The Google Home Mini is to the Google Home smart speaker what the Amazon Echo Dot is to the original Echo: a smaller, cheaper model for folks that want an always-listening voice assistant that can play music and respond to questions… but who don’t want to spend a lot of money.

But there are two key differences:

  1. Amazon’s Echo Dot uses Alexa, while the Google’s model uses Google Assistant.
  2. The Echo Dot has a 3.5mm line output for connecting external speakers. The Google Home Mini does not.

There’s not much you can do to change the first point, but Youtuber SnekTek took number 2 into his own hands… and gave his Google Home Mini a line out jack.

In a video posted to YouTube, he shows the steps for opening up the Google Home Mini, drilling a hole for the headphone jack, measuring the voltage, and soldering the components needed to split the audio signal so it goes to both the built-in speaker and the newly installed audio jack.

The process isn’t exactly easy, since it involves some knowledge of electronics and requires heating up the bottom of the speaker so you can peel off the bottom cover protecting the screws you need to remove to open the case.

But the end result is a Google Home Mini that you can connect to an external speaker if you want to use Google’s voice assistant with a bigger, better speaker.

One thing to keep in mind is that the built-in speaker on this hacked Google Home Mini won’t turn off when an external device is plugged in. So while you could theoretically use headphones, anyone else in the room would still hear the audio.

Then again, if you plan to use headphones, you should probably just plug them into a phone or something rather than a stationary speaker.

via Android Police

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3 replies on “Hackers gives the Google Home Mini a line-out jack (that kind of works)”

  1. I assume, in theory, it wouldn’t be much more difficult to add a switch to automatically turn off the internal speaker when an external speaker is plugged in — i.e. just like mobile phones do.

  2. Back in the good ‘ol days of Radio Shack, I could go there and buy a 3.5mm panel-mount stereo jack that would have 4 connectors – 3 for the audio signals (L, R, ground) and one for going to an internal speaker. That way the internal speaker would not be used when a plug was inserted. I’m not sure how easy these parts are to find these days but it was easy in the 1990’s and would make a nicer finished project.

    1. Whoops — added my comment before I read your. Yeah, I’m sure you can still get the parts from somewhere, and no doubt someone else will post video of an enhanced design sooner or later.

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