌ is the most privacy-focused of the bunch, which is worth considering. If you just want basic smart functionality, though, any of the three speakers works well.

Amazon's Echo works with almost all music services, including Apple Music and Spotify, while the Nest Audio works with Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Deezer. The ‌HomePod mini‌ is designed to work with ‌Apple Music‌ primarily, but Apple has implemented support for third-party music services. Spotify does not work natively on the ‌HomePod mini‌ as of yet, but that functionality may be coming, and Amazon Music and iHeartRadio are adding support.

Right now, the ‌HomePod mini‌ works with Pandora as a third-party music app, and other music services need to be AirPlayed to the speaker using an iOS device.

amazon echo homepod mini nest audio comparison
All in all, these speakers are all fairly similar when it comes to sound and performance. Choosing between them mostly comes down to ecosystem preference. If you already have Alexa-enabled devices, the Amazon Echo is a better choice. Similarly, if you use Google Assistant, it makes sense to pick up a Nest Audio. For those in the Apple ecosystem, especially those who use ‌Apple Music‌ and have ‌HomeKit‌ setups, the ‌HomePod mini‌ is an ideal choice.

Which smart speaker do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Rocko99991 Avatar
11 months ago
Just pick the one that collects/sells the least amount of data.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jimmy James Avatar
11 months ago


Attachment Image
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
11 months ago
No way would I entertain the thought of Amazon or Google due to privacy concerns. I have been pleased with my new HomePod mini.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
11 months ago
We bought one HomePod mini, and we love it.

Siri kinda sucks, but privacy is paramount, especially in the home.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
11 months ago
I like my mini, but I wish Apple had made it wireless and given us an option to use it sans cord. Maybe a wireless charging base so it could be a pick up and bring it wherever situation.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PJWilkin Avatar
11 months ago
Siri is the HomePods biggest let down

until Apple drastically improve it, the HomePod will remain infuriating
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

homepod feature purple

HomePod Now Unavailable From Apple in Canada After Being Discontinued [Updated]

Monday June 7, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
In March, Apple announced that the full-sized HomePod would be discontinued once supplies run out, following years of reportedly lackluster sales. Apple said it would focus its efforts on the HomePod mini released last year. As supplies start to dwindle, the HomePod is now listed as "Currently Unavailable" for delivery on Apple's online store in Canada. This comes just days after the HomePod ...
homepod mini on shelf

Hands-On With the New HomePod Mini

Tuesday November 17, 2020 12:13 pm PST by
Apple's new $99 HomePod mini officially launched yesterday, with the first pre-order purchases arriving to customers and Apple beginning in-store sales. We picked up a new HomePod mini and thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod measures up to the original model. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The HomePod mini...
homepodminiandhomepod

HomePod mini and HomePod Can't Be Stereo Paired, But HomePod Home Theater Support Coming Soon for Apple TV 4K

Wednesday October 14, 2020 12:44 am PDT by
Following the HomePod mini announcement at Tuesday's Apple event, The Loop's Jim Dalrymple has answered a key question many people have been asking: Can you pair a HomePod mini with an original HomePod to make a stereo pair? "The short answer is no," explains Dalrymple. "You can't make a stereo pair of a HomePod and a HomePod mini. You can make a stereo pair of two HomePods or two HomePod...
homepod mini on table

HomePod Mini Begins Shipping to Customers, First Orders Arrive November 16

Saturday November 14, 2020 7:11 pm PST by
HomePod mini pre-orders are beginning to ship to customers around the world ahead of the speaker's launch next week. While many orders remain in the "Processing" or "Preparing to Ship" stages in the United States, one MacRumors reader in Germany shared a screenshot of his HomePod mini marked as shipped on Apple's online store, with estimated November 17 delivery. HomePod mini orders are also ...
deezer homepod support

Deezer Announces Siri Voice Control Support for HomePod

Thursday May 6, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Music streaming service Deezer has announced that voice control support for Apple HomePod and HomePod mini speakers is now available for Premium, HiFi, Family, and Student subscribers. The update means all paying subscribers with iOS 14.3 and later and the latest software on HomePod can ask Siri to play any song from Deezer's global catalogue of 73 million tracks. Voice control also allows...
homepod mini white box

HomePod Mini Begins Arriving to Customers

Sunday November 15, 2020 4:38 pm PST by
HomePod mini launch day is officially underway in countries such as Australia and Japan, where the calendar has already turned to November 16, and the first orders are beginning to arrive to customers. Track your shipment in the MacRumors forums. Instagram user shiology shared a photo of the white HomePod mini and its box. Daniel Feodoroff was one of the first customers in the world to...
homepod mini customer

First Impressions From HomePod Mini Customers: 'The Sound Quality is Great'

Monday November 16, 2020 8:36 am PST by
Today is HomePod mini launch day in the United States and nine other countries, and as orders begin arriving to customers, first impressions of the speaker are beginning to surface on the web. While we've already seen HomePod mini reviews from media outlets and YouTubers, customer opinions provide additional perspective. HomePod mini photo shot by Oliur MacRumors forum member "boultonn" said...
homepod mini event shot

Watch: HomePod Mini Reviews, Sound Quality Tests, and Unboxing Videos

Thursday November 12, 2020 6:01 am PST by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the HomePod mini ahead of the speaker launching on Monday. In addition to our in-depth HomePod mini reviews roundup, we've gathered a collection of unboxing videos and sound quality tests below. As its name implies, the HomePod mini is a smaller version of the standard HomePod, standing just 3.3 inches tall. However, despite its more compact,...
HomePodandMini feature

Apple Discontinues Full-Sized HomePod to Focus on HomePod Mini

Friday March 12, 2021 5:14 pm PST by
Apple has discontinued the standard HomePod to focus exclusively on the HomePod mini, reports TechCrunch. First introduced four years ago, Apple's larger HomePod has never sold well because of its high price tag. Apple hoped that the HomePod's high-quality sound would give it an edge over competing products, but sales of the HomePod have always been lackluster with so many more affordable...
homepodminicolors

HomePod Mini Shipping Times Slip into January Across Europe as Global Stocks Dwindle

Tuesday November 24, 2020 4:34 am PST by
The availability of HomePod mini is now at its lowest since Apple's new smart speaker went on sale last month, with shipping times across Europe having already slipped into next year in many cases. In the United Kingdom, France, and Spain, for example, the delivery time for a HomePod mini ordered today in either space gray or white is as long as five to six weeks, and in Germany has even...