Is Google Home Mini the best speaker for your bathroom?
Best answer: The Google Home Mini is made to blend into your home decor, but it’s not made to stand up to steamy showers and splashy sinks. For a waterproof Google Assistant speaker, you’ll need to look to third-party options, like the TicHome Mini.
- Amazon: TicHome Mini ($100)
- Best Buy: Google Home Mini
The Google Home Mini is made for dry land, not hot showers
It doesn’t take long to look at the Google Home Mini and see that this device was not made for wet environments. The “acoustically transparent” fabric that covers the top of the Google Home Mini may be durable, but the touch sensors below it — as well as the overall wiring and circuitry of this compact speaker — are not protected against water ingress from spills, splashes, and dunks.
The Google Home Mini is a $50 smart speaker with a slim profile; waterproofing it would likely have raised costs, required a size increase, or both. It’s understandable that Google omitted it in its pursuit of a compact and affordable speaker.
That has not stopped many users over the years from sticking one in their bathroom to control music while they shower — and it is an option — but long-term damage from the steam is possible, especially if your bathroom has poor ventilation. If you really want to use a Google Home Mini in the bathroom, there are wall mounts and outlet shelves available to keep it away from your splash-prone sink. You’ll still need to mount your Google Home Mini across the room from the shower, though, and that combined with an echo-y shower can make it hard for Google to make out your commands.
Why not buy a Google Assistant-powered speaker that’s made to be used in the shower? One that is not only IPX6 (resistant to powerful water jets) splash-proof, but portable?
The TicHome Mini was one of the first third-party Google Assistant speakers to hit the market, and it is still one of the smallest in both profile and price that has water resistance and an internal battery for portable listening. It has a handy leather strap for easy carrying and hanging from a shower curtain hook as I shower every morning. The internal battery also lets you keep your music streaming as you bring it from room to room without having to stop the music or reboot the device, allowing me to bring the Mini into the bathroom for my shower and then return it to a Micro-USB charger as I settle in the bedroom or in the living room.
The TicHome Mini is about the same size as the Google Home Mini, but since it packs water resistance and a 6-hour battery into that slightly larger chassis, it it more expensive. For a device that has actual water resistance and the portability to follow you from the kitchen to the backyard during barbecue cookouts and pool parties, I’m willing to pay a little more.
$100 at Mobvoi
Take Google Assistant from room to room during your morning routine
This stylish hockey puck of a speaker packs IPX6 “splashproof” water resistance, the glorious geekiness of Google Assistant, and a battery for up to 6 hours of portable playback into a petite package that’s easy to carry around the house.
Google Home Mini
$49 at Best Buy
You can’t quite beat Google for an affordable, stylish Google Assistant speaker.
The Google Home Mini is a little donut of sound, smarts, and style, and its color choices help it blend in or stand out with just about any decor in your home. It’s not waterproof, but it is a popular speaker with dozen of wall and ceiling mounts available for it.