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


Attachment Image
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
22 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
22 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)
PJWilkin Avatar
22 months ago
Siri is the HomePods biggest let down

until Apple drastically improve it, the HomePod will remain infuriating
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
22 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)

Related Stories

homepod mini sale

Deals: HomePod Mini Sees First Discount, Available for $89 at Expercom ($10 Off)

Tuesday April 13, 2021 11:11 am PDT by
Apple reseller Expercom is offering the first straight cash discount we've ever seen on HomePod mini, priced at $89.00, down from $99.00. This is a new HomePod mini in Space Gray (White currently isn't on sale), and it has an estimated delivery in 3-7 business days. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, ...
homepod feature purple

Apple Releases HomePod Software 15.4

Monday March 14, 2022 9:41 am PDT by
Alongside iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and tvOS 15.4, Apple today released a new 15.4 update that's available for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The 15.4 update is the fourth major HomePod software update since version 15 was released, and it comes more than a month after the launch of HomePod software 15.3. The HomePod 15.4 software update brings support for captive WiFi networks, so that...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Now Rumored to Launch in Seven Countries, Including Denmark and Norway

Tuesday January 11, 2022 8:29 am PST by
Over the weekend, it was reported that Apple has been testing Swedish language support for Siri on the HomePod mini for at least two months, and now further reports claim that testing is also underway for Danish and Norwegian. Based on these reports, it's likely that Apple is planning to launch the HomePod mini in several Nordic countries this year, including Sweden, Denmark, and Norway....
homepod feature triad

Apple Removes References to Original HomePod From Website, Months After Discontinuation

Monday October 18, 2021 12:07 pm PDT by
Apple has removed all references to the original, full-sized HomePod from its website, months after officially discontinuing the smart speaker that struggled to reach mainstream adoption. The removal of references to the original HomePod came as a result of brand new changes to Apple's website. With the new changes, Apple now only highlights the HomePod mini, which now comes in brand new...
homepod mini sale

Deals: Get the HomePod Mini for $89.99 at B&H Photo ($9 Off)

Friday July 16, 2021 7:41 am PDT by
The HomePod mini has dropped to $89.99 on B&H Photo today, down from its original price of $99.00. This is a second-best price on the HomePod mini, following a drop to $79.99 at Simply Mac earlier this summer. The HomePod mini is a smaller version of the HomePod, measuring in at 3.3 inches tall compared to the HomePod's 6.8-inch height. The HomePod mini features a fabric-covered spherical...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Launching in Additional Countries in June

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that the HomePod mini will be launching in additional countries in June, including Austria, New Zealand, and Ireland. Pricing is set at €99 in Austria and Ireland, and $159 in New Zealand, with the usual space gray and white color options. HomePod mini first launched in October 2020 in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan,...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod mini Launches in Austria and Ireland, Coming to New Zealand Later This Month

Tuesday June 15, 2021 2:23 am PDT by
Apple last month announced that the HomePod mini would be made available in several new countries in June. Now, less than a month later, the HomePod mini has officially launched in Austria and Ireland, and is listed as "available in June" in New Zealand, suggesting availability in the next couple of weeks. The HomePod mini is the follow-up to the original HomePod released in 2018. The...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Likely Nearing Launch in Five More Countries

Saturday January 8, 2022 11:21 am PST by
Apple has been testing Swedish language support for Siri on the HomePod mini for at least two months, according to Macradion, suggesting that the HomePod mini will be released in Sweden at some point this year. In addition to Sweden, the HomePod mini will likely launch in at least four more countries in 2022, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Russia, as the speaker gained...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...